Piece Comment

Review of English Learners in California Schools

A terrific subject that needs more attention. Kates does a good job of covering the issues, and he's found a great bunch of sources.

But we're caught up right from the start by a linguistic tick: "English learners." While it's a bit cocky to note that LA is the home of the largest contingent of Brit-expats in the US -- which gives an entirely different meaning to "English learners" -- I fear Kates's thrust suffers from political correctness.

A political correctness, I should add, weighed down by the American ambivalence toward learning a second language.

My instinct would be to go back and discover where the indigenous tribe (so-called "Americans") have determined where the linguistic threshold stands. The story here sets such questions into motion..