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Bilingual Points of View

July 12, 1986

We were struck by the inherent conflict of point of view in two recently published stories. First came a report of bilingual educators urging legislators at a hearing to extend the current bilingual education law. Yesterday, June 20, there was a report about charges of bias in the Newhall schools, in which Supt. McGrath defended the district as being "totally and absolutely in compliance with the law."

That seems to be the precise complaint of the Latino parents, who "want their children taught in English."

Seven years at the Pierce College Child Development Center taught me how quickly and thoroughly non-English speaking children become genuinely bilingual when their school experience is English immersion.

Perhaps our legislators are listening to the wrong people at these hearings; perhaps they should be listening not to the bilingual (in Southern California that translates to Spanish, not the wide variety of Asian tongues found in our schools too) educators who have a vested interest, but to the parents of the Latino children.

LOUISE BIANCO

Tarzana

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