The Long Beach Latino panel's recommendations to avoid "a bleak future" for Latino children (Times, July 16) failed to address a pertinent issue--the family's role in children's education. Mothers and fathers are more consistent role models than any that the school can provide, and the importance parents place on education equals the incentive from any teacher.
Bilingual education is not the only answer, and in certain cases may slow the student's acculturation process. Some children from other than American cultures seem to do quite nicely, as reading the students' honor roll will verify, proving that language is not an insurmountable barrier when other supports are present.
Schools cannot compensate for any family's indifference or lack of support, and they are not the sole provider of a child's education. The informal schooling received by the child in the home is as important as the education received in a more formal environment.