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Books, Teachers From Mexico

August 15, 1993

* In response to "Mexico Sending Books, Teachers to L.A. Schools," Aug. 3:

When I attended elementary and high school in the San Gabriel Valley in the 1940s, the population mix in the schools was roughly 50% Mexican-American first generation and 50% European first generation. We were taught in English, we read books in English and we strived to become part of mainstream America. No one taught us in Russian, Italian or Spanish.

Why is it necessary to import teachers who will teach our young Mexican citizens in Spanish when what they need is to accelerate their ability to communicate in English?

Just how much is the entire concept of bilingual education costing taxpayers? LOUIS BALOCCA


* The gift of Spanish language books to the Los Angeles Unified School District from the Mexican government was appreciated and needed. However, I'm sure many of the children and their parents would prefer to use these books in their own country.

Why doesn't the Mexican government work on establishing a decent minimum wage for their people and narrowing the economic gap between their very poor and very rich citizens? If these problems were solved, we wouldn't have to employ border guards to keep out illegal immigrants or be short of books to teach their children.



* Teachers in Mexico are trained to instruct children to become educated Mexicans who speak Spanish well. The mission of U.S. teachers is to teach children in English to become competent, contributing Americans. Or am I wrong?

FELIX CASTRO, Executive Director

Youth Opportunities Foundation, L.A.

* Are these books and teachers being sent here to the U.S. to teach us Spanish? My understanding when I went to school was that our language was English. If you wanted to take another language, fine, but you had better pass your English class.

Anaida Colon-Muniz of Santa Ana Unified School District said that in their district two-thirds of the students had limited English skills (Aug. 3). This sounds like they should be working more on their English, not Spanish.



* How ridiculous can your editorials get? On Aug. 4 your editorial praising Mexico for sending Spanish books and teachers to LAUSD makes this assertion: "And there is a great need for Spanish reading materials to help Latino students make classroom progress as they undertake the transition to an English speaking world." How can children in the U.S. learn English if they speak Spanish at home and our schools teach them in Spanish also? These kids will end up speaking broken English, unable to cope with the demands of work and the society they live in. Or is this what you really want, that these Americans and Americans-to-be grow up unable to join the greater American society and pose no threat to the fortunate kids who are spared the degradation of bilingual education?



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