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Education Indeed Starts in the Home

August 21, 2004

Re "State Isn't the Only One Failing Our Kids," Aug. 18: I agree with Steve Lopez that parents must be involved in their children's education, yet I differ with him when he states, "But parents who don't learn to speak English and pass it on to the kids, along with their native language, are putting themselves, their children, and everyone else's, at a disadvantage." Limited English-speaking parents are very poor English role models. Their strength is developing language skills in their children and communicating with and encouraging them in their stronger language.

When parents use their stronger language it becomes a resource for their children as they learn English. I believe that providing parents of English learners with tools and information will ultimately result in the academic achievement of their children. Knowledge, after all, can be expressed in any language.

All knowledge is important and can be expressed in as many languages as you have at your disposal. Just look at Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Maria S. Quezada

Executive Director,

California Assn. for

Bilingual Education

Covina

*

Thanks to Lopez for a great column that gets down to the basics regarding our educational crisis in California. We have for too long demanded our teachers raise our children and ignored the responsibilities that have always been a parent's duty. The massive illegal invasion of this country by those whose primary language is Spanish has created problems in every sector of our social institutions.

For children whose parents cannot afford private school or a move to a neighborhood with primarily English speakers, the consequences are divesting and lifelong.

Our immigration policies were put in place to allow an orderly admission of people from many cultures that would give them and their children time to assimilate. It is never too late to understand the consequences of our elected officials' failure to enforce these laws.

Judy McLaughlin

Simi Valley

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