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Plain language

September 11, 2007

Re "Some children left behind," Opinion, Sept. 7

The authors provide these statistics: "Of the more than 700,000 students in [the Los Angeles Unified School District], more than 40% don't speak English as their native language. Of those, 94% are Spanish speakers, and the vast majority are native-born U.S. citizens."

Please explain how a U.S.-born fifth grader, living and being educated in the U.S., can be considered a "non-native speaker" of English? And how in the world do these children get all the way to the No Child Left Behind tests and still need to learn English?

Merry Bierd-Dobbins

Dallas, Ga.

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