Pirate Ninja (mirdrak) wrote in chautauqua,
Pirate Ninja
mirdrak
chautauqua

Just posting so as to keep this community alive. Sorry that I haven't been more active as I want to be, but between grades and life it all seems to be tumbling for me. I wont be back 24/7, until I make a few changes that need to be done, but I will be here to check and make sure the community is going okay, and that no trouble or anything like that is going on. Just felt everyone had the right to know, I know I would hate to be sitting there wondering.

And to stay on topic with the dicussion that I wanted for this community I figured I should through in a good topic. Im sure all of you have heard that most schools are very LOW budgted, and of course taking tons of courses out. I personally think that they should try more ways to conserve and earn money instead of trying waste it on things we dont need at the moment like computers. Kids need more important things besides a few laptops here and there. Fundraisers would be nice, instead of the few can drives that most of them seem to be only willing to do. If they were more honest, and nice to the students instead treating us like idiotic animals with no rights.

I found an article in yahoo news involving a school and some of the things they have had to cut and get rid of too:
Faced with a $2.8 million drop in state aid for this year, officials of the Elmbrook School District in suburban Milwaukee drew up a list of possible cuts.

At decision time, they discontinued French, German and Spanish classes for students in grades four, five and six.

School districts from Oregon to South Carolina have made similar cutbacks in foreign language instruction. And while 40 states have laws requiring high schools to offer at least two years of a foreign language, not even those requirements have warded off the cancellation of language studies in all cases. In Winthrop, Mass., school officials cut French classes, leaving only Spanish.

A report released last month by the National Association of State Boards of Education warns that foreign language programs are at risk of becoming a "lost curriculum."

The problem, according to the report, is that local school boards often treat foreign language programs as luxury items. But the definition of a luxury is an unnecessary extravagance. In today's global economy, knowledge of a foreign language is an essential skill needed to compete.

While U.S. students long have lagged their foreign counterparts in fluency in multiple languages, they are making encouraging progress in closing that gap. On college campuses, record numbers of students are taking foreign language courses, the Modern Language Association reported this month.

Current setbacks in language programs, however, endanger the recent gains by U.S. colleges. Here's why:

Language experts say students assimilate languages best in the elementary-grade years. Giving students only two years of a language in high school in one-hour-a-day classes leaves most of them with only rudimentary skills. As a result, they lack the proficiency needed to interact with native speakers or place into upper-level courses in college, according to language teachers.

Language study improves a student's ability to solve problems, educators say. Students who have taken four years of a foreign language in high school score better on both math and verbal SAT college admission tests, according to a study by the College Board.

In affluent school districts, parents often step in to pay for foreign language classes. That happened in parts of the Shawnee Mission district outside Kansas City, Kan., when language programs were cut in elementary school. Wealthy parents also can hire private tutors to teach languages to their children. That doesn't happen in poorer school districts. As a result, students there are less likely to get into elite colleges, which usually demand four years of foreign language.

School districts say budget reductions demanded by revenue-pinched states leave them no choice but to make hard decisions. Yet in many cases, educators don't choose cuts that do the least academic harm.

For example, when Elmbrook school officials looked for ways to offset the $2.8 million loss in state aid for this school year, they only were willing to trim the district's $1 million athletic budget by a mere $30,000. That compares with $173,000 the system saved by dropping foreign language instruction for lower grades.

Now, pressure from parents is prompting school officials to consider restoring foreign languages next year.

The parents understand what some educators fail to grasp: Foreign language instruction is a necessity, not a luxury.
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