America Needs Bilingual Programs

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America Needs Bilingual Programs

As a lighthouse stands against the storm, its tireless beacon showing the way to safe harbor, so too does America stand in an increasingly dark and turbulent world. The bricks and mortar would have long ago succumbed to the pounding of the waves but for one reason, the lighthouse is built upon a foundation of bedrock as old and as strong as the earth itself. Likewise, the tower that is our nation would have long ago toppled if its foundation were not rooted in equally strong materials.

Unlike the lighthouse, this grand experiment we call America is not built upon rock and dirt; our nation is built upon the strength of its people. Of these people, only a small minority would call this place home if not for the great immigrations of the last half-millennium. These countless individuals, who left their homelands for many different reasons, all chose America because of the presence of limitless opportunity. Yet, after each new group begins to find its American identity, that group turns and attempts to bar those waiting in the queue from realizing their own American dream. Limiting educational opportunity is one method used by previous arrivals to limit the successful integration of newcomers. Immigrants are quickly being prevented from realizing their full potential as citizens by the nationwide movement to outlaw bilingual education. In order for America to maintain its position as the world's only remaining superpower, we must continue to offer our new arrivals full access to bilingual education.

The classroom use of a language other than English is not a new or revolutionary concept in the American educational practice. The first law allowing th...

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