Re: Dallas to El Paso

A law-practicing Friend of Unfair Park takes issue with this morning's item about DISD going after uncertified teachers from Ju�rez and Chihuahua City, about 75 of whom have been hired to teach in the district. But he's no anti-immigrationist; far from it. Fact is, it's something about which he has first-hand knowledge, since his wife is a teacher with significant experience in DISD and elsewhere who's finding that it's hard out there for someone who doesn't speak Spanish. Says our friend:

"You know that teaching is a profession. I am all for bilingual education. I'm all for Spanish-speaking teachers and doing what we can to accomodate non-English-speaking families, truly. My son, who just graduated high school, has four years of Spanish. I'm headed to Mexico in the morning on a short-term mission trip to build classrooms with my church. I am quite moderate on immigration as a political issue. But...

The pendelum is swinging way too far the other way. Spanish is a language, it is not the same as a teaching skill. I sure hope the DISD administration does not compromise on qualifications.

My bias: My wife is a 15-years-plus teacher, and she's hearing that she has virtually no chance of getting hired unless she's bilingual. I think we're overcompensating. We should place a premium on Spanish language by QUALIFIED teachers and provide incentives to experienced teachers for them to learn Spanish, or at least be able to teach ESL. My mom was a teacher. In the last years of her life she taught English to Japanese immigrants. She didn't speak any Japanese."

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