Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ordering Chinese in Macon Georgia

Kids in Macon, Georgia will have better pronunciation when  ordering their moo goo gai pan while wearing their Feed Me Chinese Food T-Shirt . 38 Chinese as a second language teachers arrived to Georgia from Communist China. 

I remember when I was in third grade, I received a note to bring home to my parents. I was beyond excited. My grades combined with the potential indicated by test scores indicated that I qualified for a new program. The program meant I was to learn French. That day, I ran home on clouds.

Over the years, I have found that learning basic grammar and phrases in several languages essential. I have had to learn enough Spanish to communicate with Cuban refugees. Due to being stationed in Germany twice for a total of 7 years, I learned German mostly from immersion. (A couple of German friends also gave me their old textbooks, written in German, to teach German grammar much like our English textbooks in American high schools). I learned some Serbo-Croatian, Tosk (Albania), Korean, Japanese, Italian, and Arabic, all in the course of my military career. I am far from fluent in any of these, though my French and German are more than mere conversational.

If your child qualifies for a language class, I highly recommend enrolling him or her. Learning other languages enhances language skills in English and widens their view and understanding of the world. There are studies that suggest learning multiple languages can also increase a student's proficiency in other subjects such as science and math.

That brings us to the question concerning the decision of Georgia to shove Mandarin Chinese down the throats of their government school students.

In Bibb, Hall, and Cobb counties in Georgia, 38 teachers have arrived from China. The program is the brainchild of people at Kennesaw State University. 25 of these teachers will be assigned to Bibb County with the intent to teach Mandarin Chinese to government school students from pre-K through third grade. In the 2015 school year, the state plans to expand teaching the language to all government school students.

The purposes propagated supporting the classes seem to change given on the direction the wind is blowing and how good the first cup of coffee (or White Tea) was that morning. One reason given is that teaching the language will prepare the children for when a more Maoist federal government usurps our republic, the kids will be prepared. Other reasons accompany theories on how the language meshes with science and math.

The primary issues with the program stem from several other topics many may perceive as peripheral or mutually exclusive. First, the these counties have some of the lowest proficiency ratings in more essential subjects such as math and English grammar. Many of the kids graduate junior high barely able to read at the third grade level. Getting them to learn their mother tongue is difficult enough.

Another consideration is budget. While actually employing teachers who will teach rather than take union mandated days off to protest and march in some non-education related rally over saving the purple-speckled pontoon jumping gecko may seem advantageous, who is paying the bill? Tax-payers are, either directly or indirectly.

If the classes were given to the more exceptional students as both a reward and incentive, the program would contain a lot of merit. However, it is directed towards all students, starting with the youngest. If the program were truly for academic reasons, they would start the program in high schools. The purpose for going towards the youngest is for indoctrination. Along with the classes in the language will come classes in the culture, specifically the Maoist culture.

Meanwhile, education in American History and basic civics is declining. Many students cannot even differentiate between the Preamble to the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address. They want the kids to learn Chinese, but do not put forth the effort to teach kids the 27 page document that serves as the supreme law of our country.

If Chinese students are learning multiplication tables in first grade, it is because the teachers are teaching multiplication at that time. It is not because they speak Mandarin. Perhaps we need to start teaching elementary mathematics earlier (as well as basic grammar such as the difference between "to", "too", and "two").

In addition to the Mandarin classes for the youngest of students, the teachers will have to undergo reprogramming to learn how racist they really are. Of course, the teachers have no idea how racist they really are. They won't know until the government comprachico wranglers tell them. They will also be telling the teachers how to inform the parents how racist they are.

So, if you live in Georgia, you are racist. The government says so. Oh, and your kids will be taught how great Maoism, Marxism, Socialism, and Communism are (and how bad capitalism is).

The bright side is that the kids in Macon, Georgia will have better pronunciation when  ordering their moo goo gai pan while wearing their Feed Me Chinese Food T-Shirt .