Mandatory Arabic in Public Schools?

@laglen (19782)
United States
February 8, 2011 8:19am CST
While I think it is a good idea to learn a foreign language. I do NOT think they should be mandatory and certainly not any one specific language. Some public schools in Texas are looking at mandating Arabic to its students per a $1.3 million grant from The Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP). But dont worry, it is not just language the grant provides culture, government, art, traditions and history as part of the curriculum. They went on to say that this would not be about religion but culture and language. I am all for our students learning different cultures but I have to wonder if this isnt just another indoctrination of our children http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/02/07/mandatory-arabic-classes-coming-to-mansfield/ What do you think of this? How would you feel if your child attended this school district? What would you do?
2 people like this
12 responses
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
8 Feb 11
What should be mandatory is that our kids speak, read, write, etc. proper English. I don't even see that happening across the country. I'm in favor of offering other languages, Arabic being just one of many I think that could be offered. What about Chinese, Russian, etc.? And if I had my way, there would be no Department of Education to be giving away $1.3M of my/our taxpayer dollars to schools to mandate my/our kids speak Arabic. Gees.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
8 Feb 11
good morning! I got up early to start pissing people off! I agree, I am all for offering the classes but making it mandatory - not a chance.
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
8 Feb 11
If I had kids in that school system, not because I don't want them to learn other languages, I do, but I'd demand my kids not take the class. It should not be mandatory and the individual(s) seeking the grant need a lesson in how to communicate, get buy-in, etc. before going forward with a half-cocked idea and then forcing it upon parents/children. And the DOE needs to check for this kind of stakeholder "buy-in" before they actually "award" MY money to someone else... You haven't pi**ed me off yet. I'm just getting started... Really, today, I have to clean. I can't spend all day on the computer, like I did yesterday. But I did get my paperwork together for my taxes...
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
8 Feb 11
Ok ok do your cleaning! I have to work anyway, but not for a couple hours, I think I may nap..... I did get my cleaning done already, very productive morning!
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
14 Feb 11
Absolute indoctrination, totally disgusting. What has happened to TX? Our public schools have long been moral and intellectual sewers, courtesy of Bill Ayers, U of Chicago radical secularists, and others of the Obama school of deception, who have entrenched in our schools Marxist political correctness with intent to indoctrinate and dumb-down America's children, never to let them think for themselves, with complete complicity from the teachers' unions. This is the next step and natural end of anything akin to "education" or actual thinking and learning anything of value. The intent is to render our country intellectually impotent and morally bereft. Oh, yes, 'A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE", IS NOT THE SOLE PROPERTY OF THE NAACP. It is the intent of the above cited to "waste" our children's minds and destroy their capacity to think, reason, or achieve any kind of moral wisdom. It is their intent to thus destroy our liberty and sovereignty and they are succeeding.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
16 Feb 11
Since I posted this, the district is reconsidering.
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
17 Feb 11
Reconsidering? How could anyone in their right mind consider this in the first place?
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
18 Feb 11
right mind being the operative phrase here....
@jb78000 (15178)
8 Feb 11
your link doesn't work. actually i think *a* foreign language should be included in the school curriculum from first grade onwards. especially in this country, the language teaching is a disgrace. your country might be slightly better, idk. the older you get the more difficult learning a language becomes and there is no reason not to. but why on earth arabic? spanish would seem an obvious option for the states, maybe as a choice with two or three others. however without a working link i don't know what the real story is.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 11
I'm not sure why the link isn't working for you. Maybe it has something to do with location? I went ahead and made a screencap of the whole thing for you so you could read it. It's on my site at http://frugalmommyhood.com/images/MansfieldArabicProgram.jpg
2 people like this
@jb78000 (15178)
9 Feb 11
thankyou! - anyway it is back up now, although probably not the same page laglen saw.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
11 Feb 11
sorry about the link JB, I am all for languages taught in schools, I just dont get the mandatory arabic Thank you frugalmommy for helping her out.
@jhaidro (879)
• Philippines
8 Feb 11
I don't think that it should be that way. It is good be aware of cultural differences. It would help to know different languages but I do not see it necessary to pressure the students to really learn the language. I do not think that doing good on language studies should be the basis on cultural education. Knowing certain practices and beliefs of some culture is what I think the subject that should be given more importance on.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I agree and I am all for teaching ALL cultures. Special money for just one seems awfully suspicious.
@jhaidro (879)
• Philippines
8 Feb 11
That ONE that you are referring may just apply if the school is really devoted to its religious affiliations. If it is a part of their belief or it is really needed to practice their faith then I say nothing is wrong with it. Besides, as parents, we have choices on where to enroll our kids.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
8 Feb 11
These are PUBLIC schools so should have no affiliations. When it is the entire school district, your only option is private school or move out of the district
• United States
18 Feb 11
they should have a list,and allow the parents/child to choose which. even mandarin would probably be a better choice right now. when i went to school,they forced french on us. and i told them then i'd probably have no use for it. and what are they in dire need of here now? english/spanish speakers. a lot of good learning french did us..
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
18 Feb 11
I agree, the only problem I have here is no choice.
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
9 Feb 11
laglen, I am assuming that there's a miscommunication somewhere as I cannot really believe that the education authority in Mansfield is making it mandatory for public school children to learn the Arabic language. There's just no justification or logic here. I am sure there's going to be a storm there concerning this as people in your country are so used to freedom to make one's own choices. If this is really true, then I do not think there's any choice than to accept it or find a private school where we would not be bound by this senseless implementation.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
11 Feb 11
It was due to a FEDERAL grant that they applied for and received. Since then, the school district has said that they are reconsidering
• United States
9 Feb 11
Maybe they are just preparing the kids for the future. Apparently the Muslims will take over the world without firing one shot! In case you didn't know Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the entire world. If that doesn't bother you maybe this little tid bit will; for every 1 non-Muslim child born there are 8 Muslim children born in the world and that number is conservative. Think about that. The Muslims don't have to do anything, they will rule the world by virtue of their numbers. http://hubpages.com/hub/Muslim-World-how-muslims-will-take-over-the-world-via-population-growth
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
11 Feb 11
It is scary isnt it? We need to get busy and make babies.... quick!
• United States
8 Feb 11
I would not want my kid to participate. I do believe it's about religion and indoctrination, not eucating. Why not Japanese or Korean? How about something useful like Spanish?
@laglen (19782)
• United States
11 Feb 11
I agree completely
@piya84 (2591)
• India
8 Feb 11
I sense some political motive behind it.There was a time some countries in this world used to rant against too much cultural influence[unwanted]coming from USA.Looks like now its your time to rant against it.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
8 Feb 11
lol yes it is time to rant. I think your right that it is political.
@katsmeow1213 (29029)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I get pretty angry when forgein languages are pushed on my children. We live in America, our language is English. I feel everyone in this country should learn English.. end of discussion! I've always been kind of mad at the preschool shows that try to teach foreign languages, like Dora and Diego. I think my children should learn fluent English before being pushed into learning spanish. We're not a spanish speaking family! I understand there are benefits to being bilingual, but basically I'm just mad that we actually need to be because immigrants refuse to learn and use our language. Anyways, that's not even the point here. Yeah, I'd be mad if they forced my children to learn a specific language. In our school district it is mandatory to take a foreign language starting in 7th grade, but there are the basic 3 to choose from, French, Spanish, and I think Italian (maybe German.. it varies from school to school, when I was in school it was Italian). My son is in his 2nd year of Spanish.. and he's not all that interested in it and is actually failing right now. I think it would be best if kids could choose to take a foreign language instead of being forced to when they don't want to. When I was in high school I took 5 years of French and 2 years of Spanish. I would have chosen to regardless of if it was forced or not.. I was interested in the languages (for 10th and 11th grade I took french and spanish at the same time, obviously only 1 was mandatory).
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I believe that foreign languages can be part of the curriculum but have choices. Everybody has different plans. This way you could choose the language most relevant to you. This would not be arabic.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
8 Feb 11
Of course it is religious. With learning Spanish (that would beneficial to children near the Mexican border, then there are some Mexicans who are not Roman Catholics, but are Protestants) then it would be a good idea. The same with learning French if you live near the Canadian border especially in New York or in Minnesota, and near Manitoba or Quebec, there are French speaking people who are not Roman Catholics. But only a few Arabians are Christian esp. due to the religious persecution going on in he Middle East. So even if the goal is not to get someone to convert, the idea is to make one more sympathetic to the Sharia law or excuse Arab speaking people who may approve of Sharia law and punish their children by killing them who decide to leave the Mslim religion. And of course there is political correctness. No make learning a new language a choice and give the resources to do so. Do not make it compulsory even when it is beneficial to do so.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
8 Feb 11
great points and that is what makes me so nervous about this issue.
@FrugalMommy (1447)
• United States
9 Feb 11
I'm really curious how they plan to teach about the culture of Arabic-speaking countries without covering religion. It seems to me like the culture is very, very heavily rooted in Islamic teachings. Wouldn't it be difficult to create a curriculum that focuses only on the secular aspect of life in that part of the world? I wouldn't object to my daughter studying Arabic language and culture as long as it was something she was interested in. I would not agree with the school district making one language mandatory. They should offer at least a couple of different languages for students to choose from, and they should allow a student who wants to learn a different language to take it at a community college or online and receive credit for it. Based on the name of the program providing the grant I'd think they would encourage the study of more than just Arabic.
@jb78000 (15178)
9 Feb 11
this may have been misreported by cbs - they have now removed the page
• United States
9 Feb 11
That's odd. It's still there for me. It looks like it was edited today, though.
@jb78000 (15178)
9 Feb 11
it's back up for me now too. looked like arabic was an addition to already existing spanish programs - not much in the way of detail. anyway, it's on hold because of the inevitable response. somehow i think the district should have waited till they could introduce several more languages at the same time really.