By Emily Geiger
I see that Constitution Daily has already touched on this, but I just had to give my two-cents worth as well.
There was a story in the news last week about a young girl at Storm Lake High School who refused to take a test designed for students for whom English is their second language. This student in particular was born in the United States, but her parents were from Laos, and they spoke Laotian in their home. This girl listed Laotian as her first language, despite the fact that she is fluent in English and has a high GPA.
So this girl was offended that the school administrators wanted her to take this test that helps them get funding for students who need help with English. She found it insulting because of her obvious fluency.
First of all, most smart kids find most standardized tests insulting.
Second, who should get to decide who takes these tests? The kids themselves? No, of course not. It is the administrators’ jobs to determine which students are at risk for needing extra help.
And how should the administrators determine who needs help? Should they arbitrarily pick kids out of the crowd? Of course not. They should find some solid, objective criteria that they can use to assess a potential need for ESL help. Something like… oh, I don’t know, a kid listing something other than English as their first language.
Then, those kids can take the test, and the test can determine if each kid really needs help or not.
Wait, isn’t that the exactly what happened here? Yep, it sure is.
If you ask me, this kid is just looking for something to whine about. So you take the test and you confirm that you are indeed fluent in English. Oh, the injustice! Oh, the travesty! I’m sure she’s scarred for life.
What about the kids who actually do need help with English as their second language? What if the test was voluntary, but these kids were too embarrassed to sign up for it? Or what if it wasn’t offered at all and these kids went without help that they could really use? Either this girl is really selfish and doesn’t care about those kids (who consist of 60% of the student population at Storm Lake High School), or she’d be the first in line to call up the media to complain about that too because she’s just a big whiner.
Either way, this is a ridiculous and non-newsworthy story. This girl is just pissed because the school officials refused to treat her ask special and make an exception for her that they could not make for other students. Kudos to the Storm Lake High School administrators for doing their jobs, treating kids fairly, and trying to help kids who aren’t as fortunate as the whiner.
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