Hasta la Vista, Arts and Foreign Language?
The highly publicized career of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the governor of California is quickly coming to a close.? It was only a short seven years ago that the former body-builder and action movie superstar was elected to the highest political office in his home state.? Sadly, one of the last moves he may make as the ?Governator? could have a drastic impact on the future of California's children for years to come.
Currently on his desk lies AB2446, a bill that would effectively eliminate the requirement of students to take an arts or foreign language course in order to graduate from high school.? The potential for this to become reality would be a radical step backward in education reform.? According to NEA research published in December of 2007, the study of a second language benefits academic progress in other subjects, narrows achievement gaps, benefits the development of basic skills as well as higher order, abstract, and creative thinking.? Secondary language study has proven to boost student performance on standardized tests, improve chances of collegiate acceptance, and promote culture awareness and competency.
As the leader of the state with the most non-English speaking residents in the country and as someone who has received so many benefits throughout the course of his life thanks to a secondary language (in his case, English), we certainly hope that Governor Schwarzenegger will not enact this treacherous legislation with grave potential to hinder the educational well-being of California's youth.