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Fight against taking CLAD is temper tantrum
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
As someone who has taught over 20 CLAD courses (currently re-titled CTEL; California Teachers of English Learners) I feel I have read too many articles, editorials and letters to the editor demonizing the logic behind the program and its curriculum to remain silent.

Refusing to take the course work to become CLAD certified does not defy Sacramento, it defies the law and logic of the 14th Amendment and our country’s landmark Civil Rights case, Brown v. Board of Education.   It is also not what “eduracts in Sacramento came up with to prove they know what is best.”  It is a 60-hour class that teaches scientifically researched pedagogy for teachers to use when English Learners enroll in their classrooms.  The strategies are research-based, and help improve teachers ability to deliver standards-based instruction to  EL’s (English Learners).    Confusing sound educational policy with how many different languages the DMV offers its written drivers test in is a classic case of “bait and switch” that panders to a current particular political stance.

English Learner Authorization for California teachers does not “cater to native tongues”.  On the contrary, the theoretical constructs and educational strategies taught in the class have the goal of moving all English Learners to become Reclassified Fully English Proficient (RFEP) in the quickest, most efficient manner possible.  The only language teachers in California are required to learn, speak and teach in is English.  Including lines like “we’ve become a virtual Tower of Babel in California” and that “pretty soon all state employees may have to speak Spanish” are irresponsible and akin to shouting fire in a burning building considering the current political debate regarding immigration policy.

So, yes Dennis, a proverbial line has been drawn in the sand, and on one side of that line is a belief that all children should be allowed access to the core curriculum of our school system through use of the English Language.  On the other side is a lot of intolerant complaining about providing services to children.  The 13th, 14th and 19th Amendments were not universally embraced at the times of their passage.  But in hindsight, I think we can all agree they were crucially important legislation.  

Thousands and thousands of teachers in the state of California have successfully completed the requirements to obtain the authorization to teach English Learners.  Can someone please tell me how this one teacher in Ripon should be immune from taking the course? What other laws and regulations should she be allowed to choose not to follow?  Smoking in restaurants?  Driving the speed limit? Paying property taxes?  Having her car smogged?  Individuals can no more be allowed to pick and choose which laws they want to obey any more than the authorities can allow non-compliance by select individuals.  Would you be happy if you read that a local police officer was enforcing some laws, but not all of them?  Allowing friends to slide on certain offenses?  Yet numerous letter writers and the Manteca Bulletin editor feel that this one teacher’s  refusal to obtain EL certification is some noble cause,  that she is being singled out, or should be allowed to pass on the training just because she has done such a wonderful job for so many years.  It’s not some made up Cultural War that is going to end up costing this teacher her job, it’s a foot-stomping temper tantrum that most of us grew out of by the time we reached middle school.  
Mark Condit
June 23, 2010