Friday, March 20, 2009

Racism? In America?


Lori Phanachone, Honor Student in Iowa, seventh in her class, with pending scholarships to two different universities, is sitting out multiple in-school suspensions for refusing to take an Enlish-proficiency exam, being given to her based solely on her race and heritage -- her parents are Laotian. She speaks English perfectly, as her school performance shows, and as all her teachers agree. So what, says her district coordinator: since she's not a white kid, she gets to take the test. (No, he didn't use those words. He doesn't have to, does he?)

Oh, and her assistant principal? He told her she should give up, because she's no Rosa Parks. And he did use those words.

In case you think this is all SOP, and she's just being a trouble-maker?

"We have chosen to say that if you do not have a proficient score on this test that we need to reassess to make sure you are proficient in English," Porsche said.

Administrators in other Iowa school districts, and in the area education agencies that provide the tests, disagree over whether the test is mandatory as Porsche maintains.

Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency-8 Title III consultant Kathy Brenny, who has an office in Storm Lake, explained that students are identified as English language learners or English as a Second Language students when they enroll. But she said, "If they are proficient, then we don't have to give the test."

Tom Green of the Northwest Area Education Agency in Sioux City said there is federal policy in place to determine who takes the test.

Phanachone's case "is an interesting question," he said and suggested, "A kid with a 3.9 GPA shouldn't be in an (English language learners) program."

(Via Karnythia on Angry Black Woman)

1 comment:

Bardiac said...

Ugh. So are they not going to let her graduate? Am I right in thinking this is a high school thing rather than something with the colleges she wants to attend?