Tuesday, December 01, 2015

ProEnglish Executive Director writes Op-Ed for Washington Times


Robert Vandervoort
Executive Director of ProEnglish
October 28, 2015

Toward making English the official tongue

The profusion of languages has created a din of Babel

"Almost 1 in 10 adults of working age in the U.S. have limited proficiency in 
English, more than 2.5 times as many as in 1980."
— 2014 report by the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institute
The study from the Washington-based Brookings Institute showing that workers'
English skills are steadily declining is a shocker, especially since immigrant workers
and their children will account for most of the growth in our nation's labor force in
coming decades. It is therefore imperative, the study concludes, that investing in
English instruction "is critical to maintaining a skilled workforce."
In a recent analysis by the American Community Survey, a huge surge was recorded
in those who speak Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Urdu, Pakistan's national language.
Consider that alarming trend, and then reflect on the latest Center for Immigration
Studies report, released in early October. It says a record 63.2 million U.S. residents
— native-born, legal immigrants and illegal immigrants — now speak a language 
other than English at home. That represents a surge of 16.2 million since 2000
and 1.4 million just since 2013.
No wonder Donald Trump and several other presidential candidates are addressing
the issue of English. But now it is time that public policymakers at the federal and
state level address this growing problem, especially since various polls reflect where
the American people stand on a major aspect of this issue. In fact, a recent
Rasmussen poll found that approximately 84 percent of likely voters agree that
English should be designated by Congress as the official language of our
government operations.
With President Obama's executive "deferral" order that essentially grants amnesty
to millions of illegal aliens — which means giving them work permits and photo IDs
— the problem of limited English or non-English speakers going into the workforce
is only going to get worse. The order will serve as a magnet to draw a new wave of
illegal immigration. School systems in all 50 states already are dealing with this
year's surge of Central American children across the porous border. Costs are rising
due to the addition of non-English speaking students, with additional bilingual and
even multilingual teachers needed. (To cite just one example, the school system in
DeKalb County, Ga., says approximately 150 different languages are spoken among
its students. Translators, obviously, have to be hired.)
Aside from the fact that assimilation and Americanization have been crucial to our
success as a heterogeneous nation, not having English as the sole language of our
government and schools is creating miscommunication among people, adding to
mounting taxpayer expense and even posing a serious public safety hazard.
For example, an executive order signed by President Bill Clinton (E.O. 13166)
requires federal agencies and funds recipients to provide translations and
interpreters for non-English speakers in their native language — at taxpayer expense.
Also, what is common sense to most people is not for many state officials charged
with protecting public safety. In state after state, they are caving into pressure
from "immigrants' rights" groups to make driver's license examinations and manuals
available not only in Spanish but in many other languages.
Help support ProEnglish's efforts to make English the official language of the
Federal, state, and local governments by clicking the donate button to
make a secure donation of $15, $25, $35, or whatever amount you can afford.

ProEnglish Op-Ed in The Washington Times on the Terri Bennett Lawsuit in Arizona



Arizona student fights for English only at college as law requires

Student fights back after school punishes her for insisting law be obeyed



It has been almost a year since Terri Bennett, a nursing student at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., asked school administrators to ensure that students speak English in her class so she could properly ask questions and learn the subject matter.

Yet after making that reasonable request, she says the director of the nursing program called her a “bigot” and other vicious names. Then she was later slapped by the college with a nine-month suspension.

It is incredible to think that this can happen in the United States, where the motto “E Pluribus Unum — “Out of many, one” — has been the traditional assimilation model for everyone who seeks to be an American united by our common English tongue.

It is happening more and more, with the Bennett case being one of the most egregious examples to date.


Ms. Bennett was assigned to student and laboratory projects, and was often the only English speaker in her group. She felt excluded and found the learning environment outright hostile to English speakers.

Why would the taxpayer-supported institution tolerate such an atmosphere? Why did it react with such hostility toward her? Administrators even humiliated the nursing student in front of classmates by serving her with suspension papers and having police escort her off of the campus.

After listening to Ms. Bennett’s ordeal and the facts of the case, ProEnglish contacted the prominent Arizona law firm of Munger Chadwick PLC to represent her in court.

The ball started rolling last July 13 when the college was served with a complaint seeking administrative review. Two days later, a complaint seeking monetary damages against the school was filed on behalf of Ms. Bennett in Superior Court in Tucson.

In late August, Pima Community College filed a response, denying any wrongdoing and even claiming that the student was at fault. So unless the school changes its position, the Bennett case is ready for trial.

The Arizona Constitution — the state’s most fundamental set of laws — is as clear as day: “Representatives of government in this state shall preserve, protect and enhance the role of English as the official language of the government of Arizona.”

Not only did the state-run and publicly funded Pima Community College fail to protect the use of English in the classrooms, it blatantly violated the very next provision of Arizona’s Constitution: “A person shall not be discriminated against or penalized in any way because the person uses or attempts to use English in public or private communication.”

Ms. Bennett sought nothing more than a classroom environment where all students regardless of their backgrounds could communicate freely with each other and without barriers in their quest for learning.

Read the rest of the article here.
Be sure to 'Like' it on FBlogo, and retweet it on Twitterlogo.
Help support our legal battle for Terri and for our English language by making a secure donation of $10, $15, $25 or more by clicking the donate button below:



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