Friday, January 06, 2006

Training Future CIA Agents

Yesterday Bush proposed a program to teach Arabic, Chinese and Farsi to American students. I'm all for teaching kids another language (the article says only 44 percent of high school students study another language), but the reasons behind the program - called the National Security Language Program - may be a cause for some concern. One spokesperson said the programs might involve a commitment to work for the government or military. It would be really unfortunate if programs like the Mandarin dual language program in Oregon (post here) tried to funnel kids to the CIA. But I do think the idea of teaching kids another language is a good one. Kids are often isolated in their own worlds in increasingly segregated school districts, and it's important for them to learn about other cultures and viewpoints through language, which can really make the learning stick.

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