Oh, Arizona. First this, then this, and now this: The state is cracking down on school teachers with accents in an effort to secure Anglo dominance in the southwest, because Arizona is a state where we speak English, okay?
To the state's Department of Education, the enemy is not sexting or drugs, it's accented English among its Hispanic school teachers, who can spread their non-white sounding gibberish to young students. When there are "some teachers [who] pronounce words such as violet as 'biolet,' think as 'tink' and swallow the ending sounds of words," well, you just know it's the beginning of the end for White Culture. The Arizona Department of Education has warned school districts that teachers could now be reassigned or even fired for their accents.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Arizona has around 150,000 non-native English speaking students out of 1.2 million students in total. And that is the kind of math that has people like Margaret Dugan, the state's deputy superintendent of schools worried for the future. She wants people to stop "politicizing the educational environment." So how did this all come about? Politics!
In the 1990s, Arizona hired hundreds of teachers whose first language was Spanish as part of a broad bilingual-education program. Many were recruited from Latin America.
Then in 2000, voters passed a ballot measure stipulating that instruction be offered only in English. Bilingual teachers who had been instructing in Spanish switched to English.
Arizona's enforcement of fluency standards is based on an interpretation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. That law states that for a school to receive federal funds, students learning English must be instructed by teachers fluent in the language. Defining fluency is left to each state, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education said.