Kokomo-Center School Corporation announced in mid-January the initiation of an “International School” to function within the K-C system beginning in 2011. Jeff Hauswald, Superintendent of the Kokomo-Center system, told the public that the School Board approved of three new “International” schools. These are to be housed within traditional school buildings along side the traditional academic programs offered in each location. Each will require classroom space and teachers. The “International” school label mostly means teaching Spanish beginning in kindergarten.
In other school news, the recently released Indiana school performance data show an alarming decline in math and language proficiency among Kokomo High School students. Tenth graders in Kokomo High School that meet or exceed the math standard set for 10th graders has fallen from 66% in the 2007-2008 school year to 44% in the 2009-2010 school year. Tenth graders that meet or exceed the language standard has fallen from 63% to 47%. In other words, less than half of Kokomo-Center’s 10th graders are proficient in math and language skills.
Now, the KC system is proposing to divert resources to the teaching of Spanish. They do not appear to be able to teach math and English. If additional resources are available within the system, a much better use would be to remediate the pathetic performance of students in basic skills. It is no wonder that a high percentage of applicants to universities must take remedial math and English courses before being formally admitted to university level work. They are simply not coming out of high school equipped with the required skills in either math or English.
The idea of diverting resources to establish extensive Spanish programs within the Kokomo-Center School system is a perfect example of wrong thinking. The idea should be discarded quickly.