Speaking English

Yesterday afternoon I took my almost five-year-old son in for preschool screening. It was set up in the gym at a local elementary school. Near the door was the check-in table, then there were several stations set up for testing communication skills, cognitive skills and motor skills. Each child was sent through with an aide. Mom or Dad just waited. My area has a large Hispanic population and bilingual classes, so there were plenty of bilingual aides available.

There were three parents and children ahead of me in line. The first needed a bilingual aide. The second was asked if she needed a bilingual aide. She said that they spoke English, but her child also spoke Spanish at home. She was given a bilingual aide anyway (I don’t think she was really happy with that, but accepted it).

This is where the story gets good:

The lady at the desk, hearing an accent from mother number 3, asked if she needed a bilingual aide.

Mom said, “We speak English. We are from Romania.”

Our area also has a good sized population of Former Soviet Bloc and Indian immigrants too. There aren’t any bilingual aides for those immigrants.

I just think it’s telling.

Oh, by the way, the little guy did extremely well with his testing. The expected scores were 10, 12 and 12. I’m not sure which score went with each test though. His scores were 18, 23 and 22. They told me that he’s “more than ready” for school. He’s gifted and there’s no gifted programs in the district.

The cut-off date for kindergarden is September 1st (you have to be five by that date). His birthday is in November. He can’t go to kindergarden until next school year. Now what do I do?

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