FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
There's new requirement for earning a high school diploma at one high school in Connecticut. It's not calculus or biochemistry or learning a foreign language even. It's learning this country's language, English.
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The city of New London's board of education has approved a measure stating that, starting with next year's incoming freshman class, students will have to prove they can speak, read and write "American English" - and do it well - in order to earn their diploma. Apparently those are skills many high schoolers in New London lack. Only 16 percent of sophomores at New London High School scored well in English on standardized tests last year, and only 55 percent were deemed "proficient."
The New London student body is made up of immigrants from at least 28 countries. It's an indication how much of a challenge English is in the town that the school district website is translated into 52 languages.
New London is the first district in the state of Connecticut to pass such a rule. Students at New London High will have several testing options to demonstrate their command of English, and will have until age 21 to meet the requirement.
Here’s my question to you: Should U.S. high schools require students to speak English in order to graduate?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jamie in St. Louis, Missouri:
If it's the school's job to best prepare someone to go out into the world with the skills to survive on their own then of course they should. The question seems a little absurd. Liberals can call it racist or bigoted or whatever but you aren't doing anyone any favors by sending them out into the work force in a country that is predominately monolingual. If they're going to have any chance at a decent paying job they're going to have to learn English eventually. Why not in high school?
Daniel in Groveland, California:
Unless we changed the official language of the U.S., yes. Why is this up for debate?
Gigi in Oregon:
No. It should be a part of the requirements to take English, but if the student can pass all requirements in their language, they should receive their diploma. Because we in the states are lazy about learning a second or multiple languages should not punish a student of another language.
Emphatically yes! My mother came to this country from Germany at age 4 and entered kindergarten at age 5. To this day she still finds it hard to discuss growing up and having to learn English pretty quickly or suffer the consequences. She practically cries when she reads things like we should be teaching dual English-Spanish or that we need to cater to a specific ethnic group. English is the language of America.
Steve in Virginia:
Whatever language the student can clearly communicate that they have achieved and satisfied the level of learning set forth by a particular educational institution. Education is education. The means by which one communicates should be secondary as long as the level of education can be demonstrated.
Jon in Lima, Ohio:
Well it seems to me that English is a required subject. I think four years of it are required to graduate from just about every school, so I don't get the point of the question. To me, it's like asking if a person should know how to swim to get a lifeguard certificate.
Isn't that asking too much? Next they will want students to be able to spell, learn geography and be able to write a thank you card.