Mary Ann Zehr at Education Week has just written a post titled A 5th Grader Is a Translator at School. Is That a Good Thing?
It describes an Oklahoma newspaper article about how wonderful it is that a local school is using a Spanish-speaking fifth-grader to translate to parents. Mary Ann asks for reactions.
Here’s the comment I left:
This is terrible! Not only is the school using a student to get out of putting the appropriate resources into having the ability to communicate with parents, it’s putting both the child and the parents in an embarrassing and potentially damaging situation. It forces children to act much older than they actually are. The New York Times ran a story on this issue:
I could understand it if there were just one or two parents who spoke a particular language (for example, one year we had a student and family who only spoke Swahili). But SPANISH? In a state that has over eleven percent of its students being Latino?