Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our View: Hacienda La Puente school board makes right move 哈港学区的正确决定

陈凯博客: www.kaichenblog.blogspot.com

Our View: Hacienda La Puente school board makes right move



Posted: 09/16/2010 05:47:53 PM PDT - Pasadena Star News

FINALLY, some common sense comes out of the school board of the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District about the so-called Confucius Classroom.

We're talking about a vote this week not to accept money from the People's Republic of China to pay for the program at Cedarlane Middle School.

It's the right decision, even if the board stopped short of jettisoning the program in its entirety.

This is a program funded by the one-party Communist dictatorship's People's Republic's Ministry of Education. The fear by many in the communiity is understandably that the program is a propaganda tool to teach a one-sided view of Chinese culture to U.S. school children.

No amount of "free" curricula that came with a teacher's aide from mainland China can justify this move that has angered parents, a former superintendent and other Chinese Americans who are fighting for civil rights against a regime for which that concept is anathema.

Still, allegations of brainwashing students are examples of hyperbole used in an activist campaign. But so is the proponents' claim "we're only doing this for the children" so they can learn Mandarin. There aren't other ways to learn Mandarin? The truth lies somewhere in between.

We agree with those opponents who said all of the program's teachers and aides should be American citizens, many of Taiwanese background, hired from the San Gabriel Valley. Surely the district can find locally qualified instructors and aides to hire; there are plenty of laid-off citizens who are bilingual and would appreciate the work.

There is no reason to cancel dual-immersion programs in which students learn in Chinese and in English. We support the district offering alternative learning opportunities as elective classes so long as parents have the choice to enroll their child or not. Solid educational practices demonstrated by the HLPUSD should continue.

But the board went too far in stubbornly pushing this imported program despite numerous objections from community members. The board's only defense - that other states and other schools (including some American universities and colleges) have imported the Confucius Classroom - wore thin. This community of Hacienda Heights and Industry did not like it. And guess what? The board is elected by this community to serve this community. It must listen to the community's objections and adjust programs accordingly, instead of forcing something unwanted down their throats.

Perhaps the board lost sight of that principle and needed a dose of humility. Perhaps that is why it took seven months to come to its senses. During that time, the once stellar district of HLPUSD endured bad publicity from across the country, from news programs and national comedy shows, all so the board can get some quick money to teach kids Mandarin, something the district has demonstrated it can do successfully without the Chinese government's help.

This kind of poor judgment on the part of the board has led to what Superintendent Barbara Nakaoka rightly called a distraction. We agree that she and her staff, as she told our reporter, should "make sure that we are keeping our eye on the ball and our eye should be on the students." That goes double for the board.


Jeffrey said...

Dear Mr. Chen,

Do you not find it peculiar how there are absolutely no student representation that is against the Confucius course? This is a new generation, and it is time to relinquish the irrational fear of communism and begin to understand that America is a diverse nation, a nation where individuals have the very right to believe in any political system they so choose, A nation where our land is offered as a sanctuary for those who are in search of economic success, security, and most importantly, freedom.

This freedom I so speak of is one that of which you have infringed upon through your adversive attacks targeted against the establishment of this course. As a resident of Hacienda Heights, and a current student in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, I find myself qualified to say that students are not as ignorant and tolerant as you have chosen to believe. Since you have shared a story with me about your life, it would only be fair if I told you a bit about my life--primarily when I was still a student at Cedarlane Middle School. Five years ago, when Cedarlane was only a middle school, I embarked on my adventure, along with other 6th grade student, ready to receive a higher-level education. To our surprise, this was not what we had expected. When in history class, it became apparent to us that the textbooks we so diligently studied with were clearly biased, portraying information that made America the grandiose of the countries in the world. In retrospect, our assertions were correct; America is not the perfect and powerful nation, as the diction used in the textbooks had us to believe—deception.

You stated at tonight’s district board meeting (September 23, 2010) that you are "against learning from anything without moral judgment."

I am not sure how current and up-to-date your knowledge of China is, but if you do plan on visiting, you will find a wide degree of moral judgment, whether it be educating students to become well-rounded individuals, or giving a handful of children who are living in poverty a foothold to receive the education needed to thrive in such a globally competitive world we live in today.

If your fear is that we, as students, will grow up without moral judgment, then I do advise you to not worry a bit. High school students in this district are required to read novels that open our minds to higher-level questions such as, "What is morality? What is truth?" Essays are based on the purpose of getting students to make a valid argument, which questions both sides of the story, rather than mediating bigoted and irrational opinion through the text with little to no support.

We have made up our decision, and it is reflected through the lack of students who are against this Confucius course. Do no forget, education is established for the students, in this case being us.

Kai Chen 陈凯 said...

Dear Jeffrey:

From the way you presented yourself in the School Board meetings and the information I have retained about you (your intention to join a Norman Hsu organized tourist group to China with public resources unethically, maybe illegally), using lack of knowledge and judgement to describe you is an understatement.

Diversity is never the goal of America. Freedom is. We are diverse not because we take diversity as a goal, but because all of us are seeking individual freedom in this great country. Diversity is only a result, never a stated/manufactured goal as some leftists in America misunderstand and misstate. Secondly, you and your group, with a constant contact with Jay Chen (Vice President of the School Board) under his instruction and order, are morally confused to say the least: Pleasing authority, not the truth, not God, not your own conscience, is the goal of you and your group. The fear of authority, especially Jay Chen and his cohorts on the School Board, is written all on your face. From the way you talk and write, the Marxist slogans and labels embedded in your language are all signs of brainwashing. I am just too familiar with it not to recognize it.

Jay Chen belongs to a ultra-leftist group in America (People for the American Way). He and his boss want to "fundamentally transform America", according to some Marxist utopian "Heaven on Earth", much like the Chinese communists and despots believe. You and your group, young and ignorant in their formative years, but with some political ambition to climb the social ladder, are easy prey for people like Jay Chen. I know this kind of mentality from youths like you. I was there myself.

You claim you and your group represent the students in Hacienda La Puente. This reflects your arrogance and a thorough lack of sense of reality. Your group is there because of the spell and control from Jay Chen and his likes. Some of you who talk in the meeting cannot even read a written statement in coherent fashion in English. Now you want to learn Chinese. I have pity on you. Some of you cannot even talk with a whole sentence and their eyes are always on their controller - Jay Chen and his girlfriend, and a group leader (hope you don't become a thug) like you, Jeffrey. Fear is their biggest motivation. So please drop your nonsense of "no student opponents".

Most students in the District are busy studying English and math. They don't have time and knowledge of the issue (communist atrocities and crimes against humanity in the world) to participate. That is understandable. It is only curious for me to see you and your group, herded by your protege - Jay Chen and your own eagerness to please authority and your ambition to climb social ladder. This phenomenon only solidifies my conviction of fighting the communist infiltration and contamination into America. The insidious scheme of "Confucius Classroom" is the same as that of American leftist/Marxist creatures - all in the name of politically correct "progress and diversity".

Hope one day you will wake up and finally find you actually is in a nightmare. Best wishes to you still. Kai Chen.