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The Best of Our Knowledge # 893


Politicians continue to deliberate important issues like education and immigration. Yet, as their heated debates wear on, the business of
education must continue everyday. More than 5-million children in
American public schools are considered English learners. And with
at least a third of these students living in California, that state has
become a test market for bilingual education. In our special series,
The Language of Learning, The California Report focuses on this
increasingly important part of the curriculum. Bilingual education is
about much more than language. It's about culture, family, and
relationships. Some school districts are acknowledging these
connections with programs that help bring the entire family in the
school fold. Immigrant parents are taking English classes, computer
classes, and parenting programs. They're also learning how to talk
with their children's teachers, and why it's important to be involved
in their child's education. In today's story, It's Much More Than
Language, we follow Chinese parents in a San Francisco
neighborhood as they learn to assert themselves. And we'll also
hear how Spanish-speaking parents are learning about their rights and responsibilities to be the best possible advocates for their children.
Kathryn Baron reports. (5:38)

Farm workers in the U.S. are often migrants from Mexico and several
other countries south of the border. Many farm owners will tell you
they could not be profitable growing food without migrant labor. But
the workers are growing something of their own too...children. And the
children are often uprooted. It puts a whole new light on the challenges
of educating children whose lives are dictated by the growing season.
GLRC's Julie Grant reports. (3:33)


* Bilingual education is being taken to a new level in other school systems as well. Some Oregon high schools are adopting Mexico's public school curriculum to help educate Spanish-speaking students. Schools are using textbooks, an online website, and DVDs provided free by Mexico to teach math, science, and even U.S. history. Oregon officials say the approach is intended as a supplement to keep students learning in Spanish while also gaining English skills. Similar ventures are reportedly underway in Washington and Texas.

* In financial news, New York's Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, has issued more subpoenas. This new round went to 33 companies Cuomo suspects of using misleading marketing practices such as offering false gift cards and rebate offers, and creating solicitation letters designed to look like official government notices.

* One of those companies is Sallie Mae, which is involved in a money battle over its impending sale. A group of investors that had planned to buy the student lender for 25-Billion dollars wants out of the deal, saying the current economic environment, and recent legislation signed by the president, makes the terms no longer acceptable. The investors reduced their cash offer for Sallie Mae by a whopping 17%. SM reacted by going to court and filing a lawsuit against those firms who are trying to renegotiate the original deal.

Dr. Karen Hitchcock and Glenn Busby report. (1:55)

The London Symphony Orchestra is based in an ethnically and socially
diverse area of North London. And as a result, the orchestra runs many educational outreach programs for children and adults. The class called,
Early Years, aims to bring music into the lives of very young children
before they go to school.
Radio Netherlands Kathy Clugston reports. (5:47)

**(Program Directors please note. The website listeners are referred to
at the conclusion of the above story for more information about the
symphony's community outreach program is: www.lso.co.uk)**