Have you heard about the ridiculous hoopla surrounding one Texas school district's plan to add Arabic to the languages that students would have the opportunity to be exposed to? It should be noted that, even as conservative and slow to embrace change we are down here in Louisiana, this has never happened at any of the schools that offer Arabic to students.
English is NOT our country's first language, which is a fact that these Texans would know if they actually had a decent education herself. There are plenty of languages that are much more American than English could ever be. Even Spanish is more American than English and French, but anyone who pointed that out to these rabble-rousers would probably cause their brains to go into grand-mal seizures.
My daughter goes to one of the top high schools in the nation. Her school offers an abundance of languages for the children to choose from. For those languages that don't have an available teacher, but still have many students interested in learning it, there are clubs sponsored by teachers and aided by parents and community members who are willing to teach the kids. My daughter takes Latin (since she learns Arabic at home with me).
We first found out about the school's program years ago when the kids from the school's Arabic program had a booth at our city's International Festival. They were writing people's names in Arabic in exchange for a donation to club. They were really, really good. I spoke to their teacher who amazed me with her dedication to providing the children with a proper education in modern Arabic and a basic education about classic Arabic.
Some of these kids got job offers right out of high school! Several of my daughter's friends have already moved on to Ivy League schools. Language skills ensure that these children won't be hit as hard by recessions and tight job markets like we see today. When you know more than one language, you aren't restricted by what jobs are available in a single place.
Fortunately, people like the complaining parents in this Texas school district are making themselves irrelevant. Those who spurn education will always end up being the underlings of those who embrace it. We see this happening all around America right now. They just ensuring that any kids they have will end up working for the kids from schools like the one my daughter attends.