Sandra Perpich: Why reduce the quality of education by eliminating French? | Letters to the Editor

At a recent social event, learning that the public schools in La Crosse will no longer be offering French classes after next year, I found myself in disbelief. Historically and linguistically, French has provided one of the two fundamental components of our own language.

When William of Normandy conquered England in 1066, he brought with him French as the language of court life, so that French became a fundamental language of English law, culture and thought. Knowing French helps to better understand our own language and our social world, while removing the ability to learn French reduces educational opportunities for La Crosse students.

Also, since you can always travel around the world and La Crosse has a student exchange program with Epinal, France, studying French benefits La Crosse students by introducing them to the rest of the world. I asked neighbors with students at Central High School what they thought about this issue. Like me, they expressed shock and disbelief, unaware that the schools intended to remove French from La Crosse classrooms.

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Thus, two questions arise: First, why would the superintendent of La Crosse school choose to reduce the quality of education the system provides to its students? Second, why wouldn’t he easily communicate this intention to parents who seek the best possible education for their children?

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