Friday, December 16

OF HISPANIC ILLITERACY AND MEXICANS UNINTEREST IN BOOKS

Forty-four percent of Hispanics, ages 16 and older, do not have basic English skills, meaning they might be unable to use a television guide to find out what programs are on at a specific time or to compare ticket prices for two events. That is a substantial increase from 36 percent a decade ago, the last time the federal government released such a comprehensive literacy study.

That not surprising revelation, that aproximately 17.6 million Hispanics are illiterate, comes from a Houston Chronicle story by Matthew Tresaugue, published in today's print (front page, below-the-fold) and online editions, in which he cites a just-released U.S. Department of Education study from the National Center for Education Statistics.

More disturbing than the 44% illiteracy rate is the following fact:

But every racial and ethnic group except for Hispanics improved in tasks ranging from reading materials arranged in sentences and paragraphs, computing numbers and comprehending documents such as bills.

But rather than accurately portraying this woeful illiteracy rate as a direct result of illiterate Mexican nationals illegally crossing our southern border en masse year after year, Tresaugue chooses the customary liberal-MSM route of rationalizing the illiteracy rate in the following fashion and dodging the implications to America of a runaway illegal immigration problem that, among other things, is undoing America's public education system (excerpts follow):

Economics seems to play a role in the increasing percentage of Hispanics deemed illiterate in English, said David Dahnke, who leads the English as a Second Language program at North Harris College. "Many people come to the United States to get better jobs, and they don't have a lot of time to learn English because they're trying to get food on the table," he said. "In many ways, learning English is a luxury."

The propaganda continues:

Since the previous federal literacy report, the proportion of Hispanic adults assessed increased from 8 to 12 percent, while whites decreased from 77 to 70 percent. At the same time, a growing number of Latinos are immigrants who speak English as a second language.

"All of this research indicates a need for a strong push in adult literacy and family literacy," said Dominique Chlup, director of the Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning at Texas A&M University. "These programs need federal money."

The shifting demographics may have skewed the numbers for Hispanics in the report, said Roberto González, vice president of Employment and Training Centers in Houston. Recent immigrants tend to be young men with low levels of education in their home countries, he said. "I don't think it's a true indication of what is happening with Hispanics who have been here awhile," González said. "Over time, it will even out."

There's that ubiquitous reference to "recent immigrants," rather than illegal aliens, typically found in these kinds of MSM stories and oftentimes in the Houston Chronicle.

Well, for starters, let's take a look at a bona fide true indication of the state of reading (as but one example) in Mexico that may explain, in part, the illiteracy of the border jumpers. In a story published in the Christian Science Monitor earlier this year (entitled, "Chilling mystery: Why don't Mexicans read books?"), the patent uninterest among most Mexicans in basic reading was reported. From that article the following excerpts are taken:

The Mexican government has made great strides, reducing illiteracy to less than 8 percent, compared with around 20 percent two decades ago, placing it leagues ahead of Central American countries and even beyond Latin America's other economic powerhouse, Brazil. Yet it has had little success encouraging active reading. Reading-stimulation programs have mostly failed. An experimental library in the Mexico City subway last year was shuttered after most of the books were stolen.

"Mexico simply has never had a culture favorable to reading," says Elsa Ramirez, a library-studies researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. "For the majority of Mexicans, bookstores are a completely alien place," says Jesus Anaya, editorial director at publishing house Grupo Planeta. Although more titles and lower prices would certainly appeal to current readers, he doubts they'll create new ones. "I'm not sure that waving a magic wand of fixed prices can bring this cadaver to life."

Fact is, the Hispanic population in America has been fueled by an unrelenting invasion of our country from the south. Some 11 - 12 million illegals are now afoot in the United States. And President Vicente Fox and the notoriously corrupt government of Mexico openly encourage this illegal emigration to the United States -- wave after wave of mostly poor, hapless, illiterate Mexicans -- and the upshot is that our country's public education system has been undermined and a second language -- Spanish -- foisted on it. And know this: over 50% of Hispanics do not even graduate high school in this country.

And yet what does our federal government do? As I wrote earlier this week, it allows Mexican Consulates to distribute Mexican textbooks to American classrooms. And how many Americans, given the statistics cited above, would think the "Memorandum of Understanding On Education Between The United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America," executed in 1990 (and now extended through 2006 via "Annex VIII") is prudent and in the best interests of our country? Do a Google search and read through these two documents, as I did. You'll be stunned. Excerpts follow:

To strengthen joint activities that aim to improve primary, secondary, and postsecondary education in both countries, the two entities will place emphasis on cooperation at the federal level and encourage joint activities at the state, local and institutional levels. While cooperation continues to be carried out according to the general principles laid out in the Memorandum of Understanding, the two Entities intend to concentrate their cooperative work in the following areas of mutual interest.

Encourage projects to strengthen educational cooperation along the border region, with the goal of attaining a better understanding and coherent vision of the different aspects of the border zone.

Continue to support the exchange of experiences and materials, as well as the use of applied technology, in areas such as basic education, bilingual education, migrant education, vocational training, and professional development of teachers; give special attention to cooperation in distance learning; and continue to expand communication between schools in both countries through the use of electronic networks. In addition, promote the development of new educational technologies, the exchanges of experts in production and training with regard to educational television, and the exchange of information on distance education and educational television.

Promote a dialogue regarding the options that exist within a decentralized education system for Mexican teachers who reside in the United States to obtain accreditation and certification to serve as elementary school teachers in the United States, in accordance with applicable legal requirements and standards.

Strengthen and deepen the work both countries have carried out in the areas of bilingual education and foreign language teaching (the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language in the United States and of English as a foreign language in Mexico, keeping in mind the importance of expanding mutual understanding of the two cultures.

How can one read this and not think that the federal government is in league with the Mexican government in ensuring that the United States is infused with elements (including textbooks) of Mexico's educational system, national language, and culture to the detriment of an already faltering public education system in our own country?

But the Houston Chronicle story ignores these facts and instead would have us throwing more taxpayer money at educating Hispanics, many of whom are not even American citizens or became citizens through the ridiculously misguided "anchor babies" policies of the United States government. We're being asked to carry the freight on what Mexico refuses to do for its own citizens. We educate them (try to anyway), provide them with a broad social safety net, including healthcare, and they, in turn, funnel over $13 billion annually back to Mexico in remittances! What Vicente Fox wants are worker bees in the United States providing the second largest revenue stream to the Mexican economy (an economy that cannot sustain itself) -- second only to oil exports. It's a purposeful economic invasion of our homeland with huge revenues obtained by Mexico and huge, disproportionate costs born by the United States, and you and me. Households headed by illegal aliens used $10 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes and that, dear readers, is a 2002 statistic! And were a general amnesty granted (or its equivalent in a Bush-backed "Guest Worker Program"), the Center For Immigration Studies reports that the federal deficit would swell by $29 billion.

Hispanic illiteracy, according to the Houston Chronicle story, is largely a function of the economics of poverty and not enough money being thrown at it. Quite the contrary, the rape of American taxpayers and the undermining of its taxpayer-funded institutions -- public education among them -- is a function of the impact of our country's porous borders, runaway illegal immigration, chronic illegal alien illiteracy, and the complicity of two governments. Matthew Tresaugue missed this completely or opted not to amplify his story to include the real antecedents of Hispanic illiteracy and America's foundering educational system.

POSTSCRIPT: Liberals contend that poor education and illiteracy are functions of poverty. One can look at our nation's 16th president's -- Abraham Lincoln -- self-taught education as illustrative of why such a theory is specious. Lincoln became an inveterate reader of books despite his humble origins. Even poor people in this country can secure a first-rate education by dint of hard work and an abiding determination to acquire knowledge. There are means and avenues available. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales provides a good example of this for Hispanics.