…for our teachers to at least be proficient in English?
Apparently, in Lowell, Massachusetts, it is.
Several years ago, in a rare fit of sanity, Massachusetts passed a law requiring school teachers and administrators to pass a test proving that they had a level of fluency in English. Those who flunked the test were given several opportunities to retake it, and only after repeated failures were they dismissed. (This led to the hilarious result of the superintendant of the Lawrence School System — teetering on the edge of failure and collapse — to fail it twice before he passed with flying colors in a secret third test, announced only after the results were in.)
Well, in Lowell, 3 teachers were fired, and promptly sued. Their lawyers won, and the three have been reinstated with back pay, back insurance coverage, and any record of their dismissal purged from their records.
There is no word on how well they speak English now.
This is one of those times when I wish I was a judge. I’d simply ask each of the teachers to stand up in court, read aloud their own lawyer’s briefs on their case, and then explain the crux of the arguments within. If they can do that, then they get reinstated.
And if they can’t even spell out why they say they deserve their jobs back, in plain English, then I’d rule against them and fine them for wasting the court’s time.