this is sad

I found this article disturbing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/nyregion/scraping-the-40000-ceiling-at-new-york-city-private-schools.html?_r=1&ref=education

What I found most disturbing is not that private school tuition in New York City is close to $40,000, but rather the following passage:

Unlike public schools, which have faced severe cutbacks in the face of dwindling state and local revenues, private schools seem only to add courses. Take foreign languages. Schools used to offer French and Spanish. Then came German and Russian. Japanese was introduced when that country looked poised to dominate the global economy. A few years ago, Mandarin was a must-have, and now many schools offer Arabic.

In the context of the article, the implication is that offering courses in multiple foreign languages is an extravagance that is only possible in very expensive private schools.  I have to take issue with this.  If every student takes one foreign language (and that’s already a problem in this country), then the number of language teachers you need for your school should not change much if you offer several languages that are in demand.  And in this country with so many immigrants, especially in a large city like New York, native speakers of almost any major language should be easy to come by.

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