To the Editor:
Shelly Spiegle-Coleman’s letter about Reed Hastings’ ousting from the California state board of education cannot go unchallenged (“Calif. Board Member’s Departure: Another View,” Feb. 9, 2005). According to her, one of the reasons for his failure to achieve reappointment was his “refusal to recognize that, since 1998 and under his leadership, the achievement gap between English-language learners and native English-speakers has grown.”
Lo and behold, The Los Angeles Times published an article on Feb. 9, 2005, citing the results from the California English-Language Development Test. Apparently, Ms. Spiegle-Coleman was not aware that under Mr. Hastings’ watch, “47 percent of California’s 1.3 million limited-English students were fluent last year, compared with 43 percent for the previous year. The fluency rate has steadily increased from 25 percent in 2001.”
People who care about the achievement of our Latino students should be dancing in the streets, not fabricating excuses for what is clearly a political vendetta against Mr. Hastings.
San Francisco, Calif.
A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2005 edition of Education Week as A ‘Political Vendetta’ Against Reed Hastings?