- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2007

Noble: The Evergreen School District in Santa Clara County, Calif., for encouraging students to master English.

The San Jose Mercury News reported this week on a celebration in honor of a special kind of graduation. “Every day in the Santa Clara Valley, tens of thousands of children struggle to learn a language different from the one their parents speak at home,” the newspaper said. They spend years studying and perfecting their English reading, writing and speaking skills, but once they pass their tests, the hard work is all but forgotten. Until now.

Denise Williams, director of Evergreen’s English Language Development Department, organized Wednesday’s event to recognize students who are now fluent English speakers.

The celebration, which included food and entertainment like Taiko drummers and Polynesian dancers, not only celebrated the children’s achievements but encourages others to become proficient in English, too.

Out of the roughly 13,000 students in the Silicon Valley, 3,812 are learning English as a second language. “This school year, the district reclassified more than 470 students as proficient in English. And 177 of those attended Wednesday night’s ceremony,” the article said.

Bilingual education has been a keyword this week and most would agree that people who cannot speak English are at a serious disadvantage in the United States.

For celebrating the success of children who learn to speak English, the Evergreen School District is the Noble of the week.

Knave: Don Imus, host of “Imus in the Morning,” for his part in an offensive sideshow.

The NCAA women’s tourney came down Tuesday night to a near-latter-day-perennial, the Tennessee Lady Vols, and a No. 4, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Rutgers’ women knew they were up against a powerhouse, and gave the Vols a competitive challenge on the court before falling 59-46.

But Mr. Imus, who said he watched “a little bit” of the game, apparently looked through biased lenses. On his show Wednesday, Mr. Imus, Executive Producer Bernard McGuirk and a former Imus colleague, Sid Rosenberg, all made disparaging remarks.

“Some hard-core hos,” Mr. McGuirk said of the Rutgers women.

“That’s some nappy-headed hos there,” Mr. Imus said. “I’m gonna tell you that now, man, that’s some — woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like — kinda like — I don’t know.”

MSNBC, which simulcast the radio show, offered its regrets and apology.

For falling in line behind Mr. McGuirk and sounding like a gangster rapper, Don Imus is the Knave of the Week.

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