Source: Sherman Publications

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Letters to Editor

February 12, 2014

Some thoughts from an 'imperialist dog'

As a Baby Boomer I always loved hippie rhetoric, but never really understood what it meant. Thanks to the Oxford School District and Confucius Institute now I understand the meaning of capitalist/imperialist dog.

One has to credit Oxford Schools for Capitalism. The 2006 Michigan Merit Curriculum required students "entering 3rd grade in 2006 and beyond to complete two credits of languages other than English or equivalent K-12 experience prior to graduation."

Oxford Schools leveraged subsidized Confucius Institute teachers to meet the new requirement at a savings to the district.

One, however, has to reconcile capitalism with becoming an imperialist dog in the process:

"Oxford Community Schools' Fifth Core World Language & Culture program is a financially sustainable model designed to create fluency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Mandarin Chinese. There are over 2,000 students immersed in daily world language instruction, and the number will grow to over 3,000 in the next three years."

Today, I would ask how many of the 2,000 "immersed" students have a significant long term knowledge of Mandarin other than the "cultural" softening to China that is the propaganda based purpose of the Confucius Institute? My granddaughter can say hello and goodbye in Mandarin after seven years in the Oxford School System while one visit from a friend of mine from China last year wiped out all the "cultural" softening.

The plan to construct the new student/parent facility on school property is a concern.

This imperialist dog would raise the hair on its back and stipulate that tuition is for education, not room and board. The student/parent center should be on Oxford tax rolls, pay for infrastructure, etc.

Since Confucius Institute/China is flush with cash how about adding a surcharge to fund improved economics education? Maybe we could develop an economics curriculum that would train our future representatives to develop Global economics solutions that don't simply anticipate an equilibrium between middle classes of the United States, Mexico and China where obviously we lose.

Allen Schwartz


Editor's Note: It's been reported that the housing for the international students is proposed to be constructed on 13 acres of private land adjacent to the high school. This land is reportedly being donated to the district by Burton-Katzman, a private developer. It's also been reported that although the property would be owned by the district, school and county officials said the land and the dormitory could still be subject to property taxation if they're leased out and used for non-exempt purposes.

What's the DPW's hurry?

Oxford Village is not that large to necessitate the Department of Public Works (DPW) snowplow to drive at such a fast rate of speed that the ice, snow and frozen slush plowed up from the road is thrown over the existing snow banks coating the sidewalks that were just cleared by a lot of hard work by the village residents.

Also, depositing large piles of heavy wet snow into the yet to be cleared driveways.

All in all the DPW does a good job of clearing the village roads but usually at the expense of the our walks and driveways.

R. Baril