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January 2, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Today online I received a request by Joel Leitao-Butler of St. Augustine Florida to sign a petition putting an end to the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and limited standardized high-stakes testing in Florida schools. Fortunately this petition presently had only 250 signatures.

Mr. Leitao-Butler stated that, "This year 71% of Florida's Hispanic population that was tested, failed the written part of this FCAT test." Please don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to legal immigration. I also realize that this normally takes about five years.

Mr. Leitao-Butler said that the reason for the failure is that these students were still learning to speak the English language.

My husband spent 4-1/2 years in the U.S. Navy and much of this time was spent in other countries, generally two weeks in each country. He said that even as little time as two weeks he had generally learned to speak enough conversational language in that country's native tongue to get around by cab, conduct business at local stores, etc. If the students taking this FCAT test were in the U.S. legally and had their citizenship and were still unable to speak English after five years, they certainly did not fulfill the requirements to graduate from high school in the state of Florida.

My husband said that the reason he learned the language of these other countries so quickly, was due to the fact that these countries acknowledged their own language and that was not English. Thus he learned enough of these other languages to communicate. Are you beginning to feel that the United States has gone just a bit too far with these other languages when others began to request that the state of Florida change or eliminate the FCAT testing in order for them to pass and graduate.

I am asking you now, how easy do these illegal immigrants want us to make it for them? They can come into this country as non-citizens and make good wages, get Social Security, get free medical coverage, and get a good education for their children while not paying any taxes and letting us pay all of these expenses for them.

Mary West

Cape Coral



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