Dr. Kathleen Smith
Commonwealth of Virginia School Board
Commonwealth of Virginia
Dear Dr. Kathleen Smith: Hi, my name is Nicholas Carrigan and I am a student at Oakton High School in Fairfax County Schools, who currently takes Latin 1 and I have an older sister who tallied 10 years of language credits by the end of high school and are important to my family. I am writing to you for your help in solving a problem with our graduation requirements for high school. Although the advanced diploma already has this mandatory I believe that taking a language in high school should be mandatory for any diploma including the standard and special needs diploma. The current requirement for the standard diploma is a choice of 2 years of a language, CTE, or fine arts class. Taking languages are better for long term success and learning. This problem is related to me because I am a high school student in VA which is a state with this problem and I am part of the intended audience. Typically, Language study is not required for graduation which is a problem because it leaves students unprepared for college and careers. Instead, the Commonwealth of Virginia School Board should make it required for at least 2 years because, and then students are better prepared for college and the job market.
In many states including Virginia taking a language is optional for some diplomas “States with or considering High School Foreign Language.” This problem has not been solved yet because the US is getting rid of many programs and decreasing budgets due to budget cuts and foreign debt when languages are needed for kids to have long term success “Americas Foreign Language Deficit.” Taking a language for some kids could turn into a job for the US such as an ambassador or translator for foreign affairs with other countries when the US tries to negotiate. This is important because most colleges require language credits “College Language Requirement” and if you opt out in high school chances are that you will not get into a college and have to get a college degree by first going to community college to take a language. This is also significant because studies have shown that when taking a language while your brain is still developing during high school that you use a different part of their brain for learning where you are exposed to new concepts and ideas ”Mortensson.” This solution currently affects high school students in the state of Virginia that don’t take a language specifically “America’s Foreign Language Deficit.” This solution to this problem will also affect all high school students in Virginia because the schools will press more to learn a language so their students get into colleges. Hopefully when the Commonwealth of Virginia School Board reads this other states will want to do the same thing to make this upcoming generation of children even smarter.
PROPOSED SOLUTION My solution to this problem is to make it a requirement in the state of Virginia to get a diploma in high school you must first have to take at least 2 years of any language offered. The steps that must be taken to