Diversity Needed in the Foreign Service.

U.S. foreign policy is informed and improved by a wider range of experiences, understandings and outlooks. To represent America abroad and relate to the world beyond our borders, the nation needs diplomats whose family stories, language skills, religious traditions and cultural sensitivities help them to establish connections and avoid misunderstandings. For some of our international allies that are themselves facing diversity issues, American diplomats of diverse backgrounds can help them build bridges. For others, diversity in the American diplomatic corps makes the United States seem more approachable.

The Washington Post: The Foreign Service is too white. We’d know, we’re top diplomats.

Utah’s Road to Language Education

After passage of a law in Utah to fund the teaching of critical languages, there are intensive language programs in 118 of the state’s schools that teach Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and other languages.

The law’s sponsor, Republican State Senator Howard Stephenson, had an “epiphany” after traveling to China and meeting scores of young people who spoke fluent English:

“On the plane ride home, I was worried about America’s future … I was excited for the Chinese and their rising nation, but I wondered what could I do as a policymaker to assist in helping the United States connect to these rising nations?”

A Leader for Language Opportunity

Each year, Education Week shines a spotlight on some of the nation’s most outstanding school district leaders in its Leaders To Learn From special report. This year, Richard A. Carranza, Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, has been recognized for Leadership in English-Language-Learner Education. He asks:

“Why would you not want to produce bilingual students in the public education system? It baffles the mind.”

New York City Adding Dual Language Schools

New York City is adding or expanding 40 dual language programs in the public schools in addition the 150 programs currently established. Partner languages in the new schools will include Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew, Chinese, French and Haitian-Creole,