Two Faces of Hispanic America

Excerpt: Marcos Aguilar, principal of Los Angeles' La Academia Semillas del Pueblo – "Seeds of the People Academy" – has arguably done the Hispanic cause in L.A. more harm than anyone since the Menendez brothers. What prevents him from being a complete failure is the impressive talent he has shown as bad example. Talk-radio hosts in L.A. thank God for the day he came into their lives. Aguilar claims to be teaching his primary school students how "to analyze the world in several languages," including English, Spanish, Mandarin and Nahuatl, an Aztec language. By learning Nahuatl, the students are expected "to understand their relationship with nature" and the "customs and traditions that are so imbued in the language." Given what they actually do learn, these kids better hope the Aztec Denny's has pictures on the menu, or else they are going to starve to death.

On the up side, the kids at Seeds Academy do plenty of math. On the down side, they do Nahuatl math, which works on a base-20 system, even though the rest of the world works on base 10. The fact that California also tests on a base-10 system helps account for Seeds' rank as the 458th best elementary school of the 463 in the L.A. Unified School District. Reportedly, Seeds beat out schools that calculated in Ebonics, Esperanto and Pig Latin.

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