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Santa Fe New Mexican: Sunday, December 18, 2005 - Page 1

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   New Mexican (Newspaper) - December 18, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico                                THE SANTA F1 JL JBL asBJyjL DECEMBER SUNDAY ONE DOLLAR Two years after a federal report identified problems for English Language Learners in Santa Fe schools some teachers say bilingual education has taken a step backward Overcomin uase Ivan Cornejo 18 a student at Santa Fe Community College works part time in the colleges library Evan hopes to become a lawyer But as a seventhgrader at DeVargas Middle School he was a failing student who wanted to drop out of school because he didnt speak enough English to understand the material By Barbara Ferry Photos by Luis Sanchez Satumo The New Mexican van Cornejo 18 is a freshman at Santa Fe Community College who hopes to become a lawyer But as a seventhgrader at DeVargas Middle School he was a fail ing student who wanted to drop out of school Having moved to Santa Fe from AguascaJientes Mexico at age 8 Ivan said he struggled to learn English and make friends at Kaune Elementary School By junior high he spoke English but couldnt understand the material being taught in his classes He started skipping school though he kept showing up for his English as a Second Language class where he enjoyed being with other immigrant kids and said the teacher Vould say nice things about us and tell us we were good In 2003 federal civilrights investiga tors from the US Department of Educa tion visited 12 Santa Fe schools to assess how students such as Ivan whose native language was not English were being educated The visit was not prompted by a complaint but rather by an agency Virginia GonzalesMunch and her English as a Second Language class sing Christ mas carols in Spanish and English at Santa Fe High School on Friday decision to look at school districts with changing demographics Santa Fe fit the bill because the num ber of students who are not proficient in English mostly Spanishspeaking Mexi can and Central American immigrants has been growing Such students may now make up 30 percent of Santa Fes student body though because of prob lems with testing and recordkeeping Piease see LANGUAGE Page A8 Mother Indictment of Robbies By Natalie Storey and Barbara Ferry The New Mexican Evelyn Romero said Saturday that a police detective told her a day earlier that prosecutors were seeking the indictment of her older son Ronnie Romero 27 in the 2000 disappearance of her 7yearold son Robbie Evelyn Romero also said she has been subpoenaed to testify next month in a grandjury investiga tion into Robbies disappearance In addition she also said the state has ordered other relatives to keep cus tody of her two younger children 5 and 17 years old District Attorney Henry Valdez said Saturday that he could not com ment on any grandjury investigation Santa Fe Police Chief Beverly Robbie Romero Lennen said she also could not comment on the sta tus of the grandjury investigation Tm not at liberty to discuss the possibility of any legal she said Ronnie Romero has been a subject in the police investigation into the 2000 disappearance of his 7 Please see ROBBIE Page A7 LANL worker Firini is Exgroup leader claims he was let go for criticizing million program By Andy Lenderman The New Mexican A former Los Alamos National Laboratory group leader says he was fired for speaking out about fraud and waste in the labs procurement division Harry J Rodas 60 said he was fired Oct 31 at the end of his probationary period Rodas said the lab hired him in October 2004 to help turn around the division which spends more than billion a year The labs procurement division buys everything from ammunition to chemicals Rodas said Rodas has not filed a lawsuit but has hired a lawyer to send a letter demanding more than for one years salary healthinsurance premiums and damages The letter was sent by attorney Lynne Eernabei of Washington to the University of California which manages the lab on Nov 17 The university is reviewing the matter and com municating with Rodas lawyer spokesman Chris Harrington said by email Saturday Please see LANL Page A5 ELKS TAKE BEN TOURNEY AGAIN Pojoaque rolls over Mora to capture its sixth straight tournament championship Sports Bl NOTORIOUS MENU For reporters the worst thing about a trip on Air Force Two is the cooking Nation World Hl OBITUARIES Baudino S De La 0 Dec 14 Matthew LDuran 24 Santa Fe Dec 17 Elizabeth K Mayers 70 Santa Fe Dec 5 Maria L Garza 67 Dec 14 Judy Havey 68 Dec 11 Nicole K Larranaga 22 Dec 15 PageC2 PUSHING THE LIMITS Experts President Bush has turned the national security apparatus inward on a scale unmatched since the 1970s Page A7 HOLIDAY WRITING C0SfTE3T PART 2 Five of the six winners from the teen division are from McCurdy School in Espanoia Sunday Inside TODAY Mostly cloudy High 45 low 23 PageC10 Index Annies A locally owned and independent newspaper Horoscope Mutual Police Time Main office Late News 9833303 Eleven sections 112 pages Sunday magazine 40 page 156th year Issue No 351 Publication No 596440 Serving New Mexico for 156 years   

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