American schools are falling behind in the global race to learn Mandarin, Jerry Guo writes. Just 50,000 of the 40 million foreigners now learning Chinese are in the U.S., according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and other data show only 4% of the country's middle and high schools offer Mandarin instruction. Budget cuts are to blame, along with the No Child Left Behind Act, which emphasizes math and reading, Guo writes.

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