“Bilingual” Education: California Democrats Refuse To Leave Well Enough Alone

A rare social policy success over the last generation was the 1998 rollback of “bilingual” education in California when Proposition 227 passed with 59% of the vote. The problem with “bilingual” education was that it worked to keep the children of immigrants monolingual in the language of their homes until after they`d passed the time period when they can most easily learn a new language. Ron Unz`s initiative has made English dominant in the schools, and the kids like it. English is cool.

Therefore, the Democrats in Sacramento want to repeal it.

Calif. Senate panel advances bill to restore bilingual education

By Patrick McGreevy    April 30, 2014, 8:11 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — The state Senate Education Committee recommended Wednesday that California voters be asked to repeal Proposition 227, the 1998 initiative that requires public school instruction in English. 

The proposal to restore bilingual education programs in the state was made by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who said the ballot measure has stifled the ability of students to become multilingual.

Uh, no, the old bilingual education kept immigrants` children monolingual by teaching them at school in the same language as they heard at home. In contrast, Proposition 227 makes the school language different from the home language.

“The top educational systems around the world all require students to learn multiple languages,” Lara  told the panel.

In English, the global dominant language, which is what they weren`t learning well under Proposition 227.

“New research has shown that children have an innate ability to absorb multiple languages at once, where previously it was thought to confuse them.”

Which is why they need to be taught in English, when they can still learn English easily.

The committee voted 4 to 1 to approve SB 1174. Lara is proposing that the measure be placed on the 2016 ballot. 

Sen. Mark Wyland (R-Escondido), a former school board member, voted against the bill, saying he saw bilingual education at work before Proposition 227 at a school of Spanish-speaking students. When they were tested, “they couldn’t speak or read or write English,” Wyland said, adding he is concerned that such students “are going to be relegated to jobs where they don’t have the English-speaking skills they need.”

Unz`s Proposition 227 always got pretty fair coverage from the English language press, who aren`t so stupid they couldn`t see which side their bread was buttered upon.

However, Sen. Ben Hueso (D-Logan Heights) said the world is changing and California schools should adapt. “Not everybody doing business internationally or globally speaks English,” Hueso said.

More and more do.