CENTER FOR MULTILINGUAL, MULTICULTURAL RESEARCH



ANTI-BILINGUAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE

NEWS ARTICLES

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MILWAUKEE, June 2 -- California residents will vote on an initiative today aimed at answering that question. If approved, it would virtually abolish programs in bilingual education and English as a second language. In their place would be an untested, one-year intensive English class for limited English speakers. Educators are bracing for the worst fearing a ripple effect should the initiative be approved by voters. The California initiative comes at a time when bilingual programs in Milwaukee are flourishing. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SACRAMENTO, June 1 -- When it comes to ballot measures, California has a tradition: Tuesday is election day, Wednesday is lawsuit day. For years, litigation has invariably followed the state's parade of propositions, as angry foes seek to reverse the will of the voters. Time and time again they end up going to court. Proposition 103, Proposition 140, Proposition 187, Propositions 208 and 209--you name it, there has been a legal challenge filed against it. With nine statewide measures to be decided on Tuesday's ballot, the most prominent potential entrants in the lawsuit brigade are Proposition 226, the union dues measure, and the bilingual education-gutting Proposition 227. (Los Angeles Times)

SEATTLE, June 1 -- If California's voters tomorrow approve a controversial measure to end bilingual education in the public schools, it could spark efforts to pass similar laws in this state, according to Washington legislators and educators. California Proposition 227 would replace bilingual education with an intensive, one-year English immersion program, after which students would study all subjects in English. "If anything passes in California, then that gives credence to the discussion," said state Rep. Peggy Johnson, R-Shelton, who chairs the House Education Committee. Harold Hochstatter, R-Moses Lake, the Senate Education Committee chairman who opposes bilingual education, agrees. "Yes, it will help," he said of the possible passage of 227. "I'm watching it intensely." Neither lawmaker has specific legislation planned, but conservatives in the Legislature and elsewhere are generally skeptical of bilingual education. In a couple of months, the conservative Evergreen Freedom Foundation expects to release a study that questions the effectiveness of Washington's bilingual-education programs, along with other state education expenditures, said Bob Williams, president of the Olympia-based group. (Seattle Times)

SACRAMENTO, May 31 -- It's commonly said that Proposition 227 on Tuesday's statewide ballot would end most bilingual education programs. But would it? As the initiative continues to hold a commanding lead in the polls, school districts are taking a close look at a built-in waiver process while they begin thinking about how the measure would be implemented. The initiative requires that all of the children in California public schools who speak limited English, about 1.4 million students, be quickly taught English in "sheltered immersion" programs normally lasting about a year. However, under what some think may turn out to be a broad and flexible provision, the initiative allows waivers of the English immersion requirement for children who have "special physical, emotional, psychological or educational needs." (San Diego Union Tribune)

SANTA ANA, May 30 -- Waving signs and chanting "Education first--No on 227!", about 200 people marched through downtown Santa Ana on Friday to show opposition to a state ballot initiative that would end bilingual education. Critics contend that getting rid of native language instruction would leave immigrant students at a severe disadvantage. Others argue that the initiative is racist and anti-immigrant. Santa Ana Unified School District last month passed a resolution against the initiative. (Los Angeles Times)

SANTA ANA, Calif. May 30 -- Bilingual education, once widely hailed as a humane and sound method of immigrant assimilation, has fallen into disfavor, disparaged as a bureaucratic boondoggle, even by many of the people it was primarily designed to serve: the nation's increasing Hispanic minority. Behind that erosion of support is a stubborn statistic: the high dropout rate of Hispanic youths. (New York Times)

SACRAMENTO, May 29 -- An initiative that would end most bilingual education programs continues to hold a large but shrinking lead, while measures on political use of union dues and school administration spending are trailing for the first time, according to a new statewide Field Poll. Although still formidable, Proposition 227's lead fell 10 points from a Field Poll last month when the measure led 71 percent to 21 percent. The biggest movement came among Democratic voters, who went from 61 percent in favor and 29 percent opposed last month to 48 percent opposed and 44 percent in favor in the new poll. "We are encouraged by the movement," said Richie Ross, consultant for the No on Proposition 227 campaign. "Obviously, we have another 12 points to go. We are confident we will get there." (San Diego Union Tribune)

CALEXICO, May 29 -- Calexico parents, educators and business people don't understand all the fuss about too much Spanish in classrooms, a debate driving Proposition 227, the June 2 ballot initiative aimed at eliminating most bilingual programs and teaching 1.4 million children English in one year. Instead, they know that 80 percent of their kids enter school speaking Spanish, that learning English takes time, and that eventually more than 80 percent will go on to four-year colleges. (Orange County Register)

LOS ANGELES, May 29 -- Measure to virtually end bilingual education has widespread support. Many say immigrant children haven't become fluent quickly enough. Asked why he supports Proposition 227, the ballot initiative that would virtually eliminate bilingual education in California, Tony Mitchell replies, "They need to speak English. This is America, right?" (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, May 28 -- The first bilingual poll of Chinese American voters in San Francisco has found that they support state Treasurer Matt Fong for the U.S. Senate and oppose Proposition 227, which would effectively end bilingual education. On Prop. 227, which would require all students with limited English to master it in one year, 73 percent of respondents opposed it, 16 percent supported it and 11 percent were undecided. "That's pretty clear to me that as minority groups figure out what 227 is, they move against it very strongly," said pollster Jon Kaufman. (San Francisco Examiner)

WASHINGTON, May 27 -- California's heated debate over bilingual education echoed in the halls of Congress last week. Even as House Republicans started work on a bill that would mandate a major overhaul of federal bilingual education programs to emphasize English language instruction, six GOP senators planned to introduce a resolution calling for Americans to learn more than one language and for immigrants to retain their native tongues. The debate in Washington will likely come to a head after California voters decide on June 2 whether to replace nearly all bilingual education in the state with "sheltered English immersion" instruction. A victory for the anti-bilingual-education ballot measure could give the House bill the momentum it needs to get through the legislative process before Congress adjourns in the fall, said Rep. Frank Riggs, R-Calif., the sponsor of the proposed English Language Fluency Act and the chairman of the Early Childhood, Youth, and Families Subcommittee of the House education committee. (Education Week)

LOS ANGELES, May 27 -- When people here talk about Proposition 227, a measure that could virtually wipe out bilingual education in the state's public schools if it passes next week, it's clear they're looking beyond the schoolhouse door. Many see this nationally watched ballot initiative as a vehicle to discuss a larger question: how to assimilate Californians who continue to grow more ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse. (Education Week)

SAN FRANCISCO, May 27 -- When California this spring reinstituted standardized exams in reading, math and other skills, San Francisco schools set off a court battle by refusing to go along with one portion of the program pushed by Gov. Pete Wilson. They refused to administer the tests to 6,000 immigrant students attending schools here for less than 30 months and having limited English skills. Though the legal fight is far from resolved, San Francisco won the first round last week when a judge ruled that the state cannot force school districts to test--in English--immigrant students not fluent in the language. The state had wanted to exempt only students who had been in the country less than 12 months. San Francisco school Supt. Bill Rojas explains why he refused to test many immigrant students, and why he believes the new test is bad for others as well. (Los Angeles Times)

CALEXICO, May 26 -- Long before there was Proposition 227, the statewide June ballot measure to eliminate bilingual education, there was the Calexico Unified School District's internationally recognized bilingual program. Of the students entering kindergarten, 98 percent are non-English speaking or have limited English skills, and they are taught in Spanish through most of elementary school. About 80 percent of all the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, and 25 percent to 35 percent unemployment keeps the town's median income to less than $12,000. In other words, the 7,200-student Calexico district has all the challenges that educators elsewhere say keep students from achieving their full potential. But that is hardly the way it is here. Here, 80 percent of the high school seniors go to college. That's why eyes from as far away as Sweden are on Calexico these days. The district is more than willing to share its formula for success, especially now that California's bilingual education programs are under attack. Voters will decide June 2 whether to dismantle the state's bilingual programs in exchange for yearlong English immersion programs. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

DALLAS, May 26 -- Bilingual education advocates and critics across the country will look toward California on June 2, as the nation's most populous state decides the fate of its system for teaching children whose native language is one other than English. If California voters pass the initiative, Proposition 227 will require all public school instruction in the state to be conducted in English, dismantling the state's system that allows students with limited English skills to learn certain subjects in their native languages while they gradually learn English. Proposition 227 will require them to be placed in a yearlong program that immerses them in English, then be placed in traditional, English-only classes. But what effect will the vote have on other anti-bilingual education movements in the United States? Will it spark similar backlashes in states currently not debating the issue? Will it give momentum to legislation pending in Congress aimed at curtailing bilingual education? Will it convince some school boards to follow the actions of those in Denver and Chicago, where board members have placed severe restrictions on bilingual education? (Dallas Morning News)

MIAMI, May 25 -- While California debates whether to stop teaching schoolchildren in two languages, the school system in this city at the crossroads of the Americas is expanding bilingual education under the argument that students will need to speak, read and write in English and Spanish when they reach the business world. Here in Miami, there was little protest and much praise when the school board this year endorsed a plan to increase bilingual teaching for all students--not just those with limited English skills--from kindergarten through 12th grade. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, May 25 -- If this were fiction, it wouldn't be believable: All four major candidates for governor come out against a ballot initiative that seems a cinch to pass. Politicians of both parties choose to line up on the losing side, opposite most voters. That certainly must be a first. Then another first: The current governor endorses the measure and immediately is denounced and ridiculed by its sponsor. An irritated ingrate. We're talking here about Proposition 227, the proposal to gut bilingual education. It's one of two hotly contested initiatives on the June 2 ballot. (Los Angeles Times)

HOUSTON, May 25 -- In school districts here, bilingual education is changing with or without input from political activists. Houston Independent School District educators want not only to convert Spanish-speakers to English, but to make all students fluent in both languages. The global economy demands truly bilingual graduates, HISD says, but it acknowledges bilingual education's time-worn approach is not producing them. (Houston Chronicle)

SAN JOSE, May 24 -- It comes down to this: Has bilingual education worked or not? That is the question many voters will be asking themselves in nine days when they vote on Proposition 227. Yet, there are no easy answers. California has not done a good job educating the one in four students who come to public schools each year not speaking English. Few would argue with that. But the issue remains whether that failure is the fault of bilingual classes, where students are taught mostly in their home language, or the public schools system as a whole. (San Jose Mercury News)

LOS ANGELES, May 24 -- In the great debate over bilingual education, bilingual speech therapists may seem a mere footnote. But educators worry that if Proposition 227, the initiative to eliminate bilingual instruction, is approved by voters June 2, the district's estimated 60 bilingual speech therapists will be overrun with poor English speakers who are mistakenly referred for treatment. The proposition would not eliminate bilingual therapy. "We'd go back to a time when kids who didn't know English flunk out and are seen as being retarded," said Silvia Martinez, of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Assn., based in Maryland. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, May 24 -- The four major candidates for governor of California participated today in an unprecedented debate conducted in English and Spanish, and broadcast live across the state -- a sign of the soaring importance of Latinos in the state's politics. It is believed to be the first such encounter in a statewide race in which the audience that mattered was listening in Spanish, as the three Democrats and one Republican explained their positions on bilingual education, immigration, relations with Mexico and the increasing gap between the richest and poorest residents of the wealthiest and most populous state in the nation. All four candidates, including the Republican Lungren, oppose Proposition 227, saying that while they believe bilingual education is failing, the initiative sponsored by Silicon Valley software millionaire Ron Unz is too draconian, and that it takes local control away from school districts that are trying to meet the challenges of educating non-English-speaking students. (Washington Post )

BERKELEY, May 24 -- In class, the children are Enrique, Alejandro and Mateo. At home, they are Henry, Alexander and Matthew. They spend every day in a kindergarten classroom at Columbus Elementary School, where their teacher speaks Spanish almost exclusively, and two-thirds of their classmates do, too. Their parents signed them up for this special program, which is so popular that two out of every three applicants for next year will be turned away. Theirs is a two-way or dual immersion class -- one of a handful in the Bay Area. The two-way model takes an equal number of English- and foreign language-speaking kindergartners with the goal of developing a class of fully bilingual children by the time they leave elementary school after fifth grade. Under Proposition 227, the ballot measure that proposes to teach all limited-English students only in one-year English immersion classrooms, these six-year two-way programs would be in jeopardy. Parents could use a prescribed waiver process to keep their children in two-way programs, but only if they met certain requirements, such as special educational needs. (Contra Costa Times)

LOS ANGELES, May 22 -- The debate over bilingual education is part of a larger conflict over California's public education as a whole. The state spends $36 billion a year on education, but tied for last place with Louisiana in 1994 federal reading tests. Yet this education issue is mired in the state's prickly ethnic politics. Proposition 227 comes on the heels of two other voter-driven initiatives that drove a deep wedge into California's multi ethnic population. Some critics say they see the same the anti-immigrant and anti-minority sentiments in supporters of Proposition 227 that drove Proposition 187, the 1994 measure to cut government benefits and education to illegal immigrants, and Proposition 209, the 1996 measure banning affirmative action in state and local government. The polls show substantial support for the initiative across the board, but Hispanic support appears to be wavering, just as it did with the earlier ballot measures, both of which had early Hispanic support. (Houston Chronicle)

LOS ANGELES, May 22 -- The head of Univision Communications, one of the most prominent Spanish-language media companies in the United States, has given a whopping $1.5 million from his own pocket to fight California's anti-bilingual education initiative, a campaign finance statement filed Thursday shows. The contribution by A. Jerrold Perenchio, which is among the largest personal donations in the history of state initiative politics, enables anti Proposition 227 forces to air a significant amount of English-language television advertising in the final weeks of its underdog effort to defeat the June 2 ballot measure. (Los Angeles Times)

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. May 22 -- In what some observers considered a surprising outcome in traditionally conservative Orange County, where the movement to dismantle bilingual education statewide began, the number of voters in favor of an English-only initiative is no greater than other parts of the state, according to a recent poll. "You can't call two-thirds of the voters weak support," said Cheryl Katz, director of the Times Orange County poll. "But one might expect the numbers to be higher in an area as conservative as Orange County." The latest results are lower than last October's statewide approval rating of the initiative of 80%, and are comparable to last month's 63% state figure. Both of those polls were conducted by The Times. "Opponents of the initiative said the newest data indicates that Orange County voters are changing their minds and turning against the proposition. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, May 21 -- bout 1,000 pro-bilingual education teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District have signed pledges to oppose or, if necessary, disobey Proposition 227 if the statewide initiative that would dismantle bilingual instruction is approved on June 2, a teachers group said Wednesday. The defiant announcement by the teacher group On Campus comes as some educators across the state begin to consider strategies to resist implementing the ballot measure, which holds a wide lead among voters in most public opinion polls. Two school districts have asked state education regulators for waivers from the terms of Proposition 227, hoping to continue classroom teaching in two languages. Some educators point to loopholes within the initiative that would allow parents to petition once a year for waivers, under limited circumstances. Others suggest that applying for quasi independent charter school status would be a way around an initiative that would become part of the state Education Code. And, as frequently happens with controversial California ballot measures, there are threats of lawsuits to tie up the measure in court. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, May 21 -- The opponents of an anti-bilingual education initiative on the June 2 ballot are mounting a surprisingly large television campaign, thanks to aid from the leading Spanish-language network. The majority shareholder of Univision, Jerry Perenchio, made a key contribution of $1.5 million that triggered a smaller match from the California Teachers Association, said Richie Ross, campaign consultant for No on Proposition 227. Ross said the campaign against the initiative has purchased $2.7 million worth of time on television stations throughout the state for ads in English and Spanish, including spots on the lead-in to the final episode of "Seinfeld" on television stations in San Diego and Sacramento last week. A new wave of television ads beginning next week will feature the opposition to Proposition 227 from all four leading gubernatorial candidates: Democrats Al Checchi, Gray Davis and Jane Harman and Republican Dan Lungren. (San Diego Union Tribune)

LOS ANGELES, MAY 21 -- Days after rejecting the endorsement of Gov. Pete Wilson, supporters of the campaign to end bilingual education in California heartily welcomed news Wednesday that Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is preparing to launch a self-financed advertising blitz on the measure's behalf. Riordan is spending a little more than $250,000 of his own money to put an ad on Spanish-language television nearly 300 times between now and election day. The ad will begin appearing today, at a crucial time in the race--a juncture at which the multimillionaire mayor's aggressive move could affect the outcome. (Los Angeles Times)

TURLOCK, Calif. May 21 -- Proposition 227 is not a good idea, or so says the Turlock Joint Elementary School District Board of Trustees. All five members voted Tuesday to officially oppose the June ballot initiative. The vote is unusual for the elementary board, which normally does not take stands on state issues. But it's not surprising. The board joins more than 200 California school boards, including the Modesto City Schools, which have done the same thing. "This would take away control on local programs from the school board and instead institute a one-size-fits-all program," said Walter DeBruyn, a Turlock elementary trustee. (Modesto Bee)

LOS ANGELES, May 20 -- The Los Angeles City Council went on record Tuesday opposing Prop. 227, the June ballot initiative that would ban bilingual education in California schools. After an hour of discussion, council members voted to oppose the proposition. Although supporters believe that bilingual classes harm children's potential for success, several council members said the initiative would have the same effect. "This says there is virtually only one way that bilingual education can be taught--legally," said Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, a former schoolteacher. "Now that, my friends, is insanity. . . . If you only have one tool in your tool box, there are very few things that you can fix. If you have only one method to teach English . . . you know that a great many children are going to fail." (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, May 20 -- In endorsing Proposition 227, the June ballot measure to all but end bilingual education in California public schools, Gov. Pete Wilson said the argument that it will undermine local control "misses the point."The governor also said Proposition 227 "was not inspired by any one person," but by "whole communities of people," including the 7,000 limited-English-proficient students of the Orange Unified School District in Orange County. But talk to the superintendent of Orange Unified and he'll tell you that local control is exactly the point."I'm a real proponent for English-only, but I'm an Unz opponent, "What I see is a law being thrust upon schools that didn't originate out of the needs of kids at local school districts, it's bound for failure." Administrators in some districts have implemented their own form of instruction to teach limited English-speaking students. But far from being ardent backers of Proposition 227, some of these bilingual education opponents say they are concerned about how the Unz measure might affect the programs they fought so hard to put in place. (Sacramento Bee)

SACRAMENTO, May 19 -- Gov. Pete Wilson on Monday vetoed the Legislature's bill to provide local control of bilingual education, and endorsed a ballot initiative that would require all children in California to be taught in English. But the initiative's sponsor, Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz, denounced the governor's support of Proposition 227, saying that Wilson's endorsement may play into the hands of the measure's opponents. "It is very unfortunate that the governor has chosen to endorse our initiative," said Unz, whose proposal has a large lead in polls. "[Wilson] has a history of supporting divisive and polarizing initiatives. . . . From that vantage point, it is more of the same, Gov. Wilson at his finest," Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, May 18 -- For friends and foes of bilingual education, it's a black-or-white issue -- it works or it doesn't. Researchers say the picture is more muddled. A national study shows bilingual programs are effective, if taught under the right circumstances. "The research is quite clear. Bilingual education is a valid instrument," said Kenji Hakuta, a Stanford University professor who served as chairman for the National Research Council's committee on research development for the education of English-limited children. "The bad news is that bilingual education alone is not going to solve the problem," Hakuta said. "It has to be seen as an instrument, along with a host of other instruments." The committee produced a 1997 report, "Improving Schooling for Language-Minority Children: A Research Agenda." Advocates on both sides of the bilingual education debate cite the study to support arguments for and against bilingual education. (San Antonio Express-News)

LOS ANGELES, May 18 -- What goes on in students' lives outside the classroom often does more to shape school performance than what transpires inside it. One of the strongest outside influences is the mix of attitudes, beliefs and expectations about education that can mold motivation--and may underlie startlingly persistent differences in academic achievement among white, Asian, black and Latino students. The persistence of ethnic gaps in school success is a key finding of a months-long examination of the state's public schools by The Times, which analyzed school records and trailed students from a variety of backgrounds around California. (Los Angeles Times)

CALEXICO, Calif. May 18 -- It's an unlikely spot to find an educational cause celebre--a poor and sun-scorched farm town on the Mexican border. Yet the school district here has achieved renown far beyond its alfalfa and hay fields. It is touted by supporters of bilingual education as a model for teaching students who speak little English. The acclaim was evident recently in Denver, where the head of the nation's largest Latino organization lauded Calexico Unified School District for keeping its students from dropping out and sending so many--80%--on to college. "Calexico, the poorest school district in California with the highest rate of farm workers and most Latinos, is graduating kids at a higher rate than Beverly Hills!" boasted Raul Yzaguirre, president of the National Council of La Raza. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, May 18 -- Last year, more than 5,800 schools statewide had at least 20 students with limited English skills. Of those schools, 1,150 did not move a single student into English fluency, according to a Times analysis of state records. For more than half of those schools, it was the second year in a row of complete futility. Overall, fewer than 7% of limited-English students are becoming fluent each year. Those figures might sound like an indictment of bilingual education--an umbrella term for an array of programs that teach children in two languages, often with long spans solely in their native language. The truth, however, is that one-third of the schools that failed last year to move any students into English fluency were teaching only in English. And many of the rest teach mostly in English. (Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA, May 18 -- California Republicans have railed against bilingual education for years, accusing it of producing a culturally alien, economically hopeless immigrant underclass. So when millionaire businessman Ron Unz placed a measure on this June's ballot that would abolish the program, the state G.O.P. jumped onboard, right? Not exactly. "I have not endorsed [Proposition 227]. I will not put a penny into it," says state party chairman Michael Schroeder. The likely G.O.P. gubernatorial nominee, Dan Lungren, hasn't taken a position. Neither has Bill Leonard, the party's leader in the state assembly. Why the cold feet? Because in the past four years, the California G.O.P. has undergone something of a revolution. In 1994, conventional wisdom in the Golden State held that Latinos didn't vote and that taking on immigrants, especially Latino immigrants, was a political gold mine. Voters passed Proposition 187, which sought to cut off illegal aliens' benefits. Governor Pete Wilson won re-election with ads showing grainy figures scurrying across the southern border, and some suspected that he could ride the issue all the way to the White House. (Time Magazine)

PALO ALTO, Calif. May 17 -- An elementary school teacher who works with immigrant children. A former Democratic Party campaign coordinator who is Mexican-American. A missionary tutoring children of garment workers. And Jaime Escalante, the East Los Angeles calculus teacher whose successful methods were documented in the film "Stand and Deliver." They make up the public relations "dream team" for the initiative to wipe out bilingual education in California. "A legislator's or some politician's endorsement is certainly not as valuable as one from someone like Jaime Escalante," said Ron Unz, author and chief supporter of Proposition 227, which would outlaw non-English instruction in California schools. Unz can afford to support his beliefs. Most of the $1.5 million spent on the campaign came from his pockets or those of wealthy conservative friends. Florida businessman William Dunn gave $75,000. A philanthropic organization operated by Home Savings and Loan chief Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson Jr. contributed $100,000. New York investment firm partner Richard Gilder pitched in $40,000. (San Antonio Express-News)

LOS ANGELES, May 17 -- By their own admission, teachers -- particularly bilingual education teachers -- are a silent lot. Bilingual educators throughout the country fear the spirit of the June 2 California initiative will spread to other states. Bilingual educators in Texas and elsewhere have donated money to the pro-bilingual campaign. "I am worried because if it passes, it's going to have a negative impact everywhere else," said Hugo Hernandez, 25, a graduate student in the University of Texas at San Antonio's bilingual/bicultural studies program. Hernandez gave $5 to the "Citizens for an Educated America: No On Unz" campaign. Laws protecting teachers in California from being used for political campaigning also kept them from expressing their opinions at school, teachers said. (San Antonio Express-News)

LOS ANGELES, May 15 -- Los Angeles school officials said Thursday that Proposition 227 would hamper the learning of tens of thousands of students and could cost the district more than $100 million in bilingual education funds. In a dire report on the potential effects of the anti-bilingual education initiative, officials told the Board of Education's Instruction, Curriculum and Student Achievement Committee that if it passes in June, as now seems likely, the district would have to remodel its curriculum to accommodate students who are not proficient in English. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, April 12 -- Silicon Valley software entrepreneur Ron Unz on Monday launched a radio ad campaign on behalf of his June 2 ballot initiative to do away with traditional bilingual education programs. Two ads, both 60-second spots with English and Spanish versions, are airing in the Los Angeles market, said Sheri Annis, Unz campaign spokeswoman. She said the ads are expected to run later in other markets statewide. Overall, the Unz campaign will run four English/Spanish radio ads in support of Proposition 227 and eventually hopes to buy time on television, Annis said. (Sacramento Bee)

OAKLAND, May 12 -Carolyn Meeajane, a teacher for 23 years, speaks only English. Her 20 second- and third-grade students at Lakeview Elementary speak nine languages - from Tagalog to Amharic to Cantonese. Using a special teaching technique called "sheltered English immersion," she uses props and skits to connect with students who struggle with English. If Proposition 227 is approved by California voters June 2, children of immigrants will no longer have the option of being taught in their native language. Instead, every school will have classrooms that look a lot like Meeajane's. Students of different ages and nationalities would be taught for one year in a sheltered English immersion class, then graduated to a regular classroom. Though Meeajane's class differs from the one required by Prop. 227 in several key ways, in many respects it offers a window onto a world without bilingual education. (San Francisco Examiner)

OAKLAND, May 12 -- Five-year-old Travell Louie, an English-speaking child in a bilingual class in Oakland's Chinatown, is bored when his classmates speak Cantonese. English speaker Shingo Brann is in another bilingual kindergarten class at the same school in which most of the children speak Cantonese -- but he loves it. Travell and Shingo are at opposite ends of a polarizing cultural dispute raging at little Lincoln Elementary School that symbolizes the statewide struggle over Proposition 227. The initiative on the June 2 ballot would eliminate instruction in languages other than English. In a case that has attracted national attention since The Chronicle reported it last month, Travell's father is suing the Oakland Unified School District to demand an English-only classroom in his neighborhood school, where 80 percent of the children are classified as not fluent in English. (San Francisco Chronicle)

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. May 10 -- Unz uses initiative for impact Prop 227 author finds ballot measure the most effective way to get ideas heard. With a $655,000 investment, the 36-year-old computer software writer -- who has never been in a bilingual class in his life -- is trying to almost single-handedly change the way 1.4 million schoolchildren can learn English in the nation's largest state. For Unz, this is only the beginning. "I guess you could say I'm going to try to fix broken things in California," he says. Next project: tort reform or perhaps revamping tax policy. And, although he dropped $2.3 million on his unsuccessful 1994 gubernatorial bid, Unz still harbors ideas of running for governor again, or perhaps U.S. Senate. (Contra Coasta Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, May 10 -- Polls show voters are poised to say adios to bilingual education in California, but Bay Area school officials have no plans to switch to a new era of English only instruction this September. Rather than assuming that the anti-bilingual measure will pass June 2 and planning for reconfigured classrooms and curriculum, districts from San Francisco to Santa Clara are betting that the voice of the people can be silenced by the din of civil rights challenges. "If this passes, I will fight this as far and as fully as we can, as we did with 187," said San Francisco schools Superintendent Bill Rojas, referring to Prop. 187, which sought to deny benefits to undocumented aliens but was ruled unconstitutional. "In principle, I couldn't implement this and I wouldn't." (San Francisco Examiner)

SACRAMENTO, May 10 -- Somewhere between the black-and-white arguments surrounding Proposition 227 exists a very gray reality for many of the state's 1.38 million public school students who are not fluent in English. Initiative sponsor Ron Unz claims that bilingual education fails to teach children English. Yet in Dana Romo's bilingual class at Washington Elementary in midtown Sacramento, two-thirds of her second- and third-grade students are reading at or above grade level for the district -- in both Spanish and English. "You're talking about at least one-fourth of (California public) schoolchildren who will be affected. It's massive in its impact," said Michael Kirst, co-director of Policy Analysis for California Education, an education think tank. He said the initiative is unprecedented in mandating a single teaching technique. (Sacramento Bee)

LOS ANGELES, May 10 -- Elected leaders, often at odds, are working together to defeat Proposition 227. The campaign hopes to avoid mistakes made in battles against earlier ballot measures. The elected leaders are part of a tightly choreographed campaign that seeks to avoid the divisiveness and mistakes that marred the unsuccessful battles against two earlier state ballot measures widely viewed as anti-immigrant and anti-minority, Proposition 187 in 1994 and Proposition 209 two years later. (Los Angeles Times)

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. April 7 -- Opponents of the June ballot initiative that would eliminate bilingual education programs statewide fear Proposition 227 would set a dangerous precedent by instigating lawsuits against educators. Under Prop. 227, teachers and administrators could be held "personally liable" for not implementing the English-based teaching method loosely outlined in the initiative. Backers say the provision is the teeth of Prop. 227, meant to keep teachers from sidestepping the law should voters approve it June 2. Under most state laws, the school district is liable for teacher conduct. Not so with Prop. 227. Eugene Garcia, the dean of UC-Berkeley's Education Department and an expert in education policy, said he knows of no other state or federal law -- other than criminal laws -- that hold teachers personally liable for classroom conduct. (Contra Coasta Times)

SACRAMENTO, April 7 -- With less than a month before the vote, opponents of a June 2 ballot measure to all but end bilingual education are launching a television advertising campaign that attacks the measure as a "$50 million-a-year . . . new spending program" that won't benefit children. (Sacramento Bee)

LOS ANGELES, May 6 -- Leaders of the uphill campaign against a state ballot measure to end bilingual education seized on new public school data Tuesday to bolster their arguments that the measure would hurt, not help, immigrant children in learning English. Citizens for an Educated America cited state-compiled information from the Ninth Street School near downtown as the group sought to muster opposition to Proposition 227 on the June 2 ballot. The campaign also took a swipe at a high-profile supporter of the measure, Orange County first-grade teacher Gloria Matta Tuchman. Both Matta Tuchman and the Ninth Street School have provided powerful symbols for the ballot initiative written by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz. (Los Angeles Times)

ORANGE, May 6 - -A year ago, the school board in this city known for political conservatism took a radical step many Californians seem inclined to follow next month: It abandoned bilingual education. For Robert French, superintendent of this district of 29,000 students, the proof lies in simple spot checks of whether children from Spanish-speaking homes can chat with him in English. In the old bilingual classrooms, French said, most students were mute without Spanish. "But I found out in early October that I could carry on conversations in English with kindergartners and first-graders. This is what it's all about." That sounds like an endorsement of the "English for Children" initiative, sponsored by Silicon Valley businessman Ron K. Unz and Orange County schoolteacher Gloria Matta Tuchman. Not quite. French, an unabashed fan of English-only education, opposes Proposition 227. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, May 6 -- Critics of bilingual education charge that it segregates poor and minority students, the children traditional bilingual programs usually serve. But two-way programs have largely escaped the politics surrounding bilingual education. And they have won converts to bilingual education among middle-class, consumer-minded parents. While most experts agree two-way programs boast an impressive track record, in California they would fall under the restrictions contained in an upcoming ballot measure that could virtually eliminate bilingual education in the state's public schools. (Education Week)

WASHINGTON, May 6 -- The Clinton administration took the unusual step of weighing in on state policy last week, leveling criticism at the ballot initiative in California that would virtually eliminate bilingual programs in the Golden State. President Clinton and Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley said they felt compelled to speak out against the initiative. (Education Week)

SACRAMENTO, May 5 -- The Legislature's alternative to a June 2 ballot initiative that would virtually eliminate bilingual education in California public schools won narrow final passage Monday and was sent to Gov. Pete Wilson. The governor, who has acknowledged that he is "strongly leaning" toward supporting Proposition 227, refused to say whether he will sign the bill, but indicated that he was not pleased by its late arrival. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, May 3 -- In 1997, bilingual education claimed $96 million in state funds, or less than one-half of 1% of the total K-12 budget of $26.8 billion. The federal government contributes only 6% of the bilingual budget. Remaining money is provided by local districts, whose funding levels have been constrained by Proposition 13. Those schools that educate some of our state's poorest students, many of whom are English language learners, have the lowest tax base and therefore the fewest resources to meet the educational needs of their students. In fact, we have not provided adequate funding for bilingual education to sustain its effectiveness. The truth is that bilingual education barely exists in California. Each year we fall short of needed bilingual teachers by more than 20,000. Immersion programs, which will be mandatory under Proposition 227, have contributed substantially to historically high dropout rates of English language learners. (Los Angeles Times)

PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif. May 2 -- Acknowledging that bilingual education can be ``intellectual purgatory'' for some schoolchildren, President Clinton nonetheless argued forcefully against a California initiative to dismantle such programs. Clinton, in his first public comments on the initiative, called it ``the wrong answer.'' But, he said he understood some parents' concerns that their children are allowed to languish in bilingual programs for so long that they become a crutch and a hindrance to learning English. (Boston Globe)

NEW YORK, April 30 -- New York Times editorial suggests that frustration over the failure of bilingual education for many children has created widespread public support for a narrow-minded ballot measure in California that would dismantle all bilingual programs, regardless of effectiveness. (New York Times)

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. April 29 -- Educators talk about bilingual education, and their fears for the future should Prop. 227 pass in the June election (Sonoma County Independent)

CONTRA COSTA, April 29 -- If Proposition 227 passes on June 2, school officials will have a scant 60 days to develop the programs for English learners that are prescribed in the initiative and to scrap any existing bilingual education programs that don't comply. The problem, many officials say, is that Prop. 227 is vague: The same language that makes it comprehensible and attractive to voters makes it distressing for school officials accustomed to specific prescriptions and regulations. (Contra Costa Times)

WASHINGTON, 29 de abril -- La Casa Blanca, tras meses de arduo debate interno, ha anunciado su oposición a la iniciativa para abolir en las escuelas de California la educación bilingüe -inglés y castellano- y forzar desde el primer momento a los hijos de los inmigrantes hispanos a un año de inmersión en la lengua inglesa. Esa iniciativa, llamada Proposición 227, será sometida a referéndum el 2 de junio y, según los sondeos, es apoyada por el 60% de la población de California. (Diario El Pais, España)

ORANGE COUNTY, April 29 -- A new state survey of Orange County's 137,000 bilingual education students shows that only a small fraction were reclassified as fluent in English this year, even though most were taught in English-only classrooms. That reclassification rate ‹ less than 6 percent ‹ is at the heart of the debate over Proposition 227, a June ballot measure that would require almost all instruction to occur in English and limit special language classes to one year in most cases. Many local school officials who battled for freedom from state bilingual education rules now fear that Prop. 227 will mandate teaching methods that don't serve the best interests of their students. They share a line of argument with proponents of traditional bilingual education: One year isn't enough.(Orange County Register)

CONTRA COSTA, April 29 -- As the battle over Proposition 227 drew its first shots of partisan politics from the White House and the governor's office Monday, it illustrated how the campaign to preserve bilingual education in California schools is not being fought on the merits of the program. Don't look for television, radio advertisements or presidential speeches extolling the virtues of teaching immigrant children math and science in their native language while they're learning English. Instead, the campaign against Prop. 227 and the Clinton administration are criticizing the measure for taking away local control. (Contra Costa Times)

SANTA BARBARA, April 29 -- When Santa Barbara school officials recently announced their intention to do away with bilingual education, some Hispanic parents saw the move as a rejection of that ancestry. Outraged parents banded together in January to boycott the schools, holding classes for hundreds of students instead at La Casa de la Raza community center. Includes: In Battle Over Prop. 227, Both Sides Command Armies of Statistics - California has more limited-English-proficient students than any other state, and relatively sophisticated data about them. But there's still a lot that the Golden State does not track. Here's a snapshot of what's known, and not known, about LEP students in California: (Education Week)

WASHINGTON, April 28 -- Secretary of Education Richard Riley yesterday unambiguously denounced Proposition 227, which would end most bilingual education programs in California, as a ``disaster,'' ``counterproductive'' and ``just plain wrong.'' The announcement ended a months-long debate within the administration over whether to publicly oppose the initiative, which the latest Field Poll shows is favored by 70 percent of likely voters. ``Proposition 227 may satisfy people's sense of frustration, but ultimately it is counterproductive to our common goal of making sure children learn English while making academic progress in other subjects as well,'' Riley said in a lengthy statement. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Audio - CMMR SPECIAL - Hear the White House Announcements (Please be patient, may take a few moments to load)

WASHINGTON, April 28 -- President Clinton will campaign in California against Proposition 227, administration officials announced Monday, launching the strongest attack yet on the initiative that would all but do away with bilingual education. Gov. Pete Wilson, meanwhile, said he is "strongly leaning" toward supporting the initiative and predicted that California voters will repudiate Clinton's views. Delivering the Clinton administration's platform, Deputy Education Secretary Marshall Smith called the initiative a "one-size-fits all approach" that ignores children's individual needs and threatens local control of schools. The administration proposes a goal of moving students with limited English skills from bilingual programs into English-taught classes in three years or less. While Proposition 227's wording seems to pass legal muster, its implementation may not, Smith said. The federal government might sue California, he said, if lawyers for the U.S. Department of Education decide that the initiative, if it passes, violates students' civil rights. (Sacramento Bee)

SACRAMENTO, April 28 -- Gov. Pete Wilson said Monday he is inclined to support Proposition 227, the June ballot initiative that would virtually end bilingual education- and he lashed out at the Clinton administration for opposing it. Until now, Wilson had been silent about where he stood on the initiative sponsored by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz, but that ended with his response to a question at a wide-ranging news conference. "I am strongly leaning that way," the governor said of Proposition 227. His only qualm, he said, is the estimated $50-million price tag to implement the measure. (Los Angeles Times)

WASHINGTON, April 27 -- The Clinton administration, after months of spirited internal debate, has decided to formally oppose California's Proposition 227, which would ban bilingual education, according to officials in the White House and the Department of Education. Education Secretary Richard W. Riley is expected to announce the White House decision as early as today. He also is expected to point out that the administration is considering moving toward a goal of limiting participation in bilingual programs to three years. (Los Angeles Times)

IRVINE, Calif. April 26 -- Joining a political offensive to save bilingual education in California, a group of Harvard University scholars announced its opposition to Proposition 227 during a Chicano issues forum Saturday at UC Irvine. The 14-member board of the Harvard Educational Review, a leading education research journal, suggested that students who don't speak English fluently will suffer if the June 2 ballot initiative banning bilingual education is approved. "Proposition 227 imposes a uniform and unproved instructional model which will severely limit the education opportunities and rights of children and communities in their pursuit of an equitable and high-quality education," the journal's editorial board stated. Another panelist, Norma Cantu, the U.S. Department of Education's assistant secretary for civil rights said that if the English-only initiative passes, it may violate federal regulations that require schools to provide adequate teachers, books and other resources to help children learn. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, April 26 -- Childhood immigrants to California, they all started school without bilingual programs. They were set afloat in a sea of English with few linguistic lifeboats, an experience they now recount with a mix of pain, pride and occasional humor. Most of the seven Southern Californians interviewed for this story said they would vote against Proposition 227. Yet in their sometimes sad, sometimes funny classroom tales can be found ammunition for both sides of the fight over bilingual education. (Los Angeles Times)

WASHINGTON, April 24 -- As conservatives step up efforts to curb bilingual education, a survey of Hispanics released Thursday shows that an overwhelming majority support such programs. The survey, commissioned by the Spanish-language television company Univision, found that 83 percent of those polled either strongly or somewhat supported bilingual education, and 64 percent believe these efforts have succeeded. The new survey comes at a time when there is increasing pressure by Republicans to eliminate federal funding for such programs. House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, this week introduced legislation that would leave it up to the states to determine whether such programs should be funded. (Houston Chronicle)

FRESNO, April 23 -- Over 200 participants gathered at an anti-Proposition 227 rally Wednesday. Researcher Stephen Krashen from the University of Southern California, who was in Fresno for Wednesday's rally, calls it a disaster in the making. He believes that the reason most public polls show overwhelming support for the proposition is that the public misunderstands what the issue is. If Proposition 227 is approved, the fear among many bilingual educators and parents is that students will begin to fall behind the rest of their English-speaking classmates. Fresno school officials say that what angers them is the possibility that the proposition could wipe out any progress the district has made in improving its programs. (Fresno Bee)

SACRAMENTO, April 23 -- Behind in the polls and just weeks away from the vote, opponents of a ballot measure that would all but end bilingual education are out to tar the initiative as nothing less than a $500 million taxpayer boondoggle. Be it in statements to the media, debates on talk radio or televised community forums, the new line of attack against Proposition 227 is that it would mandate $50 million a year for the next 10 years to be spent on adult literacy -- separate from any spending on classroom instruction. That's "taking money away from the schools to teach adults English at an additional cost to taxpayers," said one recent news release. (Sacramento Bee)

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 -- About 2,000 students from Bay Area high schools walked out yesterday morning and marched through Concord to protest measures attacking immigrants, bilingual education and affirmative action. (San Francisco Chronicle)

WASHINGTON, April 21 -- House Majority Whip Tom DeLay plans to introduce legislation Wednesday that would end federal support of bilingual education, leaving it up to the states to decide whether to fund such programs. The bill, which calls for the elimination of the Department of Education's Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs, would end federal funding for about 750 bilingual programs nationwide that allow the teaching of immigrant children in their native language until they learn English. Many of those programs were created under consent decrees that encouraged the establishment of bilingual programs in return for federal funding. DeLay's bill would void the consent decrees, leaving the states free to decide for themselves whether they want to continue funding bilingual programs without the benefit of federal dollars. (Star-Telegram)

SACRAMENTO, April 21 -- In a desperate attempt to head off a June ballot initiative that would end most bilingual instruction for non-English-speaking schoolchildren, the state Assembly on Monday tried to sell the public on a less harsh approach. Concluding a heated lower house debate, legislators easily passed a bill designed to allow local control and flexibility in bilingual teaching, in contrast to the more stringent ballot measure. The vote was 50 to 27. (Los Angeles Times)

DELANO, April 21 -- Stephen Krashen, a recognized authority in bilingual education, voiced his opposition Tuesday to Proposition 227, the initiative that seeks to remove bilingual programs from California schools. ``This is America we speak English here and the children need to learn English as quickly as possible,'' Krashen said. ``Because of that, I do not support Proposition 227.'' About 50 educators and parents attended the educational forum on the Unz initiative, which will appear on the California ballot June 2. A professor of education at the University of Southern California, Krashen said he, too, wants California schoolchildren to speak English but ending bilingual education is not the best way to do it. (The Bakersfield Californian)

SACRAMENTO, April 21 -- To its students and teachers, bilingual immersion is an example of what's right with education in the Sacramento City Unified School District -- a program that teaches Spanish-speaking students how to read and write. But to the Sacramento City Taxpayers' Rights League and its leader, accountant Mark Whisler, the program is "holding students back" by its approach. The two sides met head-on Monday night at the school board, where participants in bilingual education came to demonstrate their progress and Whisler called for the program's elimination. Throughout California, the issue of bilingual education is a hot one and voters will cast ballots in June on Proposition 227, which would largely eliminate bilingual education in public schools statewide. (Sacramento Bee)

SACRAMENTO, April 21 -- In a move to head off a ballot initiative that would largely eliminate bilingual education in California, the Assembly on Monday passed a bill that would give school districts flexibility to choose their own approach to teaching non-English speaking children. Assembly Democrats -- who last year blocked a vote on the bill -- described it Monday as an "imperfect" solution to problems in bilingual education, but preferable to Proposition 227, the ballot measure promoted by Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz. (Sacramento Bee)

LOS ANGELES, April 19 -- The Unz initiative, which would effectively end the state's bilingual programs, threatens to add to the numbers of Asian Pacific American who speak limited English with its one-size-fits-all prescription of immersion in English. Equally troubling, the results of the immersion approach on Asian Pacific Americans are unknown. Indeed, this method has not been tested thoroughly. Fortunately, there are more culturally sensitive alternatives to immersion. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO -- A new study of media coverage of bilingual education conducted by Media Alliance and funded by the San Francisco Foundation documents that California's opinion leading newspapers are failing to provide the California public with the information needed to understand Proposition 227. "The public relies on the media to explain ballot initiatives like 227. Journalists need to take that responsibility seriously and provide answers to tough questions about whether or not bilingual education or the proposed English-only method are effective," says Andrea Buffa, Executive Director of Media Alliance.

LOS ANGELES, April 17 -- Foes of Proposition 227, seeking to take the political offensive, held news conferences in several cities Thursday to denounce the June 2 ballot measure that seeks to dismantle bilingual education in California. The initiative calls for students with limited English skills to receive about a year of English instruction before moving into mainstream classrooms. Opponents charged that it would squelch local control of the methods used to teach limited English speakers. (Los Angeles Times)

SANTA ANA, April 16 -- The board of the Santa Ana Unified School District roundly criticized Proposition 227, the June ballot measure seeking to end bilingual education statewide, before passing a resolution this week opposing it. The co-author of Proposition 227, Gloria Matta Tuchman, has taught in the Santa Ana school district since 1967. (Los Angeles Times)

ALBUQUERQUE, April 16 -- Eight weeks before Californians vote on a controversial initiative to abolish bilingual education, political battles over how to teach students who do not speak English are intensifying across the West. As the children of immigrants pour into school systems not equipped to handle their numbers or needs, the fight over how bilingual education is done--or whether it is done at all--is pitting Latinos against Latinos, Anglos against Latinos, communities against school boards and school boards against federal authorities. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, April 13 -- As the campaigns over a host of state initiatives begin to take shape, Californians of all political and ethnic backgrounds heartily endorse a measure that would ban bilingual education in the state's schools, the Los Angeles Times Poll has found. Among registered voters, 63% said they approved of the measure, once they were read its language, and 24% opposed it. The margin was consistent--63% to 23%--among voters considered most likely to cast ballots on June 2. (Los Angeles Times)

MIAMI, April 12 -- Rebuffing the movement against bilingualism in California and elsewhere, school officials here are pushing a costly plan to create the first system in the nation to require all students to be bilingual. Officials recognize that if the Coral Way students keep up with a second language, they will have a decided advantage when they enter the local job market. (Boston Globe)

LOS ANGELES, April 12 -- In a referendum conducted by the Los Angeles teachers union, teachers narrowly supported bilingual education, voting 52% to 48% against the initiative sponsored by Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz. Though all share the goal of teaching children to read and write, teachers also draw their opinions from deeply personal experience. Some are influenced by their own upbringing. Others see inequities in pay and employee rights. And many have formed conclusions by witnessing success or failure in the classroom. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, April 10 -- After months of deliberation, Mayor Richard Riordan on Thursday endorsed the campaign to end California's system of bilingual education, which he described as a well-intended experiment overtaken by special interests and now badly failing the state's children. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, April 9 -- The state Board of Education, which last month took itself out of the business of regulating bilingual instruction in California public schools, Wednesday reaffirmed that stance, advising school boards to devise their own programs as long as they are based on "sound educational theory." On a voice vote without dissent, the board adopted a nonbinding advisory policy aimed at assuring literacy in English for approximately 1.4 million schoolchildren whose English proficiency is limited. The new policy does not suggest how local school districts should go about meeting the English literacy recommendations. This reflects the board's decision in March to abandon its direct role in bilingual education and, instead, give local districts greater authority to make education decisions based on local needs. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, April 9 -- In an ironic twist, Spanish-language ads on radio, and perhaps television, will be used for an initiative on the June 2 ballot that would eliminate most bilingual education programs, sharply reducing the use of Spanish in California classrooms. "That is probably where the main focus of our paid media effort will be," said Ron Unz, a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur who tried to wrest the Republican nomination for governor from Pete Wilson in 1994. (San Diego Union Tribune)

LOS ANGELES, April 5 -- This is ground zero of the latest hot-button initiative to confront Californians: a roomful of chattering children ruled by a no-nonsense Episcopal priest on the urine-scented fringe of Los Angeles' skid row. It is here, in Alice Callaghan's storefront center for garment workers' families, that she and a group of Latino parents launched a rebellion against bilingual education, inspiring software millionaire Ron K. Unz to craft the June ballot proposal that would all but eliminate such instruction from the state's public schools. At first blush, Las Familias del Pueblo appears a curious spawning ground for Proposition 227. (Los Angeles Times)

WASHINGTON, April 3 -- Wading into the state's debate over bilingual instruction, a White House commission on Latino education plans to declare its opposition today to Proposition 227 at a meeting in Claremont designed to underscore the national stakes of the June 2 vote. If passed, the anti-bilingual-education initiative "would force California schools to enroll all children with native languages other than English in a mandated, and untested, one-year English immersion program," reads a resolution expected to be approved by the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. "Experience and research indicate that no one approach is the answer for all children," the statement adds. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, April 2 -- A key Assembly panel on Wednesday approved a bill creating minimum standards for bilingual education in California in a move by Democrats to head off a June ballot measure that would largely eliminate the current system. The measure, SB 6, would give local districts the power to fashion their own bilingual education programs, with the state serving as a monitor of districts' performance. "We leave this up to the local control of school boards, of communities, of parents," said the bill's author, state Sen. Deirdre Alpert, D-Coronado. The measure passed by an 11-5 vote in the 21-member Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it had been stuck since last summer after winning passage in the Senate. It now moves to the Assembly floor. Gov. Pete Wilson has not yet taken a position on the bill. (Sacramento Bee)

SACRAMENTO, April 2 --Budged by a looming ballot measure that would virtually dismantle bilingual education, state lawmakers Wednesday began pushing anew a more moderate bill that would give school districts leeway to decide how best to teach children not fluent in English. Ending months of squabbling among Democrats over details of the legislation, the Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 11 to 5 to send the measure, SB 6 by state Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado), to the Assembly floor later this month. (Los Angeles Times)

SANTA ROSA, CALIF. April 1 -- Proposition 227 author Ron Unz came to Santa Rosa on Tuesday and debated a roomful of his staunchest opponents -- teachers and parents from the very bilingual education programs his initiative might dismantle June 2. From the protest signs planted in the lawn out front to the crowd of 300 inside that buttonholed him after a two-hour debate, Unz met plenty of resistance to his plan to replace bilingual education with English-only classrooms in California. (The Press Democrat)

SANTA ROSA, Calif. March 30 -- In a portable classroom on the campus of Sheppard School in Roseland, there's something going on that voters may outlaw June 2. Anna Solano, the teacher of this group of fifth- and sixth-graders, is speaking Spanish. There's English, too, but Spanish is the native language of all but two of her 31 students, some of whom have been in this country less than a year. While they understand enough English to get by on the playground, Solano needs to use Spanish to explain the math, science and literature concepts that these kids will need next year in middle school. But Solano's teaching methods -- and the methods of teachers of nearly 1.4 million of the state's schoolchildren -- are under fire. In June, Californians who vote on Proposition 227 will decide whether it's better to teach kids academics using their native language or to require them to learn to speak English before moving on with their other studies. (The Press Democrat)

SAN FRANCISCO, March 29 -- Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about bilingual education -- if not several. Polls on California's anti-bilingual Proposition 227 have been contradictory. That's because they have posed simplistic questions about a complex issue. Ask whether schools should provide intensive English classes for immigrant children, and you'll get overwhelming agreement. That's how the Los Angeles Times Poll last October characterized the English-only ballot measure. Not surprisingly, the Times found 80 percent support among registered voters statewide; 84 percent among Latinos. But ask whether native-language instruction should be used to help children keep up in school while they are learning English, and people like that idea, too. A Times poll in November reported that 60 percent of Los Angeles County voters approved of bilingual education, while 37 percent were opposed. (Hispanic Link News Service)

En español -- La iniciativa Anti-Bilingue: confusa en cualquier idioma

COLLEGE PARK, MD., March 29 -- In the debate over Proposition 227, the Ron Unz initiative that would, in effect, end bilingual education in California, "scientific" studies play a prominent role. Both opponents and proponents of the measure have built their own arsenal of academic studies purporting to prove why their side is "right" about the effectiveness of bilingual education. Typically, these studies focus on two questions: Do bilingual-education programs improve the English proficiency of limited-English-speaking students in a timely fashion? And do they enhance these students' academic performance? (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, March 28 -- Here is cause for a double take: At least two out of three voters say they favor a June ballot initiative to end bilingual education, but not one of the major candidates for governor--Democrat or Republican--supports it. Don't they care what voters want? Usually such popular measures have little trouble winning endorsements from candidates eager to boost their campaigns. This time, however, it appears that many consider Proposition 227 to be the latest sequel in California's election-year battles over race relations. Candidates are being warned that the issue could be politically dangerous, observers say. (Los Angeles Times)

WASHINGTON, March 24 -- House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, is working on legislation that would remove the federal mandate on bilingual education, leaving it up to the states to decide if they want to continue funding such programs. The draft measure, according to members who have seen it, or have talked to DeLay about the controversial proposal, is modeled after California's Proposition 227, the June initiative in which Californians will vote on whether to continue the state's bilingual programs. (Houston Chronicle)

DANA POINT, Calif., March 23 -- Education groups have lined up en masse to denounce what they call a dangerous, unproven experiment and the strongest threat in a generation to a controversial system of language instruction. Initiative proponents say it is bilingual education that has been the failed experiment. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, March 20 -- The strong support for Proposition 227, which would sharply reduce bilingual education in California schools, has grown in the past month, according to a Field Poll released yesterday. The survey said 70 percent of likely voters would back the measure on the June 2 ballot, 20 percent would oppose it and 10 percent had no opinion. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 -- Even as California voters puzzle over whether to ax bilingual education from public schools or let districts decide for themselves, most voters wonder about an even bigger question -- just what is bilingual education? (San Francisco Chronicle)

SAN FRANCISCO, March, 17 -- Bilingual education has few more enthusiastic supporters than President Clinton. Yet despite months of intensive lobbying from bilingual advocates, he has yet to publicly oppose the controversial California initiative that would dismantle bilingual education programs across the state. His silence reflects an intense debate within the White House on how best to respond to the initiative, which polls suggest is headed for victory on the June ballot. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SACRAMENTO, March 15 -- Opposing points of view illustrate the divided opinion now emerging among Latino voters over the English-immersion mandate proposed by Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz. (Sacramento Bee)

LOS ANGELES, March 14 -- Far from ending bilingual education, the State Board of Education's decision to loosen the rules on teaching children with limited English skills has hardened battle lines that have formed over an issue headed for a statewide vote in June. Educators were split Friday on the board's decision the previous day to give local school districts more freedom to decide whether they want to offer bilingual instruction. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, March 14 -- The state Board of Education's decision to let school districts teach immigrant children only in English is expected to profoundly change the debate over Proposition 227, a June ballot measure that would ban bilingual instruction altogether. Until the board's decision Thursday, the bilingual controversy centered on how best to teach children who speak little English. Now, with the state's 1,000 school districts allowed to make their own bilingual education choices, the debate moves into the contentious realm of local versus state control. The earlier focus was crystal clear for voters, who have overwhelmingly backed the measure in polls. But with that issue deflated, the big question for both sides is whether public support for Proposition 227 will start to erode. (San Francisco Chronicle)

VENTURA, March 14 -- Despite a move to make it easier for school districts to scrap bilingual education programs, Ventura County educators said Friday they are unlikely to accept that offer, arguing that native-language instruction is still the best way to teach students who struggle with English. (Los Angeles Times)

CALEXICO, CALIF., March 13 -- At first glance, this border town of 22,000 has all the makings for social and educational disaster: high gang activity, high drug and alcohol abuse, 25 to 30 percent unemployment, and low income - only $12,000 per family, on average. But because of innovative policies set in motion nearly 30 years ago, the small district's 11 public schools have become a national model of success in bilingual education - sending 93 percent of a recent high school class to college. Now, with countrywide debate swirling over moves to ditch bilingual programs and immerse students in English only - fueled, in part, by a California ballot initiative - Calexico's long-term success has moved to the front of the debate. (The Christian Science Monitor)

SACRAMENTO, March 13 -- Long-standing policies requiring bilingual education were rescinded Thursday by the state Board of Education, giving local districts the power to decide how best to educate their limited-English-proficient students. The unexpected action means districts statewide will be able to alter their programs for English learners, and even institute English-only programs, without previously required waivers from the state board. (Sacramento Bee)

SACRAMENTO, March 13 --The State Board of Education endorsed a major overhaul of California's bilingual education rules Thursday, telling school districts they will no longer be required to petition Sacramento for permission to scrap native-language instruction in favor of English-intensive methods. (Los Angeles Times)

WASHINGTON, March 11 -- Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa said Tuesday that he expects the Clinton administration to publicly oppose Proposition 227, the June ballot initiative that would virtually eliminate bilingual education in California. Villaraigosa, who was in Washington with several other California legislators on their annual trip to the nation's capital, said he has not received a commitment from administration officials. But President Clinton's view of bilingual education "is similar to my own, and that is, 'mend it, don't end it,' " said Villaraigosa, D-Los Angeles. "It is ludicrous to throw the baby out with the bath water." (Sacramento Bee)

LA HABRA, Calif. March 10 -- The effects of an impending ballot question that could drastically alter California's bilingual education programs are likely to be felt far beyond the state's borders. The battle here is being carefully watched by educators and politicians across the country. In essence, voters will decide whether to end an era of pedagogy first ushered into the state's school houses in 1967 when Gov. Ronald Reagan signed a bill eliminating the state's English-only instructional mandate and allowing bilingual education. In its place, the proposed initiative calls for a one-year intensive English language course that many fear is a return to a past when children were sometimes punished for speaking Spanish, but others say is a return to sanity. (New York Times)

March 9 -- Deep in the innards of California's Proposition 227, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz's "English for the Children" initiative to abolish much of what goes by the name of bilingual education, is a $500-million handout to schools and "community organizations" for adult English literacy. This money, distributed over 10 years, would be administered by the state's education establishment -- the same people who brought California so many bilingual programs that Prop. 227 means to abolish. (The National Review)

DALLAS, March 4 -- The California ballot initiative that could virtually dismantle bilingual education in the state's public schools came under the spotlight last week at the annual meeting of the National Association for Bilingual Education. In a news conference held here late last week, a coalition of more than 20 of some of the nation's largest Hispanic groups denounced the initiative, now known as Proposition 227, saying it "represents a giant step backwards in the Hispanic community's continuing quest for educational equity and excellence." (Education Week)

LOS ANGELES, March 2 -- As the debate over bilingual education bounds toward a spring ballot initiative, two studies scheduled to be released today land on the side of teaching children in their native language first, then gradually switching to English. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, February 26 -- Anti-bilingual education proponent Ron Unz suggests if a pending state Senate bill purporting to reform bilingual education becomes law, it could ignite ethnic tensions in California for years to come. (Los Angeles Times)

ORANGE COUNTY, February 24 -- On the battle over the future of bilingual education in California, soundbites reign supreme. Software developer and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz dismisses criticisms of his anti-bilingual-education ballot measure as "complete nonsense" from "a few of these fringe people." His opponents have dubbed the measure "Unz-American." But while these pithy phrases are played up in the press, a very different war is taking shape on the Internet, one dependent less on snappy rejoinders than on measured debate. (Orange County Weekly)

LOS ANGELES, February 24 -- Three propositions on the June ballot are barreling at California's education establishment, each with strong voter support and potentially profound consequences for the state's public school system, the largest in the nation. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, January/February -- Once again, California stands on the verge of a xenophobic tantrum. The outburst du jour: a special ballot initiative scheduled for June to ban bilingual education. Like its predecessors on the state's list of measures affecting minority populations, the initiative, mostly aimed at Latinos (California's largest immigrant group), will likely morph into an electoral shriek. (Mother Jones)

ORAGNE COUNTY, February 18 -- An Orange County, Calif., teacher who is the co-sponsor of a controversial initiative that would sharply curtail bilingual education programs in California public schools is running for state superintendent of public instruction. (Education Week)

FULLERTON, February 14 -- Grass-roots leader stirs Fullerton barrio into action against the Unz initiative. The initiative would eliminate bilingual education and replace it with one year of "sheltered English," where students are taught in English with limited help in Spanish. (The Orange County Register)

LOS ANGELES, February 13 -- Conflicting responses on bilingual education reflect the many definitions of 'Latino' in questions and answers. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, February 11. Gloria Matta Tuchman, the Santa Ana teacher co-chairing the anti-bilingual "English for the Children" initiative, announced Tuesday that she will run for state superintendent of public instruction. Tuchman, a 56-year-old Republican, will face incumbent Delaine Eastin, a Democrat, in the June primary. (Sacramento Bee)

LOS ANGELES, February 11 -- "Children in bilingual education are being taught all day in Spanish. They will never learn English that way!" "More than 1.3 million children in California are in bilingual education." "Bilingual education costs the taxpayers billions each year." Statements like these fuel a new initiative that Californians will vote on in June. It is based on a great deal of misinformation about bilingual education. While solid research supports bilingual education, many misconceptions, such as those above, persist. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, February 10. Most Latino parents believe bilingual programs are good for their children and give generally high marks to the overall quality of education in the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to a new poll commissioned by the newspaper La Opinion and a Los Angeles television station. But the survey, released Monday, yielded somewhat mixed views on an upcoming ballot question on bilingual education, with 49 percent of respondents saying they would oppose the English for the Children Initiative and 43 percent favoring it. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, February 10 -- Both supporters and opponents of California's English for the Children Initiative--the controversial proposal that would virtually eliminate bilingual education for the state's 1.38 million limited-English students--asked the California State Board of Education on Monday to take a position on the proposal, which will appear on the June ballot. (The Sacramento Bee)

SAN JOSE, February 9 -- After months of fending off attacks from the political left, Ron Unz's campaign to rid the state of most bilingual education is now taking hits from the opposite end of the political spectrum. (San Jose Mercury News)

SAN JOSE, February 6 -- Bilingual teachers vow war on an initiative that would change instruction of non-English speakers. They say the public doesn't understand their classroom methods or what's at stake in vote. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, January 26 -- Year in, year out, for a decade running, California lawmakers have tried to produce new standards for bilingual education in the state's classrooms. Now, state legislators are at it again, taking a last stab at reform before the California electorate does the job for them. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, January 26 -- Santa Barbara, the soap-opera resort by the sea, is no cauldron of ethnic conflict. Founded by Spanish friars in the 18th century, it has evolved into a complacent retirement community where Latinos, a third of the population, work mostly in low-wage jobs, waiting tables and tending lawns. They rarely challenge the Anglo establishment. But last week, as the school board was preparing to scrap the city's 25 year-old bilingual-education program, 400 Latino families called a three-day strike, boycotting schools and setting up an alternative academy in a community center. (CNN/Time)

WASHINGTON, 25 de enero de 1998 -- Los opositores de una iniciativa que pondría fin eficazmente a los programas de enseñanza bilingue en California están llegando a sentirse cada vez más optimistas de que la medida puede ser derrotada en junio próximo, a pesar de las encuestas recientes que muestran que tiene un apoyo sólido. (LatinoLink)

WASHINGTON, January 25 -- Opponents of an initiative that would effectively end bilingual education programs in California are growing increasingly optimistic that the measure can be defeated next June despite recent polls showing it has strong support. (LatinoLink)

PALO ALTO, January 21 -- About 100 protesters, mostly immigrants and their supporters, marched yesterday outside the Palo Alto office of Ron Unz, loudly opposing the Silicon Valley executive's support for the ballot campaign against bilingual education. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SACRAMENTO, January 19 -- The way Ron Unz tells it, the "direct inspiration" for his proposed ballot initiative to dismantle bilingual education in California public schools was a 1996 boycott of a Los Angeles elementary school by a group of angry immigrant Latino parents. But four years ago, during his failed bid against Gov. Pete Wilson for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, the Silicon Valley software entrepreneur already had bilingual education in his cross hairs. (Sacramento Bee)

LOS ANGELES, January 17 -- The state PTA on Friday joined a growing list of education groups opposed to a proposition on California's June ballot that seeks to end most bilingual teaching in public schools. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, January 17 -- A proposal by San Jose Assemblyman Mike Honda to ward off state attempts to dictate teaching methods in California schools suffered a major setback Friday and may be dead. (San Jose Mercury News)

SANTA BARBARA, January 16 -- Driven by dissatisfaction with the faltering academic achievement of Latino students, the school board has become the fifth in California to seek to officially scrap its bilingual program in favor of one stressing lessons in English. The board's unanimous vote came late Wednesday, at a raucous five-hour meeting that drew more than 600 parents, teachers and students and 110 speakers, the vast majority of whom objected to the decision. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, January 14 -- Local grass-roots groups fighting an initiative that virtually would abolish bilingual education don't have nearly as much money as their opponents, but they hope to make up for it with manpower and the force of their reason. (San Francisco Examiner)

WASHINGTON, January 14 -- As expected, a nationally watched initiative that could virtually eliminate bilingual education in California public schools will go before state voters in June. The secretary of state's office on Dec. 23 certified that leaders of the English for the Children initiative had submitted more than the 433,269 valid signatures required to qualify for the June 2 ballot. (Education Week)

SANTA ANA, January 14 -- California Teacher and co-author of the anti-bilingual education initiative Gloria Matta Tuchman says bilingual education has failed thousands of California's children. (Education Week)

SACRAMENTO, January 8 -- In a move designed to blunt an anti-bilingual education measure on the June ballot, a San Jose lawmaker has drafted a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar the state from dictating uniform methods of teaching. (Sacramento Bee)

ANAHEIM, January 4 -- Protesting a ballot measure that would virtually ban bilingual education, about 100 people demonstrated Saturday, saying such instruction helps children better learn English and their native languages. (Los Angeles Times)

MIAMI, December 27 -- An initiative seeking to dismantle bilingual education has qualified for a vote in California next June, state elections officials announced, clearing the way for a campaign likely to generate national debate. (Miami Herald)

SAN FRANCISCO, December 24 -- Opponents of bilingual education received an early holiday gift yesterday when their measure requiring English-only classroom instruction qualified for the June ballot weeks sooner than expected. (San Francisco Chronicle)

LOS ANGELES, December 24 -- An initiative seeking to essentially dismantle bilingual education has qualified for a state vote in June, California elections officials announced Tuesday, clearing the way for a campaign likely to generate national debate. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, December 17 -- Not all students get, outside of school, the three things that good bilingual programs provide: help with school subjects in the native language, quality English instruction and literacy development in the native tongue so that reading and writing is easier in the new language. Unless these students get bilingual education through school, they are unlikely to learn well and succeed in school. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, December 9 -- A proposed ballot initiative to dramatically shrink California's bilingual education program enjoys wide support among voters of all parties and ethnic groups, a new Field Poll reports. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SACRAMENTO, December 5 -- The fate of bilingual education in California was the subject of a spirited, gloves-off debate Thursday about the English for the Children Initiative headed for the June ballot. There was plenty of name-calling before the standing-room-only crowd in the California State University, Sacramento, student union -- with initiative supporters labeled "right-wing extremists" by their opponents, whom they characterized as "educrats." (Sacramento Bee)

ANAHEIM, December 5 -- A convention of California school board members approved a resolution Thursday opposing a prospective ballot initiative that would require all schools to teach only in English. The California School Boards Association, holding its annual convention with more than 2,000 delegates here this week, opposes the initiative called English for the Children because it would deprive districts of local control, association President Juanita Haugen said. (Orange County Register)

LOS ANGELES, December 3 -- California's bilingual education debate landed Tuesday in Los Angeles' school board chambers and it sounded like this: Hours of testimonials from researchers, educators, students and parents on the virtues of two-language teaching followed by one man in a business suit who said it's all a failure. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, December 3, 1997 -- A proposed statewide initiative that would dismantle much of bilingual education was attacked and its author repeatedly was jeered during a state Senate committee hearing in Los Angeles. (Latino Link/Los Angeles Daily News)

LOS ANGELES, December 2 -- Members of the Los Angeles teachers union have voted to uphold the group's support of bilingual education. In balloting 52.2% of the teachers who voted opposed a referendum that would have thrown the support of United Teachers-Los Angeles to the statewide initiative by businessman Ron Unz, which would end bilingual education.

LOS ANGELES, November 30 -- Although Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz's "English for the Children" initiative has not yet qualified for the June 1998 ballot, it has already altered the future of bilingual education and the politics that long have surrounded it. Now that early polls indicate that voters, particularly Latinos, favor the proposal, many state Latino legislators are considering whether to introduce legislation of their own "to fix" bilingual education. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, November 26 -- The powerful California Teachers Assn. joined with a coalition of education groups to denounce a June ballot proposal that seeks to dismantle bilingual education in the state. State education groups called the planned initiative an extremist measure that will end up hurting California's 1.4 million students who speak little or no English. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, November 24 --First, California voters did away with benefits to illegal immigrants. Then they got rid of affirmative action. Now, in what is rapidly emerging as the brand-name ballot issue for 1998, bilingual education may meet its end.. U.S. News coverage of the controversial anti-bilingual education initiative in California. Citizens Toolbox on Bilingual Education includes many links to resources covering the debate and The Body Politic provides a readers forum to discuss the issue.

SACRAMENTO, November 23 -- Opponents of a proposed ballot initiative that would largely eliminate bilingual education in California's public schools say they believe the measure, in the words of their campaign consultant, has "a few flaws that would be fun to bring to the light of day." On Tuesday, opponents of the proposed initiative, sponsored by Republican millionaire businessman Ron Unz, are scheduled to launch their campaign with a news conference in Sacramento. But until now, as one observer said, bilingual education advocates mostly have been "curiously" quiet in the debate over the self-titled "English for the Children" initiative. (Sacramento Bee)

VENTURA, November 23 -- Ventura County educators and activists are launching a campaign against a statewide initiative aimed at dismantling bilingual education, saying the effort is fueled by misinformation and could harm the county's 25,000 limited English speaking students. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO, November 14 -- A wealthy Silicon Valley software executive who has led a campaign to place an anti-bilingual education measure on the June ballot said yesterday that he has submitted more than 700,000 signatures -- well beyond the 433,269 required to qualify. Opponents compare the plan to Propositions 187 and 209 -- which ended many services to illegal immigrants and ruled out granting of preferences in education, hiring and contracts -- saying the end of bilingual education would complete an election-year trilogy of systemic attacks on immigrants and nonwhites. (San Francisco Chronicle)

LOS ANGELES, November 14--Aiming for a showdown vote in June, critics of bilingual education on Thursday turned in the first batch of voter signatures needed for a statewide measure that would require all-English instruction in classrooms. (Los Angeles Times)

SAN JOSE, November 13 -- A campaign to eliminate bilingual education in California surged forward Thursday as Palo Alto businessman Ron Unz began submitting the signatures needed to qualify his ``English for the Children'' initiative for the June 1998 ballot. (San Jose Mercury News)

ORANGE COUNTY, November 11 -- That Orange Unified School District's election victory should give liberals, educators and proponents of bilingual education throughout California a panic attack: in eight months, the state's voters will decide the fate of the saccharine sounding English for the Children initiative, a proposition sponsored by Silicon Valley computer magnate Ron Unz. That measure promises to do for bilingual education across the state what Prop. 209 did for affirmative action. By Will Swaim, (OC Weekly)

WESTMINSTER, Calif. November 9 -- Each day, just before classes begin, the yard outside Finley Elementary School fills with laughter and chatter in three languages. A mother gives last-minute instructions to her son in Vietnamese. A group of Mexican boys catches up on the gossip in Spanish. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

LOS ANGELES, November 9 -- Billionaire businessman Ron Unz took his campaign to virtually end bilingual education in California into hostile territory Saturday when he appeared at a community forum in the Pico-Union district on Latino issues. Unz was officially scheduled to debate a staff attorney from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund on the merits of an initiative the entrepreneur is seeking to put on the June ballot to replace bilingual education with a one-year English immersion program for young students. But at times it seemed he was debating the entire audience.

ORANGE, November 6 --At first blush, results from the Orange Unified School District election seem a resounding endorsement of the budding "back to basics" movement in local school politics and a rebuke of teachers unions. Undoubtedly that is part of the story in Orange County, where education conservatives have made significant electoral gains in recent years. But analysts said Wednesday that a key factor pushing conservative candidates over the top in four close races may have been an advisory measure on bilingual education. (Los Angeles Times)

SANTA CLARA VALLEY, CA November 6 --Who is Ron Unz ,and why is he saying these terrible things about bilingual education? Ron Unz says he launched his crusade against bilingual education to help immigrants, even though it would destroy exemplary local programs. (Metro Publishing Inc.)

SACRAMENTO, November 2 --As legislators use anecdotes to argue a ballot measure that would change the way English is taught in California schools, a personal grudge keeps the governor from lending his support. (San Franciso Chronicle)

ORANGE, October, 31 -- Parents from very different backgrounds have united to condemn "English for Children," a proposed California ballot initiative that would require virtually all public school instruction to be in English. Parents who want their children exposed to Spanish in the classroom, whether as a first or second language, would be forced to apply for a waiver, which initiative opponents say would be difficult to get. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, October 29 -- California's largest teachers organization came out Tuesday against an initiative proposed by a Silicon Valley businessman and an Orange County schoolteacher to dismantle bilingual education. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, October 26 -- The proposed initiative banning bilingual education rests on a dangerously simplistic interpretation of America's melting pot past. The best thing that could happen to the bilingual debate would be to depoliticize it. Unfortunately, the proposed initiative threatens to do just the opposite suggests this commentary. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, October 26 -- Editorial suggesting that well-planned and implemented bilingual education programs work, while others fail to teach English well. . .Therefore, reject the Unz initiative, but for the sake of youngsters a 3-year limit should be sought. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, October 23 -- Seared in Assemblywoman Martha Escutia's memory are the cruel taunts she endured as a fourth-grader at Rowan Avenue Elementary School in East L.A. She and the other Latino legislators still believe there's a place for bilingual education in California schools, although many are sharply critical of the present system. (Los Angeles Times)

BERKELEY, October 22 -- Facing a hostile, hissing audience at the University of California at Berkeley during a debate over bilingual education at the university's Boalt Hall School of Law, leaders of a campaign to wipe out bilingual education attacked the statewide program as a ``dismal failure'' that keeps Latinos down. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SACRAMENTO, October 19 -- Geeky, white, Republican, conservative and tremendously wealthy, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz knows he's exactly the wrong type of person to be the public face for his new initiative to banish bilingual education. (San Francisco Chronicle)

LOS ANGELES, October 16 -- Californians may strongly oppose the state's system of bilingual education. But the consensus quickly unravels over how it should be fixed--and whether voters should even try. (Los Angeles Times)

October 15 -- In what would be the latest in a series of emotionally charged ballot measures in California, an initiative that would severely curtail bilingual education in the state's public schools seems almost certain to go before voters in June. Article provedes opportunity to exchange views in "on-line" Town Meeting on bilingual education. (Education Week)

LOS ANGELES, October 15 -- The Times Poll suggests that opponents of bilingual education enjoy overwhelming support in a brewing ballot fight that has sparked early skirmishing in the 1998 campaign, with strong backing among California voters of all races, ethnicities and political persuasions. (Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO, October 9 -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darrell Issa is diving into the debate over bilingual education with a radio ad endorsing a proposed ballot initiative to effectively end instruction of California public school children in languages other than English. (Sacramento Bee)

LOS ANGELES, October 8 -- A skid row community center was yanked from a USC language acquisition research project Tuesday, in part because of the center's involvement in the campaign to qualify an anti-bilingual initiative for the June ballot. (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, October 6 -- A campaign is under way to place an initiative on the June ballot that would impose English-only instruction in all public schools. It would cap a long simmering opposition by bilingual education critics to the state's 25-year preference for teaching non-English speakers in their native languages. (Los Angeles Daily News)

SACRAMENTO, October 5 -- With the initiative fast gaining the signatures needed to be placed on the ballot, it appears California voters will decide the best method to educate the state's 1.38 million students who can't speak English fluently -- a quarter of the total kindergarten through 12th-grade population. They will find no easy answers in an arena plagued by decades of politicized and emotional debate, from academia to the state Legislature -- where politicians have been unable to pass bilingual reforms since the original law expired 10 years ago. (Sacramento Bee)

ANAHEIM, September 29 -- California Republicans peered into their future Sunday, endorsing a controversial ballot proposal that would virtually end bilingual education and getting their first glimpse at a handful of potential presidential candidates. (Los Angeles Times)

WASHINGTON, September 15 -- If approved by California voters, the Unz initiative would require the placement of all public school pupils in "English language classrooms." The state's 1.3 million limited-English-proficient (LEP) students would "be educated through sheltered English immersion during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one year." The Unz initiative campaign doubly debases democracy. It is a campaign based on deception, and the initiative's objective is the denial of fundamental rights. (National Association for Bilingual Education Newsletter)



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