Bilingual Education Targeted for Ballot: California Voters May Get Referendum

By Billingsley, K. L. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 16, 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Bilingual Education Targeted for Ballot: California Voters May Get Referendum


Billingsley, K. L., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


LOS ANGELES - After having their say on affirmative action and benefits for undocumented immigrants, Californians will become the first in the nation to vote on another contentious issue, bilingual education, if a new initiative qualifies for the ballot.

The English Language Education for Immigrant Children Initiative mandates that all children in California public schools shall be taught in English and placed in English-language classrooms.

Parents who wish to place their children in bilingual classes would have to make a special request, a reversal of the current system.

The initiative's supporters hope to qualify it for the June 1998 primary-election ballot with the signatures of 1 million registered voters.

"Some issues are liberal versus conservative. This is sanity versus insanity," said the measure's author, Ron Unz, a San Francisco Bay Area software entrepreneur who ran for governor in 1994 as a Republican.

Last year, Mr. Unz met with Latino parents in Los Angeles who were protesting bilingual policies that kept their children in Spanish-language classes. With various bilingual measures stalled in the legislature, Mr. Unz decided on a ballot initiative.

More than 1,200,000 California students, 23 percent of the state total, are classified as not proficient in English. Mr. Unz charges that each year only 5 percent of these students gain English proficiency. "The system has an annual failure rate of 95 percent," he said.

"[Bilingualism] has failed a whole generation of Hispanic children," said Gloria Matta Tuchman, an Orange County elementary school teacher of Mexican-American background and co-author of the initiative. "Dropout rates are phenomenal."

The ballot initiative states students "shall be taught English by being taught in English," it says.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Bilingual Education Targeted for Ballot: California Voters May Get Referendum
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?