Two years after voters all but banished bilingual education,
students who speak little or no English scored better on the
state's high-stakes standardized test, but the improvement was
most dramatic in lower elementary grades and mathematics.
The increases garnered by the one in four California pupils
who are still learning English paralleled those of their fluent
peers, but the marks mostly hovered in the bottom third
nationwide. Their release reignited the debate over whether
immigrant children learn best when immersed in English…
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz, father of 1998's anti-
bilingual education Proposition 227, trumpeted the results as
proof that teaching students in English from Day One is best.
(Mercury News, 2000, August 15)
Several national newspapers including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times told similar stories in the days following the release of California's SAT 9 scores. A headline on the front page of The New York Times read, [Increase in Test Scores Counters Dire Forecasts of Bilingual Ban] (The New York Times, 2000, August 20). Bilingual education has taken a front-and-center position in national discourse. As the excerpt from the Mercury News indicates, the examination of the influence of Proposition 227 has focused on rising test scores.