Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, July 16, 1997

Letter to the Editor

Re "Campaign Targets Bilingual Education," July 9:
     It is good that Ron Unz and Gloria Matta Tuchman want parents to get their wish in which educational program they choose for their children. But the verbiage is too extreme and ethnocentric. Only when parents truly understand the intent of bilingual education can they make an informed choice. I've taught for 14 years in a bilingual classroom, and only twice have I seen at my school site any comprehensive meeting to inform parents of what each educational program offers their children and the proven research that validates bilingual education, as well as other programs.
     Every year at parent conference time I make it a point to tell my parents the reasons their children are in a bilingual program. They want to know, and deserve to know. You see, I believe in it. I see it benefit the children academically. The bottom line is to see that children transition into English.
     I'm not saying bilingual education is a panacea. I do readily acknowledge the need to retool some of the program, but to outright abolish it is a throwback to the dark ages.
     West Hollywood