Issues in U.S. Language Policy

Unz Initiative Editorials

1998 News Archive


  • Reform's Last Stand Another plea for Sen. Alpert's compromise bill on bilingual education.
    Sacramento Bee, 1 April 1998
  • 'Sink or Swim' Prop 227 Hurts Kids, by Lucy Tse Why abandon bilingual education, a program that has proven effective in teaching English and promoting long-term academic success?
    San Francisco Chronicle, 6 April 1998
  • A Crude Way to Teach Asian Pacific Americans English, by Victoria Lee-Jerrems and Ellen Wu Prop. 227, with its "simple-minded notions of how best to learn English," would deny many children an equal chance to succed, not to mention the opportunity to become bilingual.
    Los Angeles Times, 19 April 1998
  • I Lost a Big Part of My Identity, by Marta Morales Bilingual teacher recalls painful memories of "sink or swim," the approach Unz would revive.
    San Jose Mercury News, 19 April 1998
  • Status Quo Is No Go California schools are failing English language learners, "especially students from poorly educated Spanish-speaking families." But it's not clear that bilingual education is to blame or that Prop. 227 is the solution.
    San Jose Mercury News, 19 April 1998
  • Proposition 227 Takes Away Local Control Top-down English-only mandate would be "a giant step backward" for schools in a diverse state.
    Oakland Tribune, 19 April 1998
  • Hasten the Transition Local control, exemplified by San Diego's bilingual education plan, "makes far more sense than" top-down mandate of Prop. 227.
    San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 April 1998
  • Democracy and Bilingual Education, by Jill Kerper Mora Using the initiative process to restrict minority languages would impose a tyranny of the majority that could poison ethnic relations.
    San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 April 1998
  • A Bilingual Bill at Last Sen. Alpert's compromise measure is "educationally sound," but may be politically "too little, too late" to stop Unz.
    Los Angeles Times, 22 April 1998
  • Bilingual Alternative: At last, a Reasonable Middle Ground in Education Debate New legislation would give voters a clear choice: the "moderate approach of local autonomy" vs. the "radical, inflexible approach" of Prop. 227.
    Sacramento Bee, 22 April 1998
  • A Good Bilingual Alternative Alpert bill would hold schools accountable "far superior" to Unz's "meat-axe" approach, which would prevent them from fixing failed programs.
    San Francisco Chronicle, 23 April 1998
  • View from London on 227, by Stuart Scott European educator refutes Unz claim that "other countries don't do bilingual education."
    San Francisco Chronicle, 24 April 1998
  • Letters to the Editor, by Stephen Krashen and others
    Los Angeles Times, 26 April 1998
  • No on 227: Anti-Bilingual Measure Promises Bureaucratic Chaos Unz would create a nightmare for the schools.
    San Francisco Examiner, 26 April 1998
  • A Reasonable Solution: Leave Bilingual Education to School Districts "Like most blunt instruments, [Prop. 227] could prove cumbersome and costly."
    San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 April 1998
  • Clinton Takes Stand Against Prop. 227 "The president's participation should help raise the public's attention level on this critical education-policy issue."
    San Francisco Chronicle, 28 April 1998
  • No on 227: Too Broad, Too Inflexible, by David Bacon Unz would bring back language-based discrimination in the schools.
    San Francisco Examiner, 28 April 1998
  • Immigrants Want to Learn English - and Keep Their Mother Tongue, by Thai Nguyen-Khoa Prop. 227 fueled by fear of diversity.
    San Francisco Examiner, 30 April 1998
  • A Cramped Approach to Bilingualism "The status quo in many California schools is certainly depressing. But replacing bad programs with a plan to destroy good programs makes no sense. Proposition 227 will help voters vent their frustrations but will not help California's 1.3 million bilingual students enter the mainstream any quicker."
    New York Times, 30 April 1998


  • Parents for Bilingualism, by Jean Gary Testimonial by an English-speaking parent whose daughter's Spanish immersion program would be banned by Unz, urging voters to "read the fine print" of Proposition 227.
    San Francisco Examiner, 5 March 1998
  • Language Barrier, by Peter Schrag Passage of the Unz initiative won't settle the political or pedagogical debates over bilingual education.
    The New Republic, 9 March 1998
  • $500 Million to the Left Right-wing critics of Unz denounce Prop. 227 provision to appropriate $50 million annually for adult English instruction.
    National Review, 9 March 1998
  • Our Monolingual Nativists, by Ken Gallegos If bilingual programs are outlawed, educators must consider civil disobedience, a principal argues.
    San Francisco Examiner, 12 March 1998
  • Local Schools Need Room for Innovation One-size-fits-all Prop. 227 "illustrates the danger of state mandates."
    San Francisco Chronicle, 22 March 1998
  • Language Is a Bridge to Culture, by Adela De La Torre There's more at stake in the Unz initiative than the best way to teach English.
    Los Angeles Times, 22 March 1998
  • No Reason To Fear a Multilingual Society Study on immigrant preference for English shows Prop. 227 is based on groundless fears.
    San Francisco Examiner, 27 March 1998
  • Anti-Bilingual Initiative: Confusing in Any Language, by James Crawford, Stephen Krashen, and Haeyoung Kim A new poll, conducted by the University of California School of Education, shows that when prospective voters are read the fine print of Prop. 227, approval rates plummet.
    Hispanic Link News Service, 29 March 1998
  • A Better Alternative To Bilingual Reform Alpert's compromise bill, scheduled for Assembly committee action on April 1, deserves a chance.
    San Francisco Chronicle, 30 March 1998


  • Do the Right Thing: Schools Need Flexible Bilingual Programs Retaining choices for parents and local school boards would be "far more responsible" than Unz's "one-size-fits-all approach."
    San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 February 1998
  • Test Question No. 1: Define Bilingual Education, by Yvonne Freeman, David Freeman Unz initiative is fueled by misinformation.
    Los Angeles Times, 11 February 1998
  • Take High Road in Bilingual Debate, by Frank Del Olmo Columnist worries about the divisiveness of Unz and supports well-designed bilingual programs, but "doesn't know" which way he'll vote. Classic statement of wishy-washy liberalism.
    Los Angeles Times, 15 February 1998
  • State Anti-Bilingual Initiative Campaign Relies on Fake 'Facts,' by Jim Shultz Analysis of shameless misrepresentations by Ron Unz et al.: Big Lie techniques for the Sound-Bite Age.
    Sacramento Bee, 22 February 1998
  • When You Remember Bilingual Ed, Don't Forget Tony, by Domenico Maceri First-person account: why bilingual education often means the difference between success and failure for English language learners.
    Christian Science Monitor, 23 February 1998
  • Bilingual Waiver's Impact in Orange, by John Rossman A teacher reports firsthand on what happens when bilingual education is eliminated: all kids suffer. More remedial attention for students with language needs means less instructional time for mainstream students. A chilling preview of the impact of Unz, now taking place in the Orange Unified School District. Los Angeles Times, 25 February 1998
  • Alpert-Firestone: Recipe for Chaos, by Ron Unz Too much flexibility i.e., giving local school boards the right to choose bilingual education would politicize schools and "ignite ethnic tensions."
    Los Angeles Times, 26 February 1998
    Unz Fears the "Chaos" of Democracy, by Daryl G. Nickens
         Los Angeles Times, 6 March 1998


  • Bilingual Ban Could Override Proposition 187, by Allan J. Favish Critique of Unz from the Far Right: the initiative could give undocumented students a right to stay in school.
    Los Angeles Times, 9 January 1998
  • Bilingual Ed.: Yea or Nay? Californians need to be well informed about bilingual education before voting on Unz.
    Christian Science Monitor, 13 January 1998
  • Letter to the Editor: Bilingual Education, by Michael Rodríguez Pro-Unz arguments lack logic, factual support.
    Los Angeles Times, 25 January 1998
  • A Better Bilingual Alternative Sen. Alpert's compromise plan, giving schools more flexibility in teaching LEP students, is the legislature's best chance to "to prove it can mandate reform before the voters tackle the job."
    Los Angeles Times, 27 January 1998
  • It's Much More Than Anti-Bilingual, by Ralph C. Carmona An English-only mandate would mean "increased educational costs to correct its failures, as well as legal costs for the damage to the children it pretends to help."
    Los Angeles Times, 30 January 1998
  • Bilingual Education: The Next Culture War, by William Wong Unz's "assault weapon approach" will polarize voters once again.
    San Francisco Examiner, 30 January 1998

1997 Archive