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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
- 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
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,
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