Jill Stewart, a fine reporter on California politics, offers this piece (free subscription) on bilingual education.
The gist is that by now there is very clear evidence that English immersion is more effective in getting Spanish-speaking pupils up to snuff in English than bilingual education. Since California voters passed Ron Unz's Proposition 227, which mandated English immersion in most cases, English scores have gone up. They've gone up less in districts where doctrinaire pro-bilingual administrations have foot-dragged on the change.
These facts, however, have not impressed the Latino Democrats in the Legislature and certain doctrinaire educrats.
Stewart quotes this question by an educator:
Ronni Ephraim, the gifted chief instructional officer at L.A. Unified, says Latino parents "recognize that at school their child should acquire a strong base of English, and at home they can support them in maintaining their home language. Parents want their children to be competitive."
So why is the Legislature still pursuing a separate curriculum and lower standards for Latinos, and inviting in one of the worst Pied Pipers of the bilingual fiasco?
"I don't understand Sacramento," Ephraim told me. "Why would anyone want to hold a kid back?"
The answer, I think, is pretty clear, and it's shameful and problematic. The left don't want the masses of Mexican immigrants to be self-reliant, upwardly mobile, or Americanized. These folks get married, buy houses, have kids and move to the far suburbs, where they tend to vote Republican. The left and Latino Democrats want ethnically isolated, dependent voters, who will vote Democratic because they rely on government handouts and programs, can be conditioned to blame their plight on racism and oppression, and are more likely to vote for Latino Democrats.
The outlook of many African-American Democrats, I'm afraid, is not much different for their own constituents.
Unz was right. The professional Latinos were wrong. The Latino left doesn't care.
A disgrace, of course. In terms of the effects on kids, a crime.