Co-authored a Huffington Post Article about CA’s Proposition 58- LEARN

Please help me in spreading the news about California’s Proposition 58 – (Language Education, Acquisition and Readiness). It will be on the November ballot and we must get California residents to vote YES. Voting YES means ALL students in the state of CA will have the opportunity to receive a multilingual education. This isn’t the first time I have urged the public to become advocates for bilingual education, so please take a moment to read about the proposition and share it with friends, family, and colleagues that can vote in the state of California.

Some may ask why I have an invested interest in seeing this proposition pass. I grew up in Southern California and in a bilingual community up until 8th grade. I personally did not benefit from bilingual education, but would love to see it an option for all students, but, especially students who come from bilingual homes.

Please click on the link below to read the Huffington Post promoting CA Proposition 58.

3 responses to “Co-authored a Huffington Post Article about CA’s Proposition 58- LEARN”

  1. If you were denied a bilingual education, it had nothing to do with Prop 227, and Prop 58 will not actually fix the problem. I too raised bilingual children (English and Japanese). Spanish bilingual classes continued to be offered in California schools after the passage of Prop 227. Other languages not so much. Schools rejected parental requests for other bilingual classes on the grounds they lacked both finances and qualified teachers. Prop 58 does nothing to change this situation. However, with the passage of Prop 58, schools will once again be able to consign Spanish-speaking children to classes instructed in Spanish over the objections of their parents. It was native-Spanish speaking parents who put Prop 227 on the ballot in 1998 in order to establish their rights to decide what was best for their own children.

  2. Missy,

    What Proposition-58 LEARN does is offer ALL students in the state of CA the opportunity to become bilingual or multilingual depending on their background. The person who is responsible for putting proposition 227 on the ballot was Ron Unz. He and his supporters made some deficit claims about how children who speak a minority language should be educated. If we want better qualified teachers the solution is not to take away language services to the majority of children who are growing up in bilingual communities. The research proves that an education in a child’s “native” language and I would argue a bilingual education for bilingual children (something I would have benefited from) will decrease the academic achievement gap and position bilingual children in positive ways. I went to elementary and high school in CA in the 80s and 90s I didn’t benefit from a bilingual education because my parents asked us to lie to school officials and tell them we only spoke English because they did not want us to have bad experiences in school just because we spoke Spanish. Proposition-58 has the potential to bring communities together and encourage ALL students to learn another language. More than anything else, it opens up doors for bilingual children to learn in both their languages. I also don’t think it’s fair to say that Spanish-speaking parents put prop 227 on the ballot. It was the “English-only” movement which is known for having a majority English-speaking and White demographic…and Ron Unz of course. ALSO, the wonderful thing about Prop-58 is that more language programs (e.g., Japanese and other languages) have the potential of opening up.

  3. I realize this is very late but the system put your reply in a folder I never look at and only mis-clicked on by mistake. You seem to think I am only parroting someone’s talking points and have no factual basis or personal experience behind my comment.

    Your comment demonstrates my point. You were denied “bilingual ed” because your parents did not want you in it. Spanish-speaking parents DID want bilingual education gone because it became a sort of warehouse for Spanish-speaking kids. They could never transition into regular English classes, and thus were unable to compete well on the SAT. Spanish- speaking parents wanted bilingual education gone, I was part of it. However, you are correct that the English-only faction put Prop 227 over the top for their own reasons.

    A review of the literature stated, “These findings identify participation in well-implemented dual language immersion(DLI) programs, as compared to participation in transitional bilingual education (TBE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, to be clearly associated with the most positive cognitive, linguistic, and socioemotional student outcomes.”

    The key word is well-implemented, and many, if not most, are not well-implemented. Another problem with thew research is that in practice, the two languages involved bilingual education research are Spanish and English. There is near zero research involving any other primary language. I myself designed and implemented a dual language transitional program for Japanese speakers age 8 through 13. All students successfully transitioned to full English instruction within a year.

    Another problem with bilingual education in California is the lack of teachers who can teach in both Spanish and English. Some reports attribute this to Prop 227 denying English only students an immersive Spanish experience. However, even before Prop 227, schools did not put English only students in the bilingual classes, because everybody knew those classes were for students whose English was weak.

    Furthermore, unless other systemic issues are addressed, bilingual education has a low correlation with closing the achievement gap.

    Time will tell if other language possibilities open up, or whether the new bilingual programs will be effective. It has been less than three years since the new programs have been in California schools, so it is too early to draw conclusions now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: