English in Boston

As I had previously indicated, I traveled to Boston last week to participate in a press conference by Massachusetts Democratic State Senator Guy Glodis, who announced that he was introducing legislation modeled after our own Prop. 227 and designed to dismantle bilingual education in Massachusetts.

Sen. Glodis, who has long supported teaching children English in school, was spurred to this action by the recent analysis of Prop. 227 results by the San Jose Mercury News, which indicated that after less than one year, immigrant students enrolled in Prop. 227-type English immersion classes had academic test scores between 20% and 80% higher than immigrant students who remained in bilingual programs.

Given the endless talk of all politicians these days on the tremendous importance of improving our educational system and especially raising the test scores of “minorities,” one would expect widespread national support for a simple curriculum change which costs nothing and has so quickly and dramatically raised the test scores of hundreds of thousands of students in California; but such is not the case. To the best of my knowledge, Sen. Glodis is virtually the only elected official in America to have proposed Prop. 227-type legislation.

I would suspect that for nearly all politicians, the balance between fostering educational improvement and displaying personal cowardice is dramatically tilted in the direction of cowardice. Thus, further Prop. 227-type initiative campaigns will doubtless be necessary.

I am attaching an article from the Boston Globe and an editorial from the Boston Herald.

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