Although Republican Party and its new standard-bearers appear more eager to pursue multiculturalism than assimilationism, the people of Arizona will now have a chance to directly indicate their own views. Prop. 203, an Arizona measure to dismantle that state’s system of bilingual education has now been officially qualified for the November ballot.
As the AP story below indicates, Maria Mendoza, statewide Chair of the Arizona campaign, and others have been struggling against that damaging and failed program for over 30 years; the next three months will decide the fate of their efforts.
George W. Bush and his Republican fellow-travelers have declared that they support “bilingual education programs which work,” and I would not wish to attack such a reasonable position. But perhaps in return, they should consider themselves honor-bound to find at least ONE such large-scale bilingual program which has actually “worked” anywhere in America over the past thirty-five years, and reconsider their stance if they cannot do so.
At the very least, they should perhaps listen to the strong and personal stories of Maria Mendoza, Hector Ayala, Margaret Garcia Dugan, Norma Alvarez, and other leaders of the Arizona campaign, or read the letter to the editor below which appeared in last Sunday’s Arizona Republic.
- Sufficient valid signatures put proposition to end bilingual ed on ballot
Associated Press, Thursday, August 3, 2000
- Bilingual classes
Arizona Republic (Letters) , Sunday, July 30, 2000