The Aftermath of the New York Times on Prop. 227

With the New York Times having now placed its front-page stamp of national approval on the significance of California’s post-Prop. 227 test scores, other publications are beginning to follow this same path.

Interestingly enough, first out of the gate was a major editorial in the New Democrat Daily, house organ of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), included below. The subtitle summarized the shocking position of the DLC: “If You Teach Them, They Will Learn,” namely that immigrant children taught English in school will learn it more quickly than those not taught English.

Although this might almost seem a tautology, it is vigorously denied by the entire bilingual education establishment, which dominates nearly every academic school of education. And few politicians of either party have cared oppose the theories of these powerful PhD’s.

One of the few who has done so is Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Chairman of the DLC and current Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, who has long been critical of bilingual programs. The DLC editorial thus raises interesting political implications.

At the same time, a front-page story in today’s Arizona Republic explored the potential impact of the California test scores on the campaign for a very similar measure on the November ballot in that state. Since the only real argument against California’s Prop. 227 was that it would harm immigrant education, and instead immigrant test scores have now risen by an average of about 40%, obviously this leaves very few arrows in the quiver of Arizona’s bilingual education activists.

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