WSJ: “Please Steal This Issue!”

This past Sunday, the Gray Lady of New York proclaimed the apparent success of California’s Prop. 227 on Page One, Above the Fold, and, as might be expected, the Heavens have certainly shaken.

Within just forty-eight hours, at least eight other major newspapers around the nation had written editorials praising the success of Prop. 227’s new system of English immersion and condemning the endless failures of bilingual education, an entrenched educational dogma which some have viewed more like a religious cult than a scientific theory. Several of these editorials— ranging from the Chicago Tribune to the Atlanta Constitution to the Cleveland Plain Dealer—are attached below.

These editorialists join good company. During the 1998 initiative campaign, most conservative publications supported Prop. 227 as might be expected, but so also did several highly regarded publications of the center and the left such as the New Republic, the Washington Post, and the London Economist.

Among the current editorials, one is especially noteworthy. The Wall Street Journal—which possesses the same overwhelming influence over America’s business community and conservative establishment as the New York Times does over the media and liberal establishment—proclaimed the success of English immersion in a long lead editorial, with enclosed chart, published today and attached below.

In the closing paragraph this WSJ editorial notes that over the years, President Clinton has successfully stolen some of the best and most popular “Republican” issues, notably welfare reform and the balanced budget, and then used these issues to inflict crushing political defeats upon the flummoxed Republicans, a lesson which Vice President Al Gore must surely have learned. The editorial’s last sentence suggests that the enormous apparent popularity and success of “English for the Children” should make the issue an extremely attractive prize to any smart Presidential contender who wishes to grab it. WSJ to Presidential candidates: “Please steal this issue!”

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