The Prop. 227 Deluge Continues

Triggered by the New York Times story of two weeks ago, a flood of at least some five dozen editorials and columns on the remarkable success of Prop. 227 has now cascaded onto the pages of the national newspapers, with more on the way.

As is usually the case, extensive print coverage has been followed by the electronic media, with an excellent segment on the Jim Lehrer Newshour, a Fox News debate, and (for those of you interested) a story scheduled to air on this Sunday’s CBS Evening News; there have also been numerous other radio and local television appearances.

Of this coverage, I am attaching below the fine story in last Monday’s USA Today, national flagship of the Gannett newspaper chain, whose reporter visited Oceanside and came away with much the same conclusions as did the earlier NY Times reporter. The editorial appearing with this article astutely placed the bilingual ed disaster in the broader context of other calamities inflicted upon our public schools—notably whole language and fuzzy math—equally unsuccessful ed school fads promulgated by theorists with little or no solid research to back up their foolish ideas. If this begins to harden into conventional wisdom, the resulting collapse of ed school credibility on many other issues will be an important collateral benefit derived from Prop. 227.

Another piece below by Newsweek/Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson links Prop. 227 with welfare reform as long-overdue dismantlings of previously sacrosanct liberal programs, both of which were vigorously resisted by frightened liberal elites, who have now been proven completely wrong on both outcomes.

To the extent that bilingual education is not merely dismantled nationwide, but increasingly recognized as a misguided disaster by all reasonable points on the political spectrum (as was e.g. traditional marxian socialism by the time the USSR collapsed in 1991), other, related programs of similar provenance may suddenly become much more vulnerable. Momentum and leverage are crucial tools in the political world.

Even Gov. George W. Bush seems to have recently grown silent in his fulsome praise for bilingual education. Perhaps his staff has remembered that it was Bill Clinton rather than the Republicans who ultimately gained most of the credit for welfare reform.

A detailed listing of the various articles is available at:

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