Washington Post: “Little Ivan Changed My Mind”

Continuing the enormous and growing national momentum behind “English for the Children,” the Labor Day weekend edition of the Sunday Washington Post carried a long and powerful front-page Commentary piece by Oceanside Superintendent Ken Noonan, attached below.

Noonan explains that it was the remarkable success of young Latino children in Prop. 227’s sheltered immersion programs which finally persuaded him to abandon his thirty years of support for bilingual education, reaching back to his founding of the California Association of Bilingual Educators.

Perhaps a few more such powerful pieces, and some of the many dozens even hundreds of prominent but timid individuals who so often told me privately during the Prop. 227 campaign that they thought bilingual ed was completely crazy but dared not publicly support its elimination—perhaps at least a few of this individuals will at long last muster sufficient courage to come forward and now begin to take appropriate credit for the fact that they were “right all along.” America’s op-ed pages are eagerly waiting…

Even more fruitful would be some deep and probing investigative journalism on just how so obviously implausible a concept as “bilingual education,” backed by virtually no reasonable research, littered with thirty years of unbroken empirical failure, and enormously unpopular among parents, teachers, and just about everyone else—just how such a strange educational delusion grew and expanded over thirty years to ultimately govern and destroy the lives of so many millions of immigrant children until at last Prop. 227 finally brought it low.

Such an account might also have useful implications for the many other still surviving educational delusions currently burdening our public schools.

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