“Unfixing” English Immersion

As mentioned in a previous Note, the stubbornly pro-bilingual California Department of Education has harshly condemned the Oceanside District for establishing an English immersion program that failed to properly provide for the education needs of its Hispanic immigrant students; as a consequence, Oceanside policies will be subjected to a full review and investigation.

This is rather ironic, since of California’s thousand-odd school districts Oceanside most strictly adhered to the legal requirements of Prop. 227, and partly as a consequence, most rapidly and dramatically raised the academic test scores of its immigrant Hispanic students. As an amusing cartoon in the North County Times suggests, Oceanside’s English immersion program works too well, so the Dept. of Ed. has sent over an educational repairman to “unfix” it for them. http://www.nctimes.com/columnists/column -thornhill-10-5.html.

Fortunately, as the articles attached below from the North County Times and the San Diego Union Tribune indicate, Oceanside has now decided to stand up to the bullying of California bilingual bureaucrats, especially since its newly released performance gains are some of the best in San Diego County.

Elsewhere, on a sadder note, a front-page story in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune recounts that city’s policy of expensively recruiting “bilingual” teachers from Mexico and Spain to staff its mostly- Spanish so-called “bilingual” classes for Hispanic immigrant children. The article notes that since “bilingual education” is almost completely non- existent outside the United States, many of these foreign teachers are quite skeptical and require considerable indoctrination once they arrive. For example, Carlos Osorio, the Mexican teacher profiled by the reporter, often finds himself wishing he were teaching his students in English so that their literacy might improve.

Similarly, a front-page story in Monday’s Dallas Morning News describes that while the children of every other immigrant group in Texas are immediately and successfully immersed in English, Hispanic immigrant children are placed in Spanish- only “bilingual classes.” The article generally defends the success of Texas’s bilingual programs, noting that 72% of Hispanic students now pass the statewide TAAS test, while failing to note—as was pointed out in a recent editorial in the Austin American-Statesman—that apparently about half these students must take that exam in Spanish since they haven’t learned enough English even to be tested.

Finally, an article in Tuesday’s New York Times surveying various educational initiatives around the country describes the likely success of our Prop. 203 measure in Arizona, which currently enjoys a rather implausible fifty-point lead in the polls.

This entry was posted in Bilingual Education, UnzColumn and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.