The Washington Post: “Teach English”

Whereas the news pages of America’s major newspapers regularly provide us with the facts to support our national campaign for “English,” many editorial pages use these facts as grounds for advocacy.

Just a few days ago, the hugely influential Washington Post—one of America’s great national papers—ran a powerful lead editorial bearing the apt title “Teach English.” The Post pointed to the disastrous nature of most existing bilingual education programs, and expressed support for past and present state initiatives in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Massachusetts aimed at replacing these failed programs with English immersion.

Days earlier, the Boston Globe, the newspaper of record in New England, ran a balanced and respectful editorial on our emerging “English” campaign in Massachusetts, pointing to the terrible problems with the existing programs, but expressing hope that the State Legislature would take prompt action, obviating the need for a ballot measure. Although such a possibility exists, the likelihood is low since all of the endless previous legislative attempts over thirty years to modify or reform bilingual education policy have gone down to defeat. Establishing the status quo unacceptable brings us halfway to victory.

Other major New England papers have been even more unequivocal in their support for our ballot initiative. I include powerful endorsement editorials from the Providence Journal-Bulletin, the Boston Herald, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

All these newspapers cover different points on the ideological spectrum, and all support teaching English to immigrant children in school. Perhaps at some point the politicians in Washington DC or the Massachusetts State House will learn to read.

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