Not With a Bang

Yesterday morning’s San Jose Mercury News (Sharon Noguchi, March 20, 2009) carried a very rare report on the topic of “bilingual education.”

Apparently, a decision has been made to reduce and perhaps evntually close one of the last remaining “bilingual” public school programs in Northern California, provoking sufficient public controversy as to reach the newspapers.

The program in question—Mount Pleasant’s Proyecto Alegria—is hardly enormous, containing just 240 students, of whom merely a fraction are native Spanish-speakers. But, as is invariably the case, the English-speaking parents involved are a very enthusiastic even fanatical lot, and are outraged over the school board’s vote to eliminate their program, a cost-reduction measured aimed at saving $80,000 per year.

Superintendent George Perez, himself a former bilingual teacher, dismissed the parental complaints as being completely unreasonable given the very difficult budgetary pressures facing all schools in California. He also pointed out that teaching Spanish was anyway not the purpose of the public schools, given that a decade earlier “a law was passed that we teach in English.”


In a somewhat related matter, Editor Peter Brimelow recently published a rather long and hard-hitting denuciation of the worthlessness of America’s “Conservative Movement”, prompted by his attendance at the annual CPAC Convention. Among other charges, he correctly pointed out that the Republican Party “ran away” each of the times the voters of California passed “National Question” ballot measures against illegal immigration, affirmative action, and bilingual education.

In the case of the last of these, Mr. Brimelow felt compelled to explain what “bilingual education” actually meant, presumably for fear that the younger anti-immigration activists visiting would otherwise have absolutely no idea what he was talking about…

The complete impossibility of ever actually eliminating a major government program is a well-known conservative talking-point, endlessly repeated by frequently discouraged activists and by frequently defensive elected officials…

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