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Valley Public Radio Staff
Wed April 16, 2014
California Bill Would Put English-only Instruction Back Before Voters
A voter-approved law that requires all California public school classes to be taught in English would go before voters again in 2016 under a bill now in the state legislature. Capital Public Radio’s Max Pringle reports.
Professor Patricia Gándara with the UCLA Civil Rights Project says a state-commissioned 2006 study proves that English-only instruction has few, if any, benefits.
Gándara: “The conclusion was that there had been no appreciable closing of the gaps between English learners and other students as a result of Prop. 227.”
Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz sponsored the 1998 initiative. He says early studies showed impressive results.
Unz: “In the first three or four years after Prop. 227 passed, the academic performance of over a million immigrant students roughly doubled.
Supporters of the new bill to put the issue back before voters say a multi-lingual education would give California students a competitive advantage in a globalized economy.
The bill is scheduled for its first legislative hearing soon.