William Ryan

Document Type



In 1998, Silicon Valley millionaire Ron Unz spearheaded the passage of California's Proposition 227, designed to ban bilingual education as an instructional method. Two years later, Arizona approved similar legislation, and Unz has recently brought his campaign to Massachusetts and Colorado. This Note analyzes Proposition 227 and its "offSpring" in Arizona and argues this legislation is violative of federal statutes, politically unsound, culturally biased, and pedagogically inaccurate. In particular, the Note contends that bilingual education involving instruction in a student's native language with the goal of either transition to English proficiency or complete bilingual fluency is an effective educational method and efforts to eliminate it are a rash, false "cure-all" to a variety of problems facing schoolchildren. Finally, the Note argues that effective challenges to legislative initiatives that seek to eliminate bilingual education must address the legal, political, cultural, and pedagogical implications of this elimination and consider the impact of this legislation within a context that considers its full impact on students, teachers, and society.

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