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.
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.
“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,” she says.
Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz, who sponsored the 1998 initiative, says early studies showed impressive results.
“In the first three or four years after Prop. 227 passed, the academic performance of over a million immigrant students roughly doubled,” he says.
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.