California’s bilingual education ban, which was supposed to lead to disaster, worked for Hispanic students, writes Heather Mac Donald in City Journal.
Hispanic test scores on a range of subjects have risen since Prop. 227 became law. But while the curtailment of California’s bilingual-education industry has removed a significant barrier to Hispanic assimilation, the persistence of a Hispanic academic underclass suggests the need for further reform.
As Mac Donald writes, many ex-bilingual teachers have decided that early elementary students can do well in English. It’s much harder for middle and high school students to learn academic content if their English skills are weak. These are the kids who rarely got bilingual classes in the past and don’t get them now, though some are taught in “sheltered English.”