Clinton Opposes Proposition 227
President Clinton’s name has been added to the long list of politicians who are opposing Prop. 227, the measure that would dismantle native-language instruction in California (April 27). This leaves Mayor Richard Riordan, who recently endorsed 227, as one of the few well-known politicians who believes 70% of the electorate could be right about something.
Particularly galling is the president’s intention, expressed by Education Secretary Richard W. Riley, to move “toward a goal of limiting participation in bilingual programs to three years.” This so-called reform would leave in place the worst abuse of native-language instruction: the withholding of formal English from non-English-speaking children in grades 1 through 3, the very years when they can master a language best.
I read with rage your article (April 26) on bilingual education--until the very end. Finally someone gets it!
I speak only English, and in today’s global marketplace that is a huge detriment--even though I am a college graduate and English is the “language of business.” There are jobs I cannot get, deals I cannot make and issues I cannot influence because I am not multilingual. The greatest gift parents can give their children is to make them fluent in at least two languages. Our problem is not that we fail to teach our Spanish-speaking children English; our problem is that we fail to teach our English-speaking children any other language.
I’m with the White House on this one: Vote no on Prop. 227!
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