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Bilingual Classes

Re Stephen Krashen’s Dec. 21 letter on bilingual programs: We had almost 30 years of bilingual programs. The Chacon-Moscone bilingual bill was meant to help Latino children learn English, but it evolved into Spanish-only instruction for the first three or four years, and then the first six years, on the theory that if they learned to read, write and compute in Spanish they could transfer all these skills into English. But when did they get a chance to learn how to read, write and compute in English? These were their learning years.

The results? California students are at the bottom scholastically. We have seen a 50% dropout rate of Latino students. We have remedial English and math classes--not just in community colleges but in our state universities. Which scientific studies show otherwise?

Our Little Hoover Commission report (1993) found that “native-language instruction has been divisive, wasteful and unproductive.” The people of California have spoken by passing Prop. 227.

ANGIE PAPADAKIS

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Little Hoover Commission

Former member, State Board

of Education, Rancho Palos Verdes


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