• IDRA Newsletter • June – July 1998 • 

San Antonio, Texas (June 1998) – On behalf of the Intercultural Development Research Association, Dr. María Robledo Montecel, executive director, presents the following reaction to passage of the Unz initiative in California:

“With the passage of Proposition 227 on June 2, this is a sad day for children. It is a sad day for effective education, for equity and for democracy. A few individuals with financial might were able to manipulate the democratic system to impose their will and infringe on the rights of minority students for quality instruction. Passage of the Unz initiative in California was largely based on misinformation about the effectiveness and appropriateness of good bilingual education programs and the students they serve.

Bilingual education is a better way to learn English.

“It makes sense to teach children in a language they understand. It also makes sense to teach them English. Volumes of data have documented that a well-designed, well-implemented bilingual education program is the most effective way to teach English to children who speak another language while also teaching core subjects like math, social studies and science. In our state, the Texas Education Agency has identified successful bilingual programs that demonstrate this fact.

“The passage of the California initiative does not have to lead us to hurt Texas students or those in other states. Well-funded, well-implemented bilingual programming in Texas can close the gap in achievement between English-speaking students and English language learners.

“This is a wake up call for minority parents, educators and concerned citizens to assert themselves, be pro-active and make schools more accountable for the appropriate education of all children.”

IDRA is an independent, non-profit organization that advocates the right of every child to a quality education. It is particularly concerned about the education of children who are poor, minority or limited-English-proficient. Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, IDRA envisions public education that…

  • Keeps all students in school through high school graduation.
  • Ensures that children who speak a language other than English benefit from quality instructional programs that capitalize on students? language and culture.
  • Ensures that children in every neighborhood have access to excellent public schools.

All children are valuable; none is expendable

Comments and questions may be sent to IDRA via e-mail at feedback@idra.org.

[©1998, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the June – July 1998 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]