The Proposition 227
English for the Children Enforcement Project
CONTACT: SHERI ANNIS
Friday, January 7, 2000.
The first detailed analysis of the performance of immigrant students in different California educational programs has revealed a huge advantage for Prop. 227-type rapid English immersion programs. The analysis was performed over the past several months by the San Jose Mercury News, and revealed in a front-page story released just before New Years Day.
The study divided California schools into those following the Prop. 227 requirement of English immersion with rapid mainstreaming (29% of schools), those using English immersion but without rapid mainstreaming (49%), and those using waivers to retain their bilingual education programs (12%). Immigrant students enrolled in Prop. 227-type programs far outperformed all others, while those remaining in bilingual education performed the worst. The results were based on Californias official statewide STAR tests.
Reading scores for 2nd grade immigrant students in Prop. 227 compliant programs were at the 35th percentile, while those in bilingual programs were at the 19th percentile. Math scores were at the 43rd percentile for Prop. 227 programs but at the 30th percentile for bilingual programs. Similar huge gaps existed for immigrant students across all elementary grades. Testing occurred approximately seven months after the initial implementation of the Prop. 227 curriculum changes in California, which impacted the education of some 1.4 million immigrant students.
Prop. 227 Chairman Ron Unz was extremely pleased with the results. "This outstanding study has demonstrated that after just seven months of the new Prop. 227 English curriculum, immigrant students in Prop. 227 classes have test scores 20%, 50%, or in some cases even almost 100% higher than immigrant students who remained in bilingual education classrooms. If this isnt outstanding educational success, I cant imagine what is. Over the next three or four years, we might hope to see a million or more of Californias immigrant students double their academic performance as more and more school districts begin to fully comply with Prop. 227."
Several other states are currently exploring legislative or initiative measures modeled after Californias Prop. 227.
English for the ChildrenProposition 227
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