: Limited-English children of all ages will
be forced into one class. 13-year-olds will be mixed together with 5-year-olds.
: This is ridiculous. The initiative does say that schools
will be permitted to mix together children of different grades (such as
7th and 8th) but this is no different than current law. Schools are already
permitted to mix together different ages if necessary.
: Teachers can be sued for speaking another
: This is a complete lie. Teachers may certainly speak
other languages, though in English-language classes, the "overwhelming"
language of instruction is English. Using a little of the child's native
language is certainly permitted in any classroom---initiative Co-Chair
Gloria Matta Tuchman uses some Spanish in her own immersion classes, as
does Honorary Chairman Jaime Escalante. Article 5 of the initiative does
allow parents to sue elected officials or educators who "willfully
and repeatedly" violate the law by refusing to allow children to be
taught English. But teachers who violate the law can already be held liable
under existing legal statutes.
: Our proposed system of "sheltered English
immersion" is risky and untested.
: Language research has shown that sheltered immersion
is the most effective means to teach children another language. Co-Chair
Gloria Matta Tuchman has been using sheltered English immersion for 15
years in her first-grade class with tremendous success, and her entire
school has followed her approach. Every other nation uses some form of
immersion to teach language to immigrant children; bilingual education
is used nowhere else in the world. Immersion is tried-and-tested; bilingual
education is an experiment which has failed.
: The initiative is a one-size-fits-all approach
which violates local control of education.
: There is no local control under the current system.
With a few small exceptions, bilingual education is mandatory for all school
districts in California. Our initiative provides a general framework for
language-education in the state, requiring all schools to normally teach
children English as soon as they enter, but within this general requirement,
each school district can implement the proposal under its own local approach.
: School districts will have only 60 days to
implement the initiative, which isn't enough time.
: Our initiative will be voted on June 2, 1998 and will
take effect at the beginning of the next school year in September. However,
school districts have been well aware since early 1997 of our initiative
and the strong likelihood of its passage. Responsible districts are already
drafting contingency plans to implement "English for the Children"
if it does pass. Irresponsible school districts, which stick their heads
in the sand, may have to rush to implement our initiative after the June
: During the one-year English-immersion program,
children won't be taught other subjects
: Absolutely false. English-immersion programs are designed
to teach regular academic subjects, but with an emphasis will be on teaching
English as quickly as possible.
: We freeze the state into a policy which can't
easily be changed later.
: Like nearly every other initiative, our measure can
only be changed by a 2/3rds vote of the state Legislature or another initiative.
However, our current failed system of bilingual education has been set
in stone for over twenty years and has been impossible to change
except through our initiative.