The state’s U.S. senators yesterday denounced Question 2 on the November ballot, a referendum that would end bilingual education programs and require most students to spend just one year in an English immersion course.
U.S. Sens. John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy sent a letter to organizers fighting the ballot measure, proposed and guided by California software entrepreneur Ron Unz, who ushered similar measures through his home state and Arizona.
“We believe Massachusetts should focus on helping every child learn English and meet academic standards,” the two senators wrote. “The Unz Initiative would compromise that goal by mandating a one-size-fits-all approach.”
The pair provided the letter to the Committee for Fairness to Children and Teachers, the political campaign organized to fight the Unz measure, which so far enjoys a wide margin of support in polls.
Neither Unz nor English for the Children campaign Chairman Lincoln Tamayo could be reached yesterday.
The senators backed Beacon Hill legislators’ recent overhaul of bilingual education for the state’s 44,000 limited English proficient students.