The bilingual education status quo advocacy group Leave No Child Behind says three members of a Department of Education advisory committee on the topic have a conflict of interest. What they have is a different policy preference, which is no grounds for complaint.
There is no reason for the attorney general’s office or the Office of Campaign and Political Finance to do anything about this attempt to make adversaries look bad.
The three are supporting the ballot campaign sponsored by another group, English for the Children, to replace the ineffective “transitional” program which often traps children in a language ghetto for years. The campaign calls for use of the proven techniques of a one-year immersion in English-language instruction with help as needed in the native language.
One of the three, Lincoln Tamayo, resigned as principal of Chelsea High School to become co- chairman of English for the Children, which has paid him $17,000. Another, Christine Rosell, professor of political science at Boston University, was co-author of the influential 1996 book “Bilingual Education in Massachusetts: The Emperor Has No Clothes.” The third, Rosalie Porter, former director of bilingual programs in Newton, has been reimbursed $1,000 in expenses by English for the Children.
So where’s the conflict? This committee has no authority to make any decisions about anything. No one has accused any of the three of using the committee to push the ballot campaign. Other members of the committee are opposed to the campaign, which is what you expect from a committee that’s supposed to include a spectrum of views.
Leave No Child Behind would do better trying to rebut English for the Children. Accusations like this lead to the conclusion that it has no effective rebuttal.