Home | Notes
Archives | Search
Links | About
The America Show
Jesus and Mordy
Watch Video Now
Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco
by Burt Prelutsky
by Mark Steyn
by Ray Haynes [politician]
A few years
ago, I visited the state of Israel as a part of a delegation
from California. As a part of that visit, I participated in
a meeting with the Superintendent of Schools for city of Tel
Aviv. In that meeting the Superintendent was describing the
most serious problem facing the government-run schools in Israel.
very specific immigration rules. Simply stated, any Jew from
any country in the world may emigrate to Israel without restriction.
There are religious disputes over what is a Jew, but if any
person can demonstrate that he or she is Jewish, that person
may emigrate to Israel.
Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside
and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and
Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website
at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
with this type of immigration rule is the problem of assimilation,
particularly language assimilation. There are
87 separate languages spoken in the Tel Aviv school system. Since
Hebrew is the official language of Israel, making sure that all
the students can master the Hebrew language is a key factor to
each student’s success, according to the Superintendent.
So, to help each student learn Hebrew, the school system put
each student in a Hebrew language school, and then puts them
into the mainstream school system. This is a type of immersion
instruction, and the Superintendent was very satisfied with its
One of our
group then described the system used in California. When we
a foreign student, we teach them the core subjects
in their native language, introducing English along the way.
We call this native language instruction technique “bilingual
education.” Since there are 92 languages spoken in the
Los Angeles school system, finding the native language instructors
is a challenge.
of the Tel Aviv schools looked at us quizzically and said, “How do they ever learn English.” They
don’t, our group replied.
In 1998, the voters of this state approved Proposition 227,
which required immersion education for English as a Second Language
(ESL) learners. The Legislature, particularly the Latino caucus,
has done everything in its power to undermine and thwart Proposition
This week, the state discovered the latest effort. This year,
the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted a curriculum for the
ESL program that complied with 227. The Latino Caucus went nuts,
and cut the entire budget of the SBE. Governor Schwarzenegger
signed the budget without the funding, picking up the costs of
the SBE in his administration. Senator Martha Escutia has a bill
to restore the funding of the SBE, but only on condition that
it adopt a native language instruction model for ESL learners,
in violation of Proposition 227.
Old ideas die hard in the Legislature. Native language instruction,
the so-called bilingual program (which is hardly bilingual at
all), has been proven to be a monumental failure, marginalizing
thousands of non-English speaking students, keeping them out
of the mainstream of American life, by failing to teach them
English. Undeterred, the leftists in the Legislature, who maintain
control over these marginalized students and citizens by controlling
their language, continue to try and force their failed system
in spite of the clear voice of the citizens expressed through
the initiative process.
It is a classic
Clash of the Titans scenario. As of this moment, we don’t know how it will turn out, but the future success
of thousands of ESL students depends on the outcome of that fight.
They will either be condemned to a life in the ghettos of our
cities, trying to make their way in a city where they can barely
read the street signs and food labels, or they will be taught
English, and have a fair chance at the American Dream. Governor
Schwarzenegger understands the stakes. Let’s all hope the
Latino caucus recognizes its folly, and starts representing its
citizens, and not the power brokers who benefit from the current
Haynes is a California Assemblyman repesenting Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.