Medium 9781574411713

Contested Policy

Views: 4595
Ratings: (0)

Bilingual education is one of the most contentious and misunderstood educational programs in the country. It raises significant questions about this country's national identity, the nature of federalism, power, ethnicity, and pedagogy. In Contested Policy , Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr., studies the origins, evolution, and consequences of federal bilingual education policy from 1960 to 2001, with particular attention to the activist years after 1978, when bilingual policy was heatedly contested. Traditionally, those in favor of bilingual education are language specialists, Mexican American activists, newly enfranchised civil rights advocates, language minorities, intellectuals, teachers, and students. They are ideologically opposed to the assimilationist philosophy in the schools, to the structural exclusion and institutional discrimination of minority groups, and to limited school reform. On the other hand, the opponents of bilingual education, comprised at different points in time of conservative journalists, politicians, federal bureaucrats, Anglo parent groups, school officials, administrators, and special-interest groups (such as U.S. English), favor assimilationism, the structural exclusion and discrimination of ethnic minorities, and limited school reform. In the 1990s a resurgence of opposition to bilingual education succeeded in repealing bilingual legislation with an English-only piece of legislation. San Miguel deftly provides a history of these clashing groups and how they impacted bilingual educational policy over the years. Rounding out this history is an extensive, annotated bibliography on federal bilingual policy that can be used to enhance further study.

List price: $21.95

Your Price: $17.56

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

27 Chapters

Format Buy Remix

Chapter 1: Origins of Federal Bilingual Education Policy

PDF

CHAPTER 1

ORIGINS OF FEDERAL

BILINGUAL EDUCATION POLICY

Bilingual education is not a new phenomenon. It has existed in various forms since this nation’s founding. The use of non-English languages as well as the use of two or more languages to teach academic subjects to individuals in the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary grades has been supported, tolerated, or sanctioned by public and parochial school officials since the 1600s.1 For the most part, local or state officials made these language decisions. The federal government rarely legislated language choice, although it discouraged the use of non-English languages in American life, especially in the territories and among certain immigrant and racial minority groups.2 The tradition of refraining from taking official action related to language policies in general or school language policies in particular ended in 1968. In this year, the U.S. Congress passed the Bilingual Education Act.3 Why and how this occurred is the emphasis of this chapter.

 

1: Contextual Factors

PDF

6

CONTESTED POLICY

light questions about national identity, the federal role in school change, power, and pedagogy, and eventually contributed to the enactment of the federal Bilingual Education Act of 1968.

CONTEXTUAL FACTORS

Research on bilingualism—i.e., on the impact and extent of “nonEnglish languages” in American society—began to influence many of the arguments that advocates would use to support bilingual education policy. This new research questioned two prominent myths in education: the myth of the negative impact of bilingualism on intelligence and on academic achievement and the myth of the declining significance of ethnicity in American life as implied by the melting pot theory of assimilation.

Research on Bilingualism

Since the 1920s, research on intelligence and achievement had indicated that bilingualism was an obstacle to success. This research showed a negative relationship between dual language capabilities and intelligence.

However, in the early 1960s a gradual shift occurred in this literature.

 

1: Enacting Federal Bilingual Education Legislation, 1965-1968

PDF

12

CONTESTED POLICY

negative attitudes towards Mexican-origin children and discriminatory school actions such as structural exclusion, school discrimination, cultural suppression, and inappropriate English-only instruction. Bilingualism, they added, would help reverse these historical patterns by replacing exclusionary, discriminatory and English-only school policies with native language instruction, a culturally appropriate curriculum, inclusive hiring practices, and strong parental involvement. Structural inclusion of community, language, and culture, in other words, would lead to increased school success among language minority children. It also would lead to minority political empowerment and to the replacement of assimilation ideals in this country with pluralism.

ENACTING FEDERAL BILINGUAL EDUCATION LEGISLATION, 1965–1968

The official push for bilingual education began with the publication of an important report issued by the National Education Association in 1966.

This report publicized the negative impact of the schools on MexicanAmerican cultural identity and on their school performance. It documented many of the discriminatory educational policies affecting these children and argued that they contributed to low school performance and to alienation from the larger society. Traditional school policies and practices such as rigid “Anglicization” practices, English-only policies, no-Spanish speaking rules, and cultural degradation, the report argued, led to “damaged” self-esteem, resentment, psychological withdrawal from school and underachievement.24

 

1: Conclusion

PDF

18

CONTESTED POLICY

was no mandate, few school districts, as advocates found out later, took advantage of this bill during the first several years of its implementation.

“Bilingual education,” noted John C. Molina, the first Mexican-American director of the national Office of Bilingual Education, “was too new and philosophically threatening to be accepted by many school districts which often favored remedial and English language programs instead.”40

Third, the program was categorical in nature and compensatory in intent. Categorical funds were provided by the federal government to local educational agencies to support services of a particular type or for a particular category of students. Under this new bill, funds were to be used to develop compensatory educational programs for those students who were limited in their ability to speak English and who came from low-income homes, i.e., those who were economically and “linguistically handicapped.”

Fourth, it was “open-ended”: it did not legally require or prescribe a particular curriculum nor insist on particular bilingual instructional techniques. Congress, in keeping with tradition, did not specify any one single approach to instructing English language learners. A variety of educational programs in addition to bilingual ones were eligible for funding under the new bill.41

 

Chapter 2: The Expansion of Bilingual Education, 1968-1978

PDF

CHAPTER 2

THE EXPANSION OF BILINGUAL

EDUCATION, 1968–1978

INTRODUCTION

During the first decade of its existence, from 1968 to 1978, bilingual education policy was strengthened and transformed as it was implemented.

Federal court rulings, executive actions, and the political struggles of minority and non-minority group members contributed to its growth and strengthening.

The proponents of bilingual education constantly struggled for funds, created the administrative mechanisms for encouraging the establishment of bilingual education programs, provided definitions of and clashed over the goals and content of bilingual education, and developed a federal support system for its implementation. These developments led to a variety of programmatic, educational, and political changes and to the transformation in the goals, scope, and character of bilingual education. They also led to the emergence of an organized opposition to bilingual education policy.

TRANSFORMATION OF POLICY

Expand Scope of Legislation: From Categorical to

 

2: Introduction

PDF

CHAPTER 2

THE EXPANSION OF BILINGUAL

EDUCATION, 1968–1978

INTRODUCTION

During the first decade of its existence, from 1968 to 1978, bilingual education policy was strengthened and transformed as it was implemented.

Federal court rulings, executive actions, and the political struggles of minority and non-minority group members contributed to its growth and strengthening.

The proponents of bilingual education constantly struggled for funds, created the administrative mechanisms for encouraging the establishment of bilingual education programs, provided definitions of and clashed over the goals and content of bilingual education, and developed a federal support system for its implementation. These developments led to a variety of programmatic, educational, and political changes and to the transformation in the goals, scope, and character of bilingual education. They also led to the emergence of an organized opposition to bilingual education policy.

TRANSFORMATION OF POLICY

Expand Scope of Legislation: From Categorical to

 

2: Transformation of Policy

PDF

CHAPTER 2

THE EXPANSION OF BILINGUAL

EDUCATION, 1968–1978

INTRODUCTION

During the first decade of its existence, from 1968 to 1978, bilingual education policy was strengthened and transformed as it was implemented.

Federal court rulings, executive actions, and the political struggles of minority and non-minority group members contributed to its growth and strengthening.

The proponents of bilingual education constantly struggled for funds, created the administrative mechanisms for encouraging the establishment of bilingual education programs, provided definitions of and clashed over the goals and content of bilingual education, and developed a federal support system for its implementation. These developments led to a variety of programmatic, educational, and political changes and to the transformation in the goals, scope, and character of bilingual education. They also led to the emergence of an organized opposition to bilingual education policy.

TRANSFORMATION OF POLICY

Expand Scope of Legislation: From Categorical to

 

2: Impact of Federal Bilingual Education Policy

PDF

T H E E X P A N S I O N O F B I L I N G U A L E D U C AT I O N , 1 9 6 8 – 1 9 7 8

37

Lau Remedies Compliance Reviews, 1975–78

In addition to these procedures, the federal government also developed an elaborate civil rights enforcement mechanism and pressured local school districts to develop bilingual education programs. Although there were programmatic and interpretational problems and even opposition to the Lau Remedies, the Office for Civil Rights used it to negotiate compliance plans with over 500 local school districts in the late 1970s. Coercion or the threat of coercion and the withdrawal of federal school funds served as the basis for the development of bilingual education programs.38

IMPACT OF FEDERAL BILINGUAL EDUCATION POLICY

The origins of and changes in federal bilingual education policy had a significant impact on various aspects of American political and educational life. For instance, this policy significantly impacted state and local governments, the political fortunes of minority groups, and language use. More importantly, it encouraged a political opposition to voice its opinion and to speak out against this policy.

 

2: The Emerging Opposition

PDF

T H E E X P A N S I O N O F B I L I N G U A L E D U C AT I O N , 1 9 6 8 – 1 9 7 8

41

bilingual education, established an Advisory Council on Bilingual Education, and vigorously monitored the development of regulations for the implementation of bilingual education policies. The OCR in the Department of Education became increasingly active in activities related to the compliance of the Lau decision.

The federal judiciary also became involved in bilingual education during the mid-1970s. The Supreme Court, as noted earlier, made a ruling favorable to bilingual education in 1974. Soon thereafter, several lower courts ruled on behalf of bilingual education advocates by mandating the use of native languages in the instruction of limited-Englishproficient children and by prohibiting the use of ESL methods.51

By the latter part of the 1970s, then, the federal role had increased tremendously as indicated by the participation of all three branches of the federal government in the making, implementing, and evaluating of bilingual education policy. It had also become more actively involved in local education by mandating bilingual education throughout the country.

 

2: Conclusion

PDF

46

CONTESTED POLICY

time between pre-and post-testing, the programs being studied, the adequacy of instructional staff, and the sources of funds being used.64 A particularly biting critique was issued by Robert A. Cervantes, an educator from California. Cervantes’ critique, unlike most of his contemporaries’, was broad in scope and went beyond criticizing technical aspects of the evaluation. He provided an overview of the events leading to the awarding of the contract to conduct a national evaluation of bilingual education and explained the reasons for acceptance of a “flawed” proposal. He argued that the award to AIR was related to the politics of

Watergate (Nixon’s reelection committee) and was part of a systematic plan to deprive Development Associates—the alternative group of evaluators—of federal contracts.65

Despite these criticisms, the AIR Report raised serious questions about the effectiveness of bilingual education. It was the first report to do so.

CONCLUSION

The passage of the Bilingual Education Act of 1968 was viewed in extremely positive terms by legislators, educators, and activists of all sorts. Despite its enactment, bilingual education was a minor, compensatory, and voluntary piece of legislation. During the next decade the proponents of bilingual education began to change its character and to transform the policy as it was being implemented. They expanded the scope of bilingual education legislation, contested the goals of this program, increased its funding, eliminated its compensatory provisions, and made it mandatory. In doing so, they significantly increased the federal role in local education.

 

Chapter 3: Retrenchment and Redefinition, 1980-1988

PDF

CHAPTER 3

RETRENCHMENT AND

REDEFINITION, 1980–1988

INTRODUCTION

During the 1980s, organized opposition to bilingual education policy grew significantly. Politicians, educators, scholars, and parent groups began to criticize bilingual education policies and programs at all levels of government and to call for their curtailment.

Several specific factors were responsible for the growth of this opposition. Among the specific factors were the changes in policy over time, the increased federal support of bilingual education methods, growing minority empowerment, and misunderstandings and ignorance of pedagogical methods concerning first and second language learning among language majority and minority students in the United States.

A variety of underlying factors also contributed to the emergence of organized opposition to bilingual education in this decade. One of these was the rise of conservatism in American life in general and the control by the Republican Party of the executive branch of the federal government in particular. In 1980, Ronald Reagan, a one-time film actor, former California governor, and staunch Republican, won by a landslide.

 

3: Introduction

PDF

CHAPTER 3

RETRENCHMENT AND

REDEFINITION, 1980–1988

INTRODUCTION

During the 1980s, organized opposition to bilingual education policy grew significantly. Politicians, educators, scholars, and parent groups began to criticize bilingual education policies and programs at all levels of government and to call for their curtailment.

Several specific factors were responsible for the growth of this opposition. Among the specific factors were the changes in policy over time, the increased federal support of bilingual education methods, growing minority empowerment, and misunderstandings and ignorance of pedagogical methods concerning first and second language learning among language majority and minority students in the United States.

A variety of underlying factors also contributed to the emergence of organized opposition to bilingual education in this decade. One of these was the rise of conservatism in American life in general and the control by the Republican Party of the executive branch of the federal government in particular. In 1980, Ronald Reagan, a one-time film actor, former California governor, and staunch Republican, won by a landslide.

 

3: Increasing Attacks Against Bilingual Education

PDF

56

CONTESTED POLICY

INCREASING ATTACKS AGAINST BILINGUAL EDUCATION

The first major strategy raised questions about the goals, effectiveness, and consequences of federal bilingual education. Its emphasis was on challenging the need for sustained native language instruction. The primary attack against bilingual education from the beginning was aimed at questioning its effectiveness. During the late 1970s, opponents began to argue that bilingual education was not effective in teaching limitedEnglish-proficient (LEP) children English or in improving their academic achievement. Opponents also called for the enactment of a new policy that would consider alternatives to primary language instruction, especially English Immersion and English as a Second Language (ESL) approaches.4 This emerging opposition was limited to a few individuals; it was not yet fully organized.

Serious opposition to bilingual education originated in 1981 with the appearance of several reports issued by the Office of Planning, Budget, and Evaluation (OPBE). This office, in response to a request by the

 

3: Undermining Policy and Practice

PDF

RETRENCHMENT AND REDEFINITION, 1980–1988

65

Congress and in state legislatures and ballot initiatives throughout the country. Because of its national membership, it played an influential role in developing arguments against federal bilingual education and in helping to repeal or modify this policy.

UNDERMINING POLICY AND PRACTICE

The diverse opposition not only questioned various aspects of federal bilingual education, it sought legislative and administrative changes in this policy, in its funding, and in the federal government’s role. The supporters of bilingual education also contested these actions.

Opposition within the federal government came primarily from elected officials in the executive and legislative branch of government.

The former I refer to as executive opponents, the latter as congressional opponents.

Executive opponents, led by two Republican presidents, guided the efforts to weaken federal support for bilingual education. Ronald Reagan initiated the campaign against bilingual education in 1980.38 A primary objective of his administration was to limit the role of the federal government.39 In keeping with this philosophy, Reagan and his congressional allies mounted an attack against bilingual education.40

 

3: Conclusion

PDF

70

CONTESTED POLICY

and on the amount of non-English languages one could use in bilingual education (less than half a day; less than one hour per day). Ironically, while they limited the types of students who could enroll in bilingual education programs, opponents expanded the coverage to include the diverse groups of immigrants coming to this country, especially those from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia.65

Although all of these changes impacted the character of bilingual education, none was more significant than the redefinition of this policy allowing the funding of English-only alternatives to native language instruction. In 1978 only bilingual education programs were fundable.66

In 1984, federal policy allowed an English-only alternative to native language instruction.67 Officially, five programs were fundable. Three of these were instructional programs for LEP children: Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), Developmental Bilingual Education (DBE), and

Special Alternative Instructional Programs (SAIP). The first two allowed for native language instruction; the latter did not. In defense of the program, supporters of bilingual education managed to insert a provision stipulating that only ten percent of total funds for this policy could be used for this English-only method.68 In 1988 this policy was amended to allow up to twenty-five percent of total bilingual education funds for establishing English-only instructional programs. The amended bill also stipulated that one hundred percent of any new funds above $130 million had to be devoted to English-only methods.69

 

Chapter 4: The Final Push, 1990s

PDF

CHAPTER 4

THE FINAL PUSH, 1990 S

INTRODUCTION

Opposition to bilingual education decreased in the early 1990s, at least within the executive and legislative branch of the federal government.

The constant need for Latino votes by the Republican Party as well as the election of a Democratic president blunted attacks against this policy in the first half of the 1990s. By mid-decade, however, organized opposition to bilingual education significantly increased throughout the country.

The resurgence in opposition was due to several factors, including the reauthorization of the Bilingual Education Act of 1994, the Republican control of both houses of Congress during the 1994 elections, the state initiatives against bilingual education in California and Arizona, and public opinion polls indicating that most Americans, including apparently Latinos, opposed bilingual education.

Opponents became more diverse in this decade. In addition to conservative special interest groups such as the Republican Party, Anglo parent groups, administrators, assimilationists and U.S. English groups, they also included the following groups:

 

4: Introduction

PDF

CHAPTER 4

THE FINAL PUSH, 1990 S

INTRODUCTION

Opposition to bilingual education decreased in the early 1990s, at least within the executive and legislative branch of the federal government.

The constant need for Latino votes by the Republican Party as well as the election of a Democratic president blunted attacks against this policy in the first half of the 1990s. By mid-decade, however, organized opposition to bilingual education significantly increased throughout the country.

The resurgence in opposition was due to several factors, including the reauthorization of the Bilingual Education Act of 1994, the Republican control of both houses of Congress during the 1994 elections, the state initiatives against bilingual education in California and Arizona, and public opinion polls indicating that most Americans, including apparently Latinos, opposed bilingual education.

Opponents became more diverse in this decade. In addition to conservative special interest groups such as the Republican Party, Anglo parent groups, administrators, assimilationists and U.S. English groups, they also included the following groups:

 

4: Decline and Resurgence of Attacks against Bilingual Education

PDF

78

CONTESTED POLICY

3. los ignorantes (the ignorant ones): individuals who did not understand or who refused to understand that one of the primary purposes of bilingual education was to teach English as quickly as instructionally possible.

DECLINE AND RESURGENCE OF ATTACKS AGAINST

BILINGUAL EDUCATION

Several important political reasons accounted for the decrease in opposition to bilingual education in the early 1990s. First, the George Bush administration and the Republican Party needed to attract Latino voters during the 1992 presidential election. One of the ways Republicans sought to accomplish this was by taking a stand in support of bilingual education, an issue dear to many Latinos. In early 1991, President Bush took such a stand when he issued the final results of a Department of Education study favoring bilingual education. This praise for bilingual education, noted one journalist, “was a marked shift from the stand of the

Reagan administration, which diverted funding from bilingual programs at the urging of conservatives opposed to extensive native-language instruction.”1

 

Load more


Details

Print Book
E-Books
Chapters

Format name
PDF
Encrypted
No
Sku
B000000023693
Isbn
9781574411713
File size
832 KB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
PDF
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata