Does bilingual education, teaching non-English speaking students academic subjects in their native language while they learn English, help students or hold them back? Should we use the English immersion method instead? Are the recent bans on bilingual education in California and Arizona a mistake or the beginnings of a national trend?
Is the ballot initiative good or bad for American democracy? Today citizens in twenty-four states have the right to petition their fellow citizens in the law. Initiatives that are approved by voters become law, bypassing the normal legislative process. What are the benefits of this sort of direct democracy? And what are the dangers?
In 2000, the amount of money spent in political campaigns in the United States may reach three billion dollars. Is that too much? Have our politicians been corrupted by special interests and their money? What can be done to reform our system of campaign finance? Should contribution limits be raised or eliminated? Is immediate public disclosure of contributions the answer? What are the prospects for campaign finance reform in the near future?
Ron Unz, chairman, English for the Children, and Joseph Jaramillo, staff attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, discuss if bilingual education failed, and if it should be improved or eliminated.