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School Vouchers: The Next Great Leap Forward

by Amity Shlaesvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 30, 1998

Milton and Rose D. Friedman have made a career of advocating radical changes in public policy and economic thinking. Hoover media fellow Amity Shlaes recently spoke with the Friedmans about their latest cause.

Bilingual Education: A Critique

by Peter J. Duignanvia Analysis
Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Bilingual education has been a subject of national debate since the 1960s. This essay traces the evolution of that debate from its origin in the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Bilingual Education Act (1968), which decreed that a child should be instructed in his or her native tongue for a transitional year while she or he learned English but was to transfer to an all-English classroom as fast as possible. These prescriptions were ignored by bilingual enthusiasts; English was neglected, and Spanish language and cultural maintenance became the norm.

Bilingual education was said to be essential for the purposes of gaining a new sense of pride for the Hispanics and to resist Americanization. The Lau v. Nichols (1974) decision stands out as a landmark on the road to bilingual education for those unable to speak English: bilingual education moved away from a transitional year to a multiyear plan to teach children first in their home language, if it was not English, before teaching them in English. This facilitation theory imprisoned Spanish speakers in classrooms where essentially only Spanish was taught, and bilingual education became Spanish cultural maintenance with English limited to thirty minutes a day. The essay discusses the pros and cons of bilingual education.

Criticism of bilingual education has grown as parents and numerous objective analyses have shown it was ineffective, kept students too long in Spanish-only classes, and slowed the learning of English and assimilation into American society. High dropout rates for Latino students, low graduation rates from high schools and colleges have imprisoned Spanish speakers at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder in the United States.

This revolt, the defects of bilingual education, and the changes needed to restore English for the Children are covered in the essay. The implications of Proposition 227 abolishing bilingual education in California are also discussed.

HIGHER STANDARDS FOR TEACHER TRAINING

by Eugene W. Hickokvia Policy Review
Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Eugene Hickok, Pennsylvania’s education chief, on higher standards for teacher training One man’s crusade to hold a government agency accountable to the taxpayer

Support Your Local Charter School

by Bruno V. Manno, Chester E. Finn Jr.via Policy Review
Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Civic entrepreneurs will be critical to the success of these fledgling independent public schools

Numero Uno

by Tyce Palmaffyvia Policy Review
Tuesday, September 1, 1998

El Paso superintendent Anthony Trujillo sets the standard for urban schools

State of the States

by Steven Haywardvia Policy Review
Wednesday, July 1, 1998

State of the states: taxpayers reject stadium swindles; Boston-based charter school offers a lifetime warranty; spanking in the heartland, spoiling on the coasts

Correspondence

via Policy Review
Wednesday, July 1, 1998

Death with real dignity; standards: the latest fad

Affirmative Action in Higher Education: A Dilemma of Conflicting Principles

by John H. Bunzelvia Analysis
Wednesday, July 1, 1998

As a university president in the 1970s (San Jose State) and then as a researcher and writer, Bunzel's long involvement with affirmative action in higher education has led him to conclude that the troubling issues of race and equality cannot be reduced to the easy categories of "right" versus "wrong." He objects to such moral absolutism (also reflected in California's Proposition 209) because it denies legitimacy to the inevitable complexities and nuances inherent in what he regards as a many-sided problem. Affirmative action in college admissions, he argues, must ultimately be viewed in relation to other competing principles and in light of many practical problems.

In trying to balance different claims and interests within a "theory of limits," Bunzel believes a more useful way to think about affirmative action is in terms of a "social contribution theory of universities." Thus he asks (among other questions), "Is some degree of race consciousness never defensible?" He does not think there is only one morally correct answer. Acknowledging that race has too often been considered excessively and sub rosa, he rejects both of the ideologically pure extremes--namely, that anything that overcomes the disadvantages of race is acceptable and that taking race into account is never appropriate under any circumstances.

A Nation Still at Risk

by William J. Bennett, Willard Fair, Chester E. Finn Jr., Rev. Floyd H. Flake, E. Donald Hirsch Jr., Will Marshall, Diane Ravitchvia Policy Review
Wednesday, July 1, 1998

Fifteen years after A Nation at Risk galvanized the education reform movement, little has changed.

Learn While You Earn

by John Hoodvia Policy Review
Friday, May 1, 1998

Education savings accounts offer Congress a chance to advance tax reform, help families, and counter Clintonian politics

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K-12 Education Task Force

 
The K–12 Education Task Force focuses on education policy as it relates to government provision and oversight versus private solutions (both within and outside the public school system) that stress choice, accountability, and transparency.

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