Senators attack anti-bilingual education initiative
Saturday, October 5, 2002
The state's U.S. senators yesterday denounced Question 2 on the November ballot,
a referendum that would end bilingual education programs and require most
students to spend just one year in an English immersion course.
U.S. Sens. John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy sent a letter to organizers
fighting the ballot measure, proposed and guided by California software
entrepreneur Ron Unz, who ushered similar measures through his home state and
``We believe Massachusetts should focus on helping every child learn English and
meet academic standards,'' the two senators wrote. ``The Unz Initiative would
compromise that goal by mandating a one-size-fits-all approach.''
The pair provided the letter to the Committee for Fairness to Children and
Teachers, the political campaign organized to fight the Unz measure, which so
far enjoys a wide margin of support in polls.
Neither Unz nor English for the Children campaign Chairman Lincoln Tamayo could
be reached yesterday.
The senators backed Beacon Hill legislators' recent overhaul of bilingual
education for the state's 44,000 limited English proficient students.