NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED479759
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Direct Democracy Takes on Bilingual Education: Framing the Debate in Four State Initiatives.
Citrin, Jack; Kiley, Jocelyn; Pearson, Kathryn
The entrenched nature of affirmative action, immigration, and bilingual education programs shows that ethnic minorities as well as powerful economic interests can benefit from client politics (H. D. Graham, 2002). In recent years, ballot initiatives have pierced the cocoon of legislative support for these policies and overturned them in California and several other states, leading scholars to debate whether direct democracy is a threat to minority rights. This paper is a study of four recent initiatives seeking to eliminate well-protected bilingual education programs. The paper notes that California businessman Ron Unz spearheaded this movement, succeeding in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts, and failing in Colorado. It sets out to outline the genesis, conduct, and outcome of the recent initiative campaigns to drastically reform bilingual education. It considers the pattern of elite support and opposition; the campaign themes; and the pattern of mass support and opposition, based on evidence from both aggregate-level and survey data. The paper argues that although bilingual education is a matter of limited salience to the majority of (white) voters, the widely held, if latent, belief that speaking English is an important attribute of U.S. national identity and, as such, important for assimilating immigrants, provided the supporters of the Unz initiatives with an important initial electoral advantage. (Contains 44 references, 13 notes, and 7 tables.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; California; Colorado; Massachusetts
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Proposition 227 (California 1998)