ERIC Number: EJ723421
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 156
The Political Spectacle of Arizona's Proposition 203
Wright, Wayne E.
Educational Policy, v19 n5 p662-700 2005
Arizona's Proposition 203 places restrictions on bilingual and English-as-a-second-language programs and essentiality mandates English-only education for English language learners (ELLs). This article provides an analysis of this initiative and the wide variations in its interpretation and implementation. Data sources include official policy and related documents, media coverage, and observations of key policy events. The findings provide evidence that Proposition 203 and its implementation are political spectacle, rather than democratic rationale policy making with true concern for ELL students. The analysis focuses on the components of the political spectacle framework evident in the initiative, its campaign(s), and its implementation, including the use of symbolic language, the use of plots and story lines, the creation of leaders (heroes) and enemies, the evoking of symbols of rationality, and distinctions between on-stage and off-stage actions. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications for English language learners in Arizona.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, English (Second Language), Bilingual Education Programs, Immersion Programs, Educational Legislation, Educational Policy, Politics of Education, Political Campaigns, Program Implementation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona