Education: Taking Bilingualism to Task

A gifted Mexican American says it cheats minorities

In the melting-pot America of legend, plunging straight into the English language in school was a matter of pride and sheer survival. The pain of learning, and of leaving one's immigrant parents behind, was justified as necessary for progress and assimilation. But by the 1970s, prevailing notions about education and ethnicity had changed. It was believed that the cultural heritage of each student should be preserved. Accordingly, new waves of immigrant children, the majority of them Hispanics, were provided with bilingual education, as the Federal...

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