Bilingual Education as a Campaign Issue--In the Minds of Opinion Writers
From news coverage of the campaign trail, I conclude that the presidential candidates aren't talking about how best to educate English-language learners. And they are hardly raising the topic of immigration at all on the trail, except through ads in the Spanish-language media.
But that hasn't stopped the Education Watch of the New York Times from featuring bilingual education, which Sen. Barack Obama publicly endorsed months ago, as a campaign issue.
This week the New York Times followed up on the two commentaries it published recently on the issue with an opinion by Sandra Tsing Loh, a Los Angeles writer. She's in favor of bilingual schools that integrate children from low-income immigrant families with middle-class native speakers of English.
Sen. John McCain doesn't say in the highlights of his education plan what he proposes for English-language learners, but he has voted for English immersion over bilingual education (See "John McCain on Immigration" notes on a July 2001 vote). The Republican platform calls for an "English First approach," whatever that means.