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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

7 - The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Bilingual Education in California and the Ongoing American Dilemma

from Part II - The United States Context


This chapter analyzes major shifts in US educational policies toward bilingual education in California, where voters are often called on to decide policy by voting on propositions. It focuses on: how language policies have functioned as an instrument of social control; the lingering impact of the Americanization century and English-only ideologies on contemporary educational policies; the contemporary English-only movement and its impact on language minority education; and how a series of discriminatory propositions in California set the stage for language restriction in 1998. The chapter next looks at factors affecting the resurgence of bilingual education as “dual-language” education amidst discourses of globalization since 2016. The chapter concludes by noting new threats to immigrants posed by the criminalization of immigrant status and efforts to deny education as a human right. Implicit in this discussion are questions related to the relationship between language policy and racism and the salience of language policies in racial politics.

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