As he campaigned for governor, Romney also campaigned for a ballot measure ending a law under which students had bilingual education while they learned English; instead, under the Romney-backed measure passed by voters, students were put in regular classrooms after a year or less of predominantly English education. As governor, he “sought to rapidly implement [English immersion] throughout the state,” he wrote in his book No Apology. But whatever can be said about the idea of replacing bilingual education with English immersion, implementation of the law was a big problem:
In 2006, three years after the law Romney campaigned for went into effect, new state tests showed that 83 percent of students learning English as a second language in the third through twelfth grades could not read, write, speak or understand English well enough for regular classes after their first year in Massachusetts schools. Of those enrolled in state schools for at least three years, more than half still were not fluent.
Just last year, the US Department of Justice cited the state for violating federal law by poorly implementing English immersion and not mandating teacher training to help students overcome language barriers.
Putting kids in classes taught in a language they don’t speak by teachers who haven’t been trained to help them learn may not be in the same league as deporting kids, as Romney would also do, or supporting Arizona’s “papers, please” immigration law, or having a xenophobe like Kris Kobach advising his campaign, or calling for self-deportation.
But it’s true to form that even when Romney claims to be doing something in the best interest of immigrant kids and according to the desires of their parents, he campaigns on it, fails to make it work, then touts it in his book and in the Republican primary as if it was a success, only to stop talking about it quite so much in a general election where Latino voters could be decisive. And that’s why, if Latino voters are decisive, Romney’s cooked.
Source: Daily Kos