Researchers Study Impact of “Unz Initiatives”

By Mary Ann Zehr — May 09, 2008 1 min read
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What kind of impact have anti-bilingual-education ballot measures had in Arizona, California, and Massachusetts? The directors of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Linguistic Minority Research Institute at UC-Santa Barbara, decided to commission research and hold a conference to explore that question.

Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley businessman, financed the campaigns that advocated the passage of anti-bilingual initiatives in all three states so they are nicknamed the “Unz initiatives.”

I attended the conference in Sacramento, Calif., last week—hence the light posting on this blog recently—and wrote about how the researchers believe that structured English immersion hasn’t proved to be any kind of magic method for teaching English to ELLs. My article, published on-line today at, also quotes a couple of people who believe the initiatives have had a positive impact.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.