In 2006, Arizona implemented their new policy for English language learners (ELL”s). In this country a bilingual education has always been portrayed as a temporary fix to show support as a diverse nation, yet politicians have always been influential in how the polices were carried out and when. One doesn’t have to look far to make a quick comparison of the concept of a bilingual education or the political shift that followed its conception. In Arizona, the politicians were firmly opposed to any changes; however, they quickly changed their minds and were persuaded by the support of the mass public. This support was used to their advantage to initiate a change to the bilingual system that was in place. This public display of support can be traced to mid 1800’s in Meyer’s (2006) interpretation of the adoption of the “common school idea” Massachusetts in the mid-1800s illustrates the power of new institutionalism. The political landscape looked very familiar to that of Arizona in 2006. When a comparison is made between these two states, it seems that politicians fear change and if diverse groups are given to much too quick (a way of control by politicians) there will an influx of immigrants who will support reformers who support a diverse and fair education. In the 1800’s people who opposed such measures lost their voice on the opinions of education and were subjected to higher taxes.
When you make an impact as Arizona residents have done, we have to understand the political landscape of what elements needed to be instilled for success. One doesn’t just persuade politicians to change their minds; they had to focus on many variables to implement this new ELL policy. When politicians see that the mass public is looking to the future of its cultural and political environments’ they have to acknowledge the people within and the interest groups they belong too and how it affects their future jurisdiction.
Educational equality has always been the goal of some, but not everyone. There have been parameters placed on educators that dictate to what extent teachers can help student. These restrictions were set forth by anti bilingual education laws. With these laws in place, the struggle for equality will continue for immigrants of foreign countries. In schools today we look at diversity as the core strength of the classroom. This opens many avenues of teaching for our students as we incorporate and recognize each other’s cultures. According to (McCarty 2002) he noted that “local meanings cannot be divorced from the larger network of power relations in which they reside” While these bilingual laws that were implemented looked to separate all parties involve, the ownership should fall on the politician who doesn’t recognize or claim any ownership of the law. As most politicians, they would rather defer the mistakes of underachievement to all parties such as teachers, parents and the students; yet, they are the ones who forged their signatures to enforce the law.
In any school the underlining of success weighs heavily on the federal and state testing and standards. Language issues seem to have taken a back seat to testing and it seems the emphasis is shifting to the assistant teacher to deal with language concerns while the classroom teacher focuses on high stakes testing and it preparation. According to (Nichols, Glass, & Berliner, 2005, p. 10) “there is no consistent evidence that high-stakes testing works to increase achievement and such methods for assessing schools persist as a dominant force in the structure of public education under NCLB”. It seems the focus remains on blaming each other for the discrepancies when the focus should be shifted to make changes to the policies and agencies that oversee them. In our schools today, we need not open textbooks to teach the world of culture, it already exists around us in the classroom. This enables learning and