Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 37 (2017), pp. 14–29.© Cambridge University Press, 2017doi: 10.1017/S0267190517000162
A Critical Review of Bilingual Education in the United States:From Basements and Pride to Boutiques and Profit
Nelson FloresUniversity of Pennsylvania
Ofelia GarcíaThe Graduate Center of the City University of New York
In this article we connect the institutionalization of bilingual education to a post–CivilRights racial formation that located the root of educational inequalities in the psy-chological condition of people of color in ways that obscured the structural barriersconfronting communities of color. Within this context, bilingual education was insti-tutionalized with the goal of instilling cultural pride in Latinx students in ways thatwould remediate their perceived linguistic deficiencies. This left bilingual educatorsstruggling to develop affirmative spaces for Latinx children within a context wherethese students continued to be devalued by the broader school and societal context.More recent years have witnessed the dismantling of these affirmative spaces and theirreplacement with two-way immersion programs that seek to cater to White middle-class families. While these programs have offered new spaces for the affirmation ofthe bilingualism of Latinx children, they do little to address the power hierarchiesbetween the low-income Latinx communities and White middle-class communitiesthat are being served by these programs. We end with a call to situate struggles forbilingual education within broader efforts to combat the racialization of Latinx andother minoritized communities.
This is the story of bilingual education in the United States as told by two of itscritical friends and advocates from two different generations. Ofelia was bornin Cuba and arrived in New York City at the age of 11. Nelson was born inPhiladelphia, of a Puerto Rican mother and an Ecuadorian father. In the UnitedStates, both were educated monolingually. Ofelia had no other choice becausebilingual education was not offered at the time. Nelson was not given a choicebecause he was designated as fully English proficient when he arrived at school,and bilingual education programs offered in Philadelphia at the time were onlyavailable to students officially designated as “limited English proficient.”
As students, we were not recognized for our bilingualism, which re-mained silent in school. For Ofelia, only the lunchroom remained a spacefor bilingualism, although monitors continuously reprimanded her for speaking
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nelson flores and ofelia garcía 15
Spanish with the other Latinas. Nelson did not hear Spanish in school at all untilhe was in 8th grade, when he was placed in the predominately White advancedclass. The advanced class was the only class that was permitted to take Spanishrather than an extra block of English literacy, which the majority of the studentsof color in the school were required to take. As teachers, however, we were hired,in part, for our bilingual skills. As a first-time teacher, Ofelia was faced witha class of Puerto Rican children who didn’t speak English and whom she wassupposed to teach in English only. Nelson was hired as an English as secondlanguage teacher of Latinx students of different national origins and languageproficiencies. But despite the official English context of the classroom—in Ofelia’scase because the time for bilingual education had yet to come (it was 1970), and inNelson’s case because the time for bilingual education seemed to have passed (itwas 2003)—our bilingualism was put to good use in educating the Latinx childrenwe worked with.
In this article we combine our intergenerational experiences, as Latinxs whohave dedicated our careers to the struggle for bilingual education, to explore thepromises and perils of positioning bilingual education as a central focus of thepolitical struggles of the Latinx community. Ofelia has direct experience with theearly years of bilingual education that occurred within the context of the CivilRights Movement and the War on Poverty. In the early years, bilingual educationprograms were often found in the basements of schools, with bilingual childrensegregated from the rest of the school community. Yet, despite this marginalizedstatus within the schools, these bilingual programs opened the gates for Latinxsteachers, who had previously been systematically excluded from being hired, toenter the classroom as teachers of Latinx students (Reyes, 2006). Ofelia, and manyother bilingual educators, took advantage of the affordances provided by their newpositions within these bilingual basements to instill a sense of cultural pride intheir Latinx students. “Estoy orgulloso de ser bilingüe” [I’m proud to be bilingual]was the mantra for many of these programs.
Nelson began his career in bilingual education in an extremely differentsociopolitical context. He doesn’t recall a time when bilingual education programswere promoted and protected by the federal government. Nor has he experiencedthe culturally relevant pedagogy that emerged in many of the racialized basementswhere earlier generations of bilingual education programs were regulated. Instead,at the beginning of his career, these racialized basements were undergoing a processof systematic dismantling as a result of conservative political attacks (Crawford,2000). The bilingual education programs that continued to endure were a shell oftheir former selves as a result of the drying up of federal funding, massive politicalresistance, and the many challenges confronting the under-resourced schools thathoused these programs, which were often in segregated and high-poverty neighbor-hoods that had been decimated by deindustrialization (Cahnmann, 1998). In theirplace arose “boutique programs,” focused on “selling” bilingualism to powerfulconsumers. It was these boutique programs, often referred to as dual language ortwo-way immersion programs, that Nelson was taught to believe were the goldstandard of bilingual education that bilingual education activists should strive for. Published online by Cambridge University Press

16 a critical review of bilingual education
In this way, the story of bilingual education in the United States in –CivilRights era can be described as going from basements to boutiques. This move frombasements to boutiques resonates with the tropes of pride and profit introducedby Duchêne and Heller (2013) in their discussion of language in late capitalism.These two ideologies—of pride and profit—operate dialectically and have beenused differently to promote or restrict bilingual education from the mid-1960s totoday. Based on our experiences as U.S. Latinx scholars and educators, we arguethat neither pride nor profit are sufficient in improving the living conditions ofLatinx communities. This is because both of these tropes position the locus ofsocial change at the level of individuals in ways that obscure the structural barriersconfronting Latinx children and communities. Pride suggests that improving theself-esteem of Latinx and other minoritized students will improve their academicachievement. Yet, a bilingual teacher seeking to do this must confront the largerschool context that has often relegated these students to the basement, alongsidebroader societal messages that devalue and marginalize these students and theircommunities. In a similar vein, profit suggests that marketing bilingual educa-tion to powerful parents will increase the status of these programs. Yet, the starkinequalities that exist between the different stakeholders may lead to the exclusionof the minoritized students they were originally created to support (Valdez, Freire,& Delavan, 2016). The limitations of both pride and profit stem from their lack ofattention to the broader structural barriers confronting Latinx communities.
To be clear, we both believe that bilingual education continues to offer thepossibility of challenging the marginalization of Latinx and other minoritizedstudents. Yet, as we reflect on the history of the field in –Civil Rightsera, we lament the fact that the lofty goals of original proponents of these pro-grams within the Latinx community have not been fully achieved. The failure ofbilingual education to meet these lofty goals should not be interpreted as a failure ofbilingual education, but rather as a failure of U.S. society to address the underlyingracialization processes that relegate Latinx and other minoritized communities tosecond-class status in U.S. society. That is, while bilingual educators have beenable to create classrooms that affirm the bilingualism of their Latinx students inways that instill cultural pride, they have been able to do little to challenge thestructural barriers confronting their students in the broader society as reflected intheir relegation to the basements of schools. Similarly, while dual language/two-way immersion programs may have moved bilingual education programs out of thebasements, teachers in these programs can do little to challenge the vast inequitiesthat exist between low-income Latinx students and their White middle-class coun-terparts in the broader society. In the next section, we connect this failure to confrontthe structural barriers confronting the Latinx and other minoritized communities toa broader post–Civil Rights discourse that framed the roots of racial inequalities asembedded within individuals as opposed to systematic exclusion. We then use thisframing to reflect on the history of contemporary bilingual education in the UnitedStates. Our hope is that this critical analysis will serve to begin a conversationabout the role of bilingual education advocacy work within efforts to dismantlethe racial hierarchies of U.S. society. Published online by Cambridge University Press

nelson flores and ofelia garcía 17
institutionalizing bilingual education in thepost–civil rights era
Omi and Winant (1994) argued that the institutionalization of the demands ofthe Civil Rights Movement did not mark a break with the White supremacy ofU.S. society but instead marked the beginning of a new racial formation thatreconfigured White supremacy in ways that could accommodate the demands of theCivil Rights Movement while maintaining the racial status quo. Aggarwal (2016)pointed to the Brown v. Board of Education decision as providing the foundationfor this post–Civil Rights racial formation. Aggarwal argued that the definition ofharm used to inform the Brown decision was based on “a deficit framework of Blackinferiority” that repositioned “political and economic questions as social problems”(Aggarwal, 2016, p. 132). In particular, Aggarwal pointed to the ways that thediscourses surrounding the Brown decision were focused on the psychologicaldamages caused by segregation on the internal psyche of Black children in waysthat obscured the question of the legacy of racialized material inequalities thatshaped their lives. From this perspective, problems of inequality in education arerooted in the deficiency of communities of color, and the solution becomes tofix these deficiencies. This post–Civil Rights racial formation also impacted thediscussion related to the academic challenges confronting the Latinx community.A key difference is that, unlike the case with Black students, where segregation hadhistorically been explicitly justified because of racial differences, segregation forthe Latinx community was typically rationalized because of linguistic differences(Contreras & Valverde, 1994).
At the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, the situation of Latinx studentswas dire. A 1957 Texas report showed that the average Spanish-surnamed studentspent 3 years in first grade and dropped out of school before reaching fifth grade(Browning & McLemore, 1964). Likewise, a 1960 California study reported thatover half of the Spanish-surnamed students had not gone beyond the eighth grade(Blanco, 1977). In 1960, of all Puerto Ricans 25 years of age and older in theUnited States, 87% had dropped out without graduating from high school (García,2009).
It is within this context that calls for bilingual education emerged. On the onehand were proponents of bilingual education who framed bilingual education aspart of a broader effort to dismantle White supremacist relations of power. Theseincluded radical Latinx political organizations such as the Young Lords and BrownBerets, who situated calls for bilingual education within a broader political platformthat included radical visions of community control situated within the political andeconomic development of Latinx communities (Flores, 2016). This radical visionalso included many other members of Latinx communities, for whom bilingualeducation was never simply a program to educate their children bilingually, butrather “a means to realize the promise of equal citizenship” (Del Valle, 1998,p. 194). On the other hand were proponents of bilingual education who framedbilingual education as part of efforts to improve the self-esteem of Latinx andother minoritized students. For example, in 1966 the powerful National Education Published online by Cambridge University Press

18 a critical review of bilingual education
Association (NEA) issued a report that stated that English-only practices inschooling led to damaged self-esteem, resentment, psychological withdrawal fromschool, and underachievement among Mexican Americans (NEA, 1966).
A year after the NEA report, Senator Ralph Yarborough from Texas introducedthe Bilingual Education Act (BEA), which was intended to improve the educationalexperience of Spanish-speaking children. When he introduced the legislation inthe U.S. Senate, he adopted a similar framing as the NEA report by suggesting thatmonolingual education policies “have caused great psychological harm to these[bilingual] children and contributed to their poor performance in school and highdropout rates” (cited in San Miguel, 2004). In short, similar to the Brown decision,the discourse surrounding the BEA framed the effects of racial inequalities asdamaging to the internal psyche of Latinx children in ways that obscured questionsrelated to the need for a redistribution of resources to compensate for centuries ofWhite supremacist and monolingual policies. The result was that racial inequalitiesproduced by a myriad of complex structural factors were reframed as linguisticproblems with linguistic solutions (Flores, 2016). This framing is reflected inLyndon B. Johnson’s comments when he signed the BEA on January 2, 1968:
Thousands of children for Latin descent, young Indians, and others, will get a betterstart—a better chance—in school. . . . [W]e are now giving every child in America abetter chance to touch his outermost limits—to reach the farthest edge of his talentsand his dreams. We have begun a campaign to unlock the full potential of every boyand girl, regardless of his race or his region or his father’s income. (Subcommitteeon Education, 1968, p. 41)
Johnson’s rhetoric was typical of the idealism of the 1960s, in its belief thatreforms that sought to improve educational opportunities for communities of colorwould be able to undo the psychological damage caused by a legacy of racism andpoverty.
The positioning of bilingual education as a panacea for the educationalinequalities confronting Latinx was a double-edged sword. On the one hand,it was vital in supporting the work of pioneers in bilingual education. Onthe other hand, treating bilingual education as a panacea undermined themore radical demands of many bilingual education activists and distanced itfrom broader racial and economic equity struggles by refocusing it on tech-nocratic issues related to the implementation of these programs (Grinberg &Saavedra, 2000). As a result, the bilingual education programs that were in-stitutionalized as part of the BEA were a far cry from the vision of bilin-gual education that many activists in these communities envisioned. In con-trast to the vision of community-based bilingual-bicultural schools connectedto broader political struggles for racial equity, the majority of the bilingualeducation programs that were organized as a result of the BEA were mostlytransitional in nature (Del Valle, 1998). At best, these programs served as tem-porary “safe spaces” for students to develop cultural pride in ways that increasedtheir self-esteem to prepare them to function in mainstream classrooms and the Published online by Cambridge University Press

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broader society. At worse, these programs perpetuated the continued racializationof Latinx and other minoritized communities by framing them as “the other” tothe mainstream White norm. In this sense, the bilingual basement became a placewhere students could be proud of who they were, while simultaneously beingoppressed for who they were.
Of course, it is the gift of hindsight that allows us to see the limits of the framingof the 1968 BEA and the ways that the construction of racialized basements in-advertently contributed to –Civil Rights racial formation that has allowedWhite supremacy to remain relatively intact. That is, we are not questioning themotives of the scholars and activists who fought for the passage of the BEA, norare we suggesting that these individuals were racist. On the contrary, the BEA waspassed with an explicitly antiracist goal of improving the academic achievementof Latinx and other minoritized students. Indeed, Ofelia was actively involved infighting for the successful implementation of bilingual education programs in theearly years of the implementation of BEA. Similarly, Nelson is indebted to thementorship that he has received from Ofelia and other pioneers in the fight forbilingual education. What we are suggesting is that the last 50 years of bilingualeducation in U.S. schools have illustrated that the BEA and those who foughtfor it underestimated the continuing legacy of institutional racism that led to theconstruction of racialized basements: that contributed to the continued marginal-ization of Latinx children. It is to the construction of these racialized basementsof bilingual education in the 1970s that we now turn.
constructing racialized basements of bilingualeducation
The construction of the racialized basements of bilingual education occurred as aproduct of two seemingly opposed sociopolitical processes. On the one hand wereadvocates for bilingual education who, appropriating discourses that stemmedback to the Brown decision, positioned bilingual education as combating racialinequalities by raising the self-esteem of Latinx and other minoritized communi-ties. On the other hand were advocates for bilingual education who, adopting theassessment practices of the time, began to identify perceived linguistic deficienciesin Latinx and other minoritized students and saw bilingual education as the mostviable option in remediating them. Though these two perspectives may seem to beopposed to one another, they were, in fact, co-constructed in many ways, such thatbilingual education became framed as a way of instilling cultural pride in Latinxand other minoritized students in ways that would fix their linguistic deficienciesand improve their performance on standardized assessments.
Before looking closer at these two sociopolitical processes, it is important tosituate the rise of racialized basements within the broader political context in whichthey emerged. These racialized basements emerged in perhaps the most politicallyhospitable context for bilingual education the country has witnessed. Decades ofcommunity mobilization had finally paid off with the federal government taking Published online by Cambridge University Press

20 a critical review of bilingual education
an active role in promoting bilingual education as a way of alleviating the civilunrest that had characterized the Civil Rights Movement. This hospitable contextfor bilingual education is reflected in a state-of-the-art study conducted by theCenter for Applied Linguistics in the late 1970s:
The concept of providing instruction in their own language to students who come toschool speaking little or no English was given federal sanction in the 1968 BilingualEducation Act (Title VII, Elementary and Secondary Education Act). . . . Momentumwas increased by the landmark Lau v. Nichols decision in January 1974. The SupremeCourt found that providing identical education programs for both English- and non-English-speaking students did not constitute equal education opportunity and thatspecial language instruction was necessary to allow non-English speakers real accessto the content of the education services. Although not strictly mandated by the Laudecision, bilingual education has been seen by the Office of Civil Rights (DHEW)and subsequent court rulings as a major way of meeting the special needs of thesestudents. (Parker, 1977, p. vii)
Ofelia vividly remembers this era of bilingual education when the federalgovernment, through the Office of Civil Rights and the courts, offered explicitsupport for students receiving “instruction in their own language.” In contrast,when Ofelia showed this description to Nelson for the first time, he found it aliento his own experiences as a bilingual educator. First of all, he was struck by thefederal government supporting bilingual education —support that had essentiallydisappeared before he began his career in bilingual education. He was also struckby the explicit naming of the Bilingual Education Act, since the use of the term“bilingual” had also essentially disappeared from mainstream discourses beforehe began his career. He wondered what it was like to work in schools under thecontext of the Lau remedies that privileged bilingual education over English as asecond language programs for meeting the needs of minoritized students (Castel-lanos, 1983). The discussion of “equal education opportunity” was also noteworthyin that Nelson has been much more accustomed to discussions of “gaps” ratherthan “opportunities.” In short, the 1970s could be considered a time when therewas the most federal support for bilingual education and the largest number ofinfrastructures for developing these programs.
In line with the psychological framing of the Brown decision, bilingualeducation was described by the U.S. government as developing “the children’sself-esteem and a legitimate pride in both cultures.” This point was reiterated byBlanco (1977), who described the state of the art of bilingual education for acompendium published by the Center for Applied Linguistics in 1977:
The consensus of writers in the field of bilingual education reveals that the primarythrust of bilingual education lies within the cognitive and affective domains, ratherthan the linguistic realm. The main purpose of bilingual education is not to teachlanguage per se . . . but to participate successfully in the education process. (pp. 4–5) Published online by Cambridge University Press

nelson flores and ofelia garcía 21
In a similar vein, von Maltitz (1975) argued that the major goal of bilingual-bicultural education was to lead students “to believe in themselves, in their basicworth as human beings, and in their native capacities.” These early scholars ofbilingual education were sure about two things: (a) positive self-esteem is a prereq-uisite for learning, and (b) participation in meaningful education produces learning.For these scholars, the purpose of bilingual education was to ensure that language-minoritized children, Chicanxs and Puerto Ricans in their majority, would engagecognitively and affectively as they participated in an education that extended theirhome and community socialization. This focus on instilling pride and improvingthe self-esteem of Latinx and other minoritized communities was discussed aspart of the development of a new cultural democracy that stressed “the right ofevery American child to remain identified with his own home and communitysocialization experiences” (Castañeda, Herold, & Ramírez, 1975, p. 10).
We in no way seek to minimize the important work done by scholars andactivists to develop bilingual spaces that addressed students’ affective concerns andsought to instill in them a sense of cultural pride. For the first time, the education ofLatinx was in the hands of the community. Chicanx and Puerto Rican communitymembers were hired as teachers. And those educators not only felt ownershipof, and pride in, the education of their own children, but they also were deeplyknowledgeable of the histories, language, and cultural practices of the youth.Families and communities were deeply engaged in schools, serving as teacheraides and extending the definition of school family. For the Chicanx communitiesof the Southwest and the Puerto Rican communities of the Northeast, there waspride in feeling that “Latinos, unidos, jamás serán vencidos.” In short, the legiti-mation of bilingual education programs where the children’s languages could beused was indeed welcomed by Latinx and other minoritized communities, as wellas by progressive educators and scholars, in recognition that minoritized childrenhad to be engaged in a meaningful and equitable education experience.
Yet, these affirmative spaces were not sufficient in dismantling the Whitesupremacy that permeated U.S. institutions. An example of this continued legacyof White supremacy can be found in one of the BEA requirements for fund-ing, which was that schools administer language proficiency assessments in bothEnglish and Spanish to determine eligibility for bilingual education programs.Many students performed poorly on these decontextualized assessments that didnot align with the dynamic bilingualism of their lived experiences. As a result, manyof these students were labeled “semilingual” or not fully proficient in either Englishor Spanish (Heath, 1984). One result of these assessment practices was that thebilingualism of Latinx and other minoritized children was reframed from a rallyingcry connected to larger political struggles for community empowerment toward adeficit that needed to be fixed through pedagogical interventions (Flores, 2016).
In short, in –Civil Rights era, two major goals for bilingual educationemerged. The first goal was for the programs to improve the self-esteem of Latinxand other minoritized students by instilling cultural pride. The second goal wasfor the programs to address the semilingualism of Latinx and other minoritizedstudents by providing these students with a strong foundation in their first language Published online by Cambridge University Press

22 a critical review of bilingual education
that would then transfer to English (Cummins, 1979/2001). Neither of these goalsaddressed the underlying racialized positioning of Latinx and other minoritizedcommunities within U.S. society. As a result, these programs were both literallyand figuratively relegated to basements where bilingual educators were chargedwith seeking to balance the affirmation of student’s identities with the realities ofschooling and assessment practices designed to strip Latinx and other minoritizedcommunities of their identities.
While divorcing bilingual education from broader political struggles and re-framing them as compensatory programs for linguistically deficient students mayhave made them politically palatable in a context where politicians were tryingto address civil unrest, it also made bilingual education programs vulnerable topolitical attacks.
The political attack on bilingual education occurred through the combined ef-forts of two different anti-bilingual education factions. The first faction was madeup of critics who saw the promotion of bilingual education as a danger to nationalunity. In 1977, Noel Epstein, a Washington journalist, published an influentialessay in which he argued that bilingual education was a policy of “affirmativeethnicity,” and that the federal government should have no role in such a program.
The overriding question is whether the federal government is responsible for financ-ing and promoting student attachments to their ethnic languages and cultures, jobslong left to families, religious groups, ethnic organizations, private schools, ethnicpublications, and others. (Epstein, 1977, p. 20)
For Epstein and other critics of bilingual education, the racialized basements ofbilingual education were not a product of the White supremacy of U.S. society thatdevalued the cultural and linguistic knowledge of Latinx students and relegatedthem to second-class status. Instead, these racialized basements indicated sometype of ethnic conspiracy on the part of Latinx and other minoritized communitiesto undermine the unity of U.S. society. This would culminate in Senator S. I.Hayakawa of California and Dr. John Tanton teaming up to launch U.S. English in1983, a movement that sought to make English the official language of the UnitedStates and to ban bilingual education in U.S. public schools (Crawford, 2000;García, 2009).
Opponents of bilingual education also appropriated the focus on assessmentthat was developed as a part of BEA requirements for funding in order to raisequestions about the effectiveness of these programs. In 1978 the evaluation of bilin-gual education by the American Institutes for Research, known as the AIR Report,was published. The report concluded that bilingual education was not having a“consistent significant impact on student achievement in English language arts,math, or English reading” (cited in San Miguel, 2004, p. 44). This study acceptedthe premise that standardized assessments normed on monolingual populationsand based on White middle-class cultural norms were valid indicators of the suc-cess, or lack thereof, of bilingual education programs serving low-income Latinxstudents. This same perspective was adopted by scholarly supporters of bilingual Published online by Cambridge University Press

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education who began to examine the impact of bilingual education programs on thestandardized assessment scores of Latinx and other minoritized students (Collier& Thomas, 2002; Rolstad, Mahoney, & Glass, 2005; Willig, 1985). Though this re-search has been invaluable in supporting bilingual education programs, as with theAIR Report, these studies continue to privilege a particular locus of enunciation.By “locus of enunciation,” we mean the political location within the structuresof colonial power or knowledge from which a person speaks, which then shapewhat counts as knowledge and whose knowledge is made central to a particularnarrative (Mignolo, 1995). The locus of enunciation inhabited by these researchstudies presupposes a detached scholar who can objectively determine the suc-cess or failure of bilingual education programs based on the objective assessmentdata.
Changing the locus of enunciation to that of Latinx children and families thatparticipate in bilingual programs might offer counter-storytelling that starts froma different premise, has different priorities, and comes to different conclusions(Solorzano & Yosso, 2001). As an example, researchers often worked from theassumption that students who remained in bilingual education programs for toolong were “lagging behind,” indicating that the program was not being successfulat supporting the students. Yet, both of us have heard anecdotes about Latinxparents not wanting to have their children “mainstreamed” because they wereconvinced that the education they would receive in the English-only classroomswould be inferior to the education they were receiving in the bilingual program.Bilingual Latinx educators were seen by Latinx parents as having high expecta-tions for these students. In contrast, Latinx parents often did not trust monolingualeducators who were seen as “uncaring” and with whom they could not commu-nicate. We have both also worked with bilingual educators who were convincedthat the children were better off in their hands than in the hands of White edu-cators who considered them inferior, inadequate, and unworthy of a meaningfuleducation. These bilingual educators were convinced that Latinx students had a“better chance to learn” in bilingual programs (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,1975). We have both also met Latinx students in bilingual education programswho were happy to go to school because their teacher spoke their language andtaught them a curriculum that reflected their lived experience and affirmed theirbilingualism.
Some of our readers may object to these narratives as anecdotes that do notprovide an objective description of the realities of these programs. We agree.However, these narratives are no more biased than representations of bilingualeducation based on culturally biased assessments normed on monolingual studentpopulations. Suggesting that assessments that have historically labeled Latinx chil-dren as “semilingual” and continue to frame their bilingualism in deficit ways areobjective measures of the capabilities of these students, in fact, demonstrates howdeeply White supremacy permeates U.S. schools. It indicates that the culturalknowledge of Latinx and other minoritized students continues to be relegated tosecond-class status, which is a direct result of the racialized positioning of thesecommunities in U.S. society. Published online by Cambridge University Press

24 a critical review of bilingual education
The assault on bilingual education and the locus of enunciation that dominatedthe debate led to the gradual dismantling of bilingual education programs as aresult of the federal retrenchment from supporting them. In its original inception,the BEA funded demonstration projects where the students’ languages other thanEnglish were used in instruction in “imaginative” programs (San Miguel, 2004).By 1974, there was a restriction of the “imaginative,” as the reauthorized BEA billdefined bilingual education as:
Instruction given in, and study of, English and, to the extent necessary to allow achild to progress effectively through the educational system, the native language ofthe children of limited English-speaking ability. . . . Such instruction is given withappreciation for the cultural heritage of such children. (Public Law 93–380, August21, 1974, Sec 702(a)(5), cited in San Miguel, 2004, p. 31).
This restriction of the imaginative was further strengthened with the electionof Ronald Reagan, who made his views of bilingual education clear soon afterentering office:
It is absolutely wrong and against American concepts to have a bilingual educationprogram that is now openly, admittedly dedicating to preserving their [students whodo not speak English] native language and never getting them adequate in Englishso they can go out into the job market and participate. (cited in García, 2009, p. 172)
The 1984 reauthorization of the BEA allowed, for the first time, the fundingof English-only programs as long as they were no more than 4% of the total(Crawford, 2004; García, 2009).
In 1985, William J. Bennett, an opponent of bilingual education, was appointedto head the Department of Education. Under Bennett, new regulations were draftedthat gave school districts flexibility to eliminate the use of languages other thanEnglish in educating students considered limited English proficient. In effect,bilingual education was decoupled from its civil rights obligations. Bennett waseffective in dismantling the National Clearinghouse on Bilingual Education and inmodifying the criteria for Title VII funds so that English-only approaches wouldalso qualify for funding. And by 1988, when the BEA was again reauthorized,the quota for English-only programs eligible for funding was raised to 25%. By1994, the last time that Title VII was reauthorized, the quota for English-onlyprograms was lifted, and for the first time, increased attention was given to twoway immersion programs, programs that were to dominate the next stage of profitfrom bilingualism. By 2002, with the authorization of No Child Left Behind, TitleVII (the BEA) was eliminated and replaced with Title III, now renamed the EnglishLanguage Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act.This was part of a larger effort to eliminate the “B-word” from federal legislationand federal agencies charged with supporting the educational needs of minoritizedstudents (Crawford, 2004; Hornberger, 2006). It would appear that bilingual edu-cation as a racialized basement where bilingual teachers balanced instilling cultural Published online by Cambridge University Press

nelson flores and ofelia garcía 25
pride in students with preparing them for success on assessments unrelated to theirlived experiences was no longer a viable model for the education of Latinx andother minoritized students. This would lead from a move away from basements toboutiques, which began in the 1990s and continues today. It is to this new era ofbilingual education that we now turn.
from basements to boutiques
In response to the assault on the racialized basements that had characterized bilin-gual education through the 1980s, a new model of bilingual education alternativelyknown as dual language education (DLE) or two-way immersion began to gaintraction. Lindholm-Leary (2001) defined these programs:
DLE programs are similar in structure to immersion programs, but differ from thepreviously mentioned variations of immersion in terms of one very important factor:student composition. Unlike other forms of immersion, DLE includes native as well asnon-native speakers of the target (non-English) language. In dual language programs,English-dominant and target-language-dominant students are purposefully integratedwith the goals of developing bilingual skills, academic excellence, and positive cross-cultural and personal competency attitudes for both groups of students. (p. 30)
Whereas, from its early U.S. beginnings, bilingual education had focused onmore effective teaching of language-minoritized children, DLE programs weremodeled after Canadian immersion programs and were geared toward the teach-ing of two languages by separating languages strictly and following an immersionpedagogy. The difference between teaching children bilingually and teaching twolanguages lies at the heart of the change that took place almost surreptitiouslyat this time. When teaching children bilingually is the goal, their dynamic bilin-gualism and cultural identities are made central to the curriculum in ways that aremeant to instill cultural pride and improve their self-esteem. When teaching twolanguages is the goal, the dynamic bilingualism of Latinx and other minoritizedcommunities becomes a barrier to instruction that seeks to police the boundariesbetween “English time” and “Spanish time” (García, 2009).
Connected to these new forms of language policing, DLE moves bilingualeducation away from the pride that characterized the racialized basements towarda commodified boutique where everybody could shop.
This converting of bilingual education from racialized basements to commodi-fied boutiques connects to a broader shift in –Civil Rights racial formationaway from a liberal multicultural focus on celebrating cultural pride to a neolib-eral multicultural focus on commodifying diversity (Melamed, 2011). The shiftto neoliberal multiculturalism shifted the discourse of social change away fromincreasing the self-esteem of students of color toward offering a range of choices onthe educational marketplace that communities of color could choose from (Dumas,2013). In the context of an assault on the racialized basements model of bilingual Published online by Cambridge University Press

26 a critical review of bilingual education
education, proponents of bilingual education, perhaps sensing that this was theironly alternative, began to appropriate this neoliberal discourse to frame bilingualeducation as a choice among a menu of options that all families should have. As aresult, bilingual education has shed not only its antidiscrimination and civil rightsbeginnings, but also its connection to Latinx and other minoritized communities.Instead, bilingual education has become a product with the consumers not neces-sarily being minoritized language users (Petrovic, 2005). The result is a constanttension between bilingual education as tending toward instilling pride in Latinx andother minoritized students and tending toward the sale of a product that is desiredby White middle-class parents (Palmer, 2010). Because the availability of bilingualeducation is unevenly distributed across communities, DLE is mostly accessed bythose who have the resources to profit from it (Morales & Rao, 2015). In 1997,Guadalupe Valdés issued a cautionary note to that effect, warning that attention tothe needs of White middle-class children instructed through Spanish would trumpeducating Latinx children bilingually. This criticism has only become more vocalin the last few years, as scholars decry the abandonment of equitable educationfor minoritized students and the increased focus on bilingualism for economicinterests and global human capital (Cervantes-Soon, 2014; Flores, 2013; Valdezet al., 2016; Varghese & Park, 2010).
In our continuing efforts to promote bilingual education, we have confrontedthe tensions between balancing the needs of Latinx and other minoritized com-munities and catering to the needs of White middle-class children. For example,Ofelia has witnessed that as bilingual education yielded its place to dual languageeducation, the label dual language was extended to programs that once would havebeen considered developmental maintenance bilingual education programs. Withthe silencing of the word bilingual, committed educators started referring to theseprograms as one-way DLE. These programs serve Latinx and other minoritizedchildren whose language performances fall along different points on the continuaof biliteracy (Hornberger, 1989), not just those labeled as English learners. Butironically, and unfortunately, these one-way DLE programs gradually adopted thesame language allocation policies and immersion practices of two-way DLE pro-grams where languages were kept strictly separated and only standardized featuresof English and of the home language were legitimized. In a similar vein, Nelson haswitnessed the ways in which two-way DLE programs are celebrated for “bringingparents back into public schools,” whereas development maintenance bilingualeducation programs in the same district are at best ignored and at worst criticizedfor not teaching “those kids” English. Both of us have witnessed how the needs ofWhite middle-class children and families trump the needs of low-income Latinxchildren and families because of fear that White middle-class families with moreoptions may choose to leave the program. In this way, boutique two-way duallanguage programs, just like the racialized basements that they replaced, do notget to the root of the marginalization of Latinx children. The difference is thatnow Latinx children are treated as a commodity to boost the resumes of Whitemiddle-class children. Published online by Cambridge University Press

nelson flores and ofelia garcía 27
Our committed intergenerational dialogue about bilingual education in the UnitedStates has exposed our differences as well as our unwavering commitment to Latinxstudents and their families. Ofelia sees the past in the racialized basements withnostalgia—ways of acting on some measure of self-determination, as Latinx edu-cators were left alone to exert their Latinx pride and competence. At the same time,those racialized basements bred Latinx professionals who joined the teacher ranks.The Latinx community felt pride in being bilingual and profited economicallyfrom jobs that were needed in their communities. Nelson, younger and not havingexperienced this heyday of bilingual education, sees the racialized basements asplaces that did not change racial structures, either politically or educationally, anddid not disrupt White supremacy. For him bilingual education has not changed thesecond-class status of the Latinx community especially now that bilingual educa-tion programs have become boutiques. In fact, it is the White English-speakingcommunity that is profiting most from the boutique DLE programs.
We enter into this critique with tremendous pride in our positions as bilingualeducators and delight in the work done by many bilingual educators, students,and families whom we meet daily. We also enter into this critique acknowledgingthat we have profited professionally from the bilingual education field, a field thathas given us the passion and commitment to keep questioning its potential. Thetask for all of us is to acknowledge the pride and profit in continuing to fightfor bilingual education, while refusing to accept that the only viable options forbilingual education are racialized basements or commodified boutiques. Instead,we must work to connect our advocacy for bilingual education with broader effortsto dismantle the racial hierarchies of U.S. society. Only then will these programsbe able to thrive in the ways that advocates have envisioned since their inceptionin the political struggles of the 1960s.
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