The summer issue is here! Join us for our launch party on June 19 at Green Apple Books.

Bilingual Schools

Students march

Education or deportation?

That’s one startling question we are grappling with as San Francisco becomes more of a political outlier in the aftermath of the 2016 elections. The imminent need for documenting this divergence makes our jobs as independent local journalists more important than ever.

Our cover story on bilingual education in this issue, which we started reporting this summer, has taken on new relevance. With immigrants — both legal and undocumented — increasingly demonized by our national leadership, the progress that San Francisco public schools have made in extending bilingual education to both newcomers and native-born could be rendered moot if Donald Trump follows through with his threats to deport masses of immigrants.

Read our letter from the editors: Don’t Take Civil Rights for Granted. Translated below in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.

1. How San Francisco Paved the Way for California to Embrace Bilingual Education

When Californians voted for English-only classes in 1998, the city expanded its language offerings — and has graduated more multilingual students than comparable districts. New pro-bilingual state policies could use S.F. as a model.

2. Bilingual Renaissance or Reversal?

With the 2016 election, California showed that it has caught up with San Francisco in bilingual education. There may come a day when the rest of the United States will as well. In the meantime, the Bay Area and the state appear to be on a collision course with the president.

3. Brief History Of Bilingual Schools In U.S., California

Timeline tracks key developments, from early U.S. history through November passage of Proposition 58, ending restrictions on language instruction.

Letter from the editors (Spanish version)

4. No Ignoremos los Derechos Civiles del Área de la Bahía

Hoy más que nunca es importante estar alerta para evidenciar las amenazas contra la libertad de expresión, las oportunidades educativas y demás valores propios de San Francisco

Letter from the editors (Arabic version)

5. لا تتخذ الحقوق المدنية لمنطقة الخليج من المسَلمَات

يعد الاحت ا رس أكثر أهمية من اي وقت مضى للوقوف على تهديدات حرية التعبير، فرص التعليم ، والقيم الأخرى لمدينة سان ف ا رنسيسكو

Letter from the editors (Chinese version)

6.勿視灣༐民權 為理ᡤ當然

為了揭露言論自由、教育機會和舊金山其他 價值觀面臨的威脅,提高警覺性要比以往任何時候都更重要


In addition to interviewing educators, parents, children and researchers for this special report, the Public Press compiled and compared outcomes for immigrant students in the largest school districts in the Bay Area and districts of similar size throughout California.

REPORTING: Jeremy Adam Smith, Hye-Jin Kim, Nadia Mishkin, Shinwha Whang

PROJECT EDITORS: Noah Arroyo, Michael Stoll, Michael Winter

DATA GRAPHICS: Amanda Hickman

PHOTOGRAPHY: Nadia Mishkin

ONLINE:  John Angelico

This project was made possible by a grant from California Humanities, a reporting award from the Education Writers Association and donations by Public Press members.