Millions of Spanish-speaking immigrant students lost the opportunity to learn or retain valuable literacy skills in Spanish while they acquired English. And, millions of California-born Latinos who enrolled in school with the gift of native bilingualism would later leave school unable to read and write in Spanish.I guess the author is talking about the millions of Spanish-speaking ILLEGAL immigrants. And CA native born hispanics (or Latinos - whatever!) have lost that ability.
Seeing that I have a daughter who speaks three languages, I can tell you now you don't need the STATE to maintain a second language or even a third. If the parents want their kids to continue with Spanish all they have to do is keep speaking to their kids in their language.
I have friends who are a couple from India who recently gave birth to a beautiful daughter. She is learning Hindi and English by talking to her in those languages. Also, since they can afford a maid (must be nice!) the maid speaks to the child in Spanish. Before it's all over she will be speaking three languages.
The idea of dual immersion in languages at home is not new and it is effective and the rules are simple and is most effective if each parent speaks a different language. If the father speaks English, the father should only talk to the child in English regardless of how the child responds. If the mother speaks Spanish, then she should do likewise.
So, if the child is losing the ability to speak Spanish it's because THE PARENTS DON'T WANT THE CHILD SPEAKING SPANISH.
I am in Seoul, South Korea right now and my daughter attends an International School where speaking Korean is banned. I thought that was a little harsh, especially since I was hoping she would be able to learn yet a fourth language. But the idea at the school is to teach ENGLISH. Why? Because it is the international language of business. Most of the kids at my daughter's school are Korean.
I know this because I have worked all over the world. The one common factor is that the language used to transact business is ENGLISH. Not Spanish, Korean, Chinese, German. ENGLISH.
At my daughter's school the requirement is that at least one of the parents has to be from a country other than S. Korea. So, where is the child learning Korean? Most likely from the parent who speaks Korean and possibly a tutor (since the alphabet in this case is in no way Roman. You need additional instruction for this).
If this instructor is correct in that our children are losing out, what should we have done with the millions of German immigrants who came to America? Should we have accommodated them? As it turns out, Germans number the largest group of immigrants in the USA. So, in the end we would have part of the country speaking German/English, French/English, Spanish/English and finally English/English and even more from there.
What utter utter stupidity.