I very much appreciated the excellent article by Howard Husock, describing the dreadful failure of our system of public housing vouchers. Mr. Husock convincingly suggests that an ideological fixation with naive "free market mechanisms" led conservatives to create a mammoth governmental program which has done little or nothing for the poor while seriously damaging portions... Read More
In June 1998, Californians overwhelmingly approved Proposition 227, the controversial ballot initiative that replaced the state’s bilingual-ed system with English-immersion classes. No more would California’s public schools force non-English-speaking immigrant kits to take their courses in their native tongue, guaranteeing that few would ever gain the proficiency in English they need to get ahead in... Read More
For 25 years, California’s indefensible bilingual-ed system forced many of the state’s 1.3 million non-English-speaking children to take their classes in their native tongue, guaranteeing that few became proficient in the English they need to succeed in America. No more: in June, Californians overwhelmingly supported Proposition 227, a ballot initiative junking the system in favor... Read More
About Ron Unz
A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.
He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.
In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.
In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.
After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.