The front page piece is at:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/us/15immig.html?pagewanted=5&ref=education
My thoughts? Immersion in regular schools works. As a foreigner in a strange land four times (twice for me and twice for my children) having to learn a new language fast, I can tell you that immersion works best. Consider, in fifth grade in New Jersey in the 1950’s, I have been forever grateful that my teachers did not speak any Dutch. I learned English fast. As an immigrant to Holland two years earlier, I had learned Dutch fast–immersion in a regular school. As an adult, when my own children had a chance to learn French, my oldest went to a regular high school and learned French fast. The younger child was put into a separate elementary school class for French learners and learned far less French or anything else!
I have learned that children want to learn, make friends and fit in. Let them go. They will learn. Immersion works.