Anyone that say there is no "primary" language is a fool. Every country in all nation's have a language that is spoken in part from it's history and the blending into modern times.
The United States has heard many languages across her soils, some languages have faded to near obscurity and other becoming more commonly used openly over time. There are words from languages (other then English) that are found used as English words.
What word is used in English for tortilla? Yet it is ask for and well known but as a word that has blended in.Then think plaza, aficionado and would the Terminator have been as cool if he never said "hasta la vista baby"?
No, I do not agree that the "first thing people say is there is no primary language in america, but". Instead I think it is first said that, "you're in America speak English". Here is a your subject in 2006 decided legal in 2008 and it is still an active subject in 2012.
"Philadelphia's Geno's Steaks Adopts English-Only Ordering Policy"
"'Speak English' signs allowed at Philly shop"
You are at least half right about about one thing.
"years-decades ago there was no...
press 1 for english, 2 for espanol"
Then again years/decades ago there was no automated systems. There was none for finding departments, language desired nor was annoying muzac played. What you did get years/decades ago was a live person and if you want to go back far enough that phone rang until it was answered or hung up from its source as they were no answering machines either. If you wanted someone by phone you either caught them at home or hope they called by payphone. If you are going to reminisce, at least reminisce realistically and not so idealistically.
"what language does the schools teach in?"
Immersion programs are not new, currently there are 22 immersion programs, with Spanish having a 45.3?ollowed by French at 21.6?What languages? From Spanish to Vietnamese there are 22 languages being taught, well it would be 23 or at least I think English should also be counted in the list. (in part)
"Directory of Foreign Language Immersion Programs in U.S. Schools"
"This directory includes elementary, middle, and high schools that teach all or part of their curriculum through a second language. Such programs are usually referred to as total or partial immersion programs. In general, the programs are designed for students whose native language is English.
It should be noted that this directory also includes a few Spanish-English two-way immersion programs, in which classes include both native English and native Spanish speakers. These two-way programs typically began as partial or total immersion programs and are thus included here for historical reasons. For a national directory of two-way programs, and to submit information about a two-way program, please see CAL’s Directory of Two-Way Bilingual Programs in the United States.".....
of Instruction in Immersion Programs.pdf
"what language is written on america money?"
Well there is English but on the mottos you can find Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum in classic Latin on one and in the other is E pluribus unum
Then during early U.S. settlements the most common currency used was the Spanish dollar, known as "pieces of eight", or in the wild west 2 bits. The pieces of eight is the basis of the U.S. dollar with Spanish coins considered legal tender until 1857 by the United States. Language written on "american" money changes with what was accepted legally during the past.