Sunday, May 27, 2012

The long march for equal opportunity in education


 The long march through the institutions has ended for the Bilingual /Multicultural faculty and students at CSU Sacramento.  On Sat, May 19, the Bilingual/Multicultural Education Department at CSU-Sacramento graduated its final class.  A movement that began in the  Mexican American Education Project of 1969-1974 came to a close.  See history here:
 I retired in 2008 and had little role to play in the decision to abandon this  civil rights project.  In the 15 year history of the department we graduated thousands of new bilingual teachers and educational leaders who, under the prior hegemonic system, would have been sorted out.  These graduates have gone into teaching and schools and influenced thousands of students.   Under the new system, they will again often be discarded. The drop out rate for Chicano students remains near 50%.
The students are still there.  The students of California still need bilingual and multicultural teachers.   Students who are descendents of Mexican and Chicano families now make up almost 48% of public school students.
There were budget cuts, but a united faculty could have retained the department if they so chose.  Instead, a new generation of faculty chose to abandon this institutional base that had been created by their predecessors.
An injury to one is an injury to all.
This post dedicated to the memory of Hugo Chacon and Dr. Tom Carter. 
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