Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bilingual Education: Learning While Learning English by Angel Noe Gonzalez

New book out on Bilingual Education by one of our most beloved, important early bilingual education leaders in the Mexican American Community, Angel Noe Gonzalez.  

He is a treasure, indeed.  Look forward to reading this book.

-Angela

Bilingual Education: Learning While Learning English

A Book for All Americans

            This book was born as a result of my decision to donate all of my collection of materials that I have accumulated over the last forty-three years to the University of Texas – Pan American.  While collecting all the materials I realized that I needed to bring all of this collection of materials and joint experience of numerous bilingual education advocates and practitioners into focus for use by all those who will follow in the bilingual education arena.  So now we have a book which provides credible information and facts.  It is my belief that everyone is committed to ensuring that all students are entitled to equality and opportunity to LEARN, regardless of the language they bring to school.
Chapter I opens with historic evidence that a superintendent of schools in Mercedes, Texas knew in 1937 that  the problem existed, moved to a position of power in the state education agency,  and did nothing to solve the problem.  Soon thereafter, a group convened in Tucson, Arizona, and organized a symposium with the support of Senator Ralph W. Yarborough (D) Texas, the National Education Association (NEA), several United States Senators, and many educators and community advocates.  National hearings were held with proposed legislation styled as Senate Bill 428 as the focus of the hearings.  These hearings gave impetus to the passage of The Bilingual Education Act which was signed into law on January 2, 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson (D), Texas.

Court cases and respective decrees followed the passage of the Bilingual Education Act. These cases and their impact on bilingual education are reviewed in the book.  Federal legislation and mandates are reviewed in detail, as well as one of the most comprehensive state policies promulgated as Chapter 89 BB in Texas by the State Board of Education..

A partial listing of some important “Research Findings”, from such researchers as, Cummins, Tucker, Collier and Thomas, Hakuta, Krashen and many others also is provided in this book.

Chapter VII focuses on: A Case Study of Advocacy, the design and findings of the Texas Successful Schools Study which documented the effectiveness of bilingual education programs; the Houston ISD Immersion Study and the Houston ISD Model Bilingual Program.  In Chapter VIII some Bilingual and ESL models are given focus as advocated by James Crawford.

One of the most interesting topics covered in the book is related to the Office of Inspector General’s audits, which prompted an Oversight Congressional Hearing on Bilingual Education in Washington D. C. of suspect federal audits conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on six Texas Title VII Bilingual Education programs.  The targeted grantees in Texas audited by the OIG with an obvious political agenda included: Austin ISD, San Antonio ISD, Edgewood ISD, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Dallas ISD, and Region One Education Service Center.  The Department of Education OIG was demanding federal grant refunds in the amount of $5.8 million.  Upon conclusion of the hearing, and based on challenging testimony by representatives of the grantees and the Texas Congressional Delegation, the Congressional Oversight Committee ruled in favor of the Texas Title VII grantees that refunded $0.0!

Also included in this publication are the “Twenty-two Recommendations” made by the then Superintendent of Schools, Angel Noé González and presented to the Crystal City School Board in 1973, in response to student demands for Bilingual Education.  Recommendation number twenty-two advocated for equal prestige to the Spanish language as a medium of instruction, identical to the English language..  The school board adopted the recommendation as district policy.
The book is written to profile the evolution of bilingual education.  While many problems bilingual education faced have been addressed, now we must solve the biggest problem which is training and recruitment of appropriately trained certified bilingual education teachers.

          “Bilingual Education: Learning While Learning English” is a literary contribution like none other that has been produced to refute the myths and misconceptions about bilingual education and its effectiveness.  It factually profiles the battles fought, both those won and lost, and are ongoing such as the English Only movement, the litigation brought about on behalf of non-English speaking children and their parents, and the politics utilized by misinformed opponents of bilingual education.  Additionally, the book illustrates the documented evidence in state and national research that bilingual education can be effective in learning English when administered, implemented and evaluated in appropriate fashion.

ANGEL NOE GONZALEZ, Author
OSCAR M. CARDENAS,  Major Contributor

1 comment:

  1. Bravo! You strengthen my resolve with this book to write the best stories I can for our children! Gracias!

    ReplyDelete