Sunday, November 05, 2017

Turning a million pageviews to my blog with the Memory of George I. Sanchez, the Father of Bilingual Education

What better way to turn a million page views (sometime soon) to this blog than with a post on Dr. George I. Sanchez (1906–1972), widely recognized as the "Father of Bilingual Education" in the U.S.  The building where I work at UT is named after him because the Mexican American community in Austin, Texas, fought for this in order to memorialize this historic giant.  In her review of Dr. Carlos Blanton's path breaking book titled, George I. Sánchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration described by historian Dr. Julie Leininger Pycior as "the most important Mexican American intellectual of the civil rights generation."

Often at great risk to his personal safety and family's well-being, his numerous and substantive contributions to scholarship and advocacy included such policy and practice arenas as what was earlier termed "mental testing," bilingual education, and segregation. Because his contributions and sacrifices remain sadly obscure today in both Texas and New Mexican history, we need to consider ways that we can honor him and the importance of all the things that he fought for and that many of us continue.

Another way to remember and honor him would be to partner this school in Albuquerque, New Mexico (pictured here) named after him with the one named after him in Austin, Texas.  After all, both are dual language schools that honor and celebrate his memory and carry the torch for bilingual  and dual language education.

George I. Sanchez Elementary School in Albuquerque, NM.
Photo taken by Dr. Diane Torres-Velasquez

Here is an image of George I. Sanchez in Austin, Texas—otherwise called the "George I. Sanchez Aztecs."  Like George I. Sanchez on Facebook and check out this wonderful PowerPoint presentation (below) that gives you a helpful overview of his life. And consider purchasing and reading Dr. Carlos Blanton's book, too.
George I. Sanchez Elementary - Austin, Texas
Link to PowerPoint Presentation HERE 

The AISD Board wants to "consolidate" George I. Sanchez which means to end it. Symbolically, this stance is anti-bilingual education since it would mean closing a school whose very name is derived from the "father of bilingual education" himself.  We cannot let that happen. Plus, partnering, becoming sister schools, to honor George I. Sanchez here and there would be fun and interesting! 

Angela Valenzuela
Nov. 5, 2017

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