Saturday, June 09, 2018

Announcement: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 Rally and Testimony in Support of Mexican American Studies at 8:30AM at the Texas State Board of Education

Dr. Juan Flores reflects in his piece below titled, "Education inequality the Texas way," on how he experienced Texas growing up:
As I remember it, in direct and subtle ways I was taught that white was good and brown was bad, the Spanish language and Mexican-American culture were dirty, and 100-plus white heroes killed 5,000 dirty Mexicans at the Alamo.
Sadly, this is still a subliminal message that gets conveyed daily to far too many Texas school children today, regardless of ethnicity.  We are still desperately in need of a curriculum—specifically a Mexican American Studies curriculum—that provides a complete picture of who we are as Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the state of Texas.

Should you have some time on Tuesday of this coming week, consider joining us at 8:30AM at a rally at the William B. Travis Building 1701 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701 to advocate for Mexican American Studies in the school curriculum—and NOT the name that the SBOE gave us in their last meeting on April 11, 2018, namely, "Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent."  Here is the SBOE agenda and instructions on testifying.

We also need to call for Women and Gender Studies, as well as for the state to direct resources for developing a clearinghouse for Mexican American Studies, and Ethnic Studies, generally.

Here are some instructions from Juan Tejeda for testifying before the SBOE next week:
If you're planning on testifying before the Texas State Board of Education on behalf of Mexican American Studies this coming Tuesday, June 12, in Austin, online registration opened on Friday, June 8, at 8am, and will be open through this Monday, June 11, until 5pm. The agenda item is #2 of the full board. Here is the link to register: You can also register by calling 512.463.9007 today or Monday during work hours.

Angela Valenzuela

#ApproveMAS #SomosMAS #NoToAmericansOfMexicanDescent

Education inequality the Texas way.

Published 12:00 am, Sunday, April 15, 2018

Texas’ student populations have become more diverse — and educational inequality still exists in the state. Here, students pour into the Judson High School hallway last year.

Texas’ ongoing education-funding battles and the State Board of Education’s rancor toward Mexican-American Studies raise painful education memories.
In August 1973, I arrived in Seattle to begin my graduate education at the University of Washington. I visited the campus on a beautiful clear Sunday.
I vividly remember breaking into tears as I sat in the square in front of the beautiful Gothic-designed main library. As I admired the architecture, I felt bathed in a cloak of knowledge radiating from the buildings around me. I was awestruck viewing snow-capped Mount Rainier 130 miles out. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in North America, seemed like a metaphor for my achievement.
I realize now that the tears were the emotional response to overcoming a repressive and institutionalized racist public education system. It was unimaginable that I was entering graduate studies after a Texas public education that belittled me beginning in kindergarten. Not one of my older 13 brothers and sisters had completed more than ninth grade, and I became a dropout six weeks into the 11th grade.
As I remember it, in direct and subtle ways I was taught that white was good and brown was bad, the Spanish language and Mexican-American culture were dirty, and 100-plus white heroes killed 5,000 dirty Mexicans at the Alamo.
I would come home feeling worthless, blaming my parents. Indeed, my excitement for learning was killed early.
If Dr. Cal Jillson is correct in his heavily documented book “Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy,” Texas’ commitment to education for all its residents has been ambivalent at best since achieving statehood. If you were a white male and well-to-do, you reaped the benefit of a well-resourced education. Most women, low-income white males, blacks and Mexican-Americans fared poorly.
It may be true that overt racism is no longer present in our public schools, dropout rates have lowered, and the majority of high school graduates are now Latino. Nonetheless, the majority of Texas public school students who are low-income, African-American or Latino continue to bear the burden of a poor quality education. Whether intentional or by default, the result is a racialized education policy.
The procrastinations (more hearings and studies) and shifty decisions of the Texas Legislature and board of education demonstrate a lack of concern and priority for our children’s social and academic development. In addition, they ignore the economic evidence that racial equality corresponds with more robust growth for all Texans.
As a result, millions of Texas children are at risk of becoming another generation of undereducated adults with limited job skills and lower incomes. They will not achieve a middle-class status that is not based on credit card debt. They will, however, support the state’s status as a cheap source of labor.
I’m fortunate to have achieved the middle-class American Dream. I went through public school where there was no path for me to feel institutionally connected and supported. Nor was there a sentence or paragraph on a page that I could pridefully call my own because it positively recognized my history and culture in a place that is home.
Children start school motivated and ready to learn. It’s disingenuous to paint the education system a success by singling out the few at-risk youth who succeed in overcoming poverty when Texas education policies are contributing to their undereducated, low-income environment.
The focus must be to nurture every child’s first-day-of-school excitement by assuring they succeed through an unbiased lens, innovative instruction approaches and equitable education funding.

Juan H. Flores is a consultant and adviser on health and social policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment