Table of Contents

    Cover Theme
  • "The Laptops Are Coming! The Laptops Are Coming!"

    By Sarah Heller McFarlane Things to think about before the laptops arrive in your classroom.
  • Free A Time to End the Silences

    By the Editors of Rethinking Schools

    "When texts don't talk about racism, when standards don't mention racism, when teachers don't teach about racism, they automatically eliminate any discussion of anti-racism."
  • Prophet Motives

    An excerpt from Keeping the Promise?: The Debate Over Charter Schools

    By Leigh Dingerson "Any discussion of charter schools must ask not only whether charters promote a worthwhile vision of public education, but also whether they are faithful to their own promises."
  • Fault Lines in Merit Pay

    By Sam Coleman "Far from addressing the systemic, institutionalized problems in New York City's public schools, the city's test-based pay program attempts to provide a 'silver bullet' solution by relying on crass material incentives."
  • City Teaching; Beyond the Stereotypes

    By Gregory Michie "For city teachers, it's also about functioning within—and challenging—a system that in many ways works to undercut and even thwart your best efforts."
  • Rethinking MySpace

    By Antero Garcia "As an educator constantly searching for ways to use popular culture in my classroom, I decided to make MySpace part of my teaching repertoire."
  • Childhood Is Dying

    By Dahr Jamail, Ahmed Ali "Iraq's children have been more gravely affected by the U.S. occupation than any other segment of the population."
  • Empire or Humanity

    By Howard Zinn "The American Empire has always been a bipartisan project—Democrats and Republicans have taken turns extending it, extolling it, justifying it."
  • Introduction

  • Putting a Human Face on the Immigration Debate

    By Steven Picht-Trujillo, Paola Ledezma "For those of us working with immigrant populations, we have in our students living examples that we can use to bring the immigration issue to the forefront and teach all of our students."
  • An Open Letter to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund from the Association of Raza Educators

    The Association of Raza Educators implores you: open your scholarships to all students of Hispanic descent regardless of citizenship.
  • Everything Flowers

    By Lisa Espinosa "I noted the biased curriculum... the absence of lessons on the Chicano movement or other aspects of my history and culture, the various attempts to make me less Mexican and more white."
  • Pump Up the Blowouts

    By Gilda L. Ochoa "This year is the 40th anniversary of the Chicana/o School Blowouts, and I wonder how schools, communities, and the media will mark this important movement."
  • Free Review: Our Dignity Can Defeat Anyone

    By Julie Treick O'Neill By Julie Treick O'Neill A review of the film Maquilapolis [City of Factories]
  • Departments Free
  • Resources

  • Letters to the Editors

  • Short Stuff
  • Kids in the Middle

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An Open Letter to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund from the Association of Raza Educators

Dear Hispanic Scholarship Fund,

The Association of Raza Educators (A.R.E.) applauds your efforts at providing scholarships to Hispanic students across the country. We recognize the pre-eminent role the Hispanic Scholarship Fund plays as one of the major funding sources available to students seeking higher education in the Hispanic community. As educators, we share in your dream of "doubl[ing] the rate of Hispanics earning a college degree" and by means of various community-based efforts, we also seek to ensure that dream is realized. Unfortunately, many otherwise qualified students, through no fault of their own, are currently excluded from your scholarship fund by virtue of their citizenship status. The Association of Raza Educators implores you: open your scholarships to all students of Hispanic descent regardless of citizenship.

There are an estimated 65,000 undocumented students that graduate from U.S. high schools each year, the bulk of whom have lived in the country for more than five years and are of Hispanic descent. Federal funds are denied to them, as are the majority of private scholarships. Moreover, under your current application requirements, these Hispanic students, despite being in desperate need of funding, are ineligible for your scholarships. Undocumented students are, however, permitted to attend colleges and universities and are doing so in increasing numbers. Usually they support themselves by working long hours in low-wage industries, demonstrating the very same hard work ethic and determination to succeed that has been a source of pride to Hispanics for generations.

In spite of such formidable barriers and numerous difficulties, we have observed in our own classrooms that many of our brightest and most hardworking students come from the ranks of the undocumented. Under current conditions, namely increasing animosity toward the Hispanic immigrant community in general, and a paucity of any source of funding for higher education for which such students may qualify in particular, denial of private scholarships such as those provided by HSF, is paramount to denial of higher education and the benefits that such education brings to those fortunate enough to pursue and achieve it. While we recognize that it may be legal to deny noncitizens access to such scholarships, exclusion of these students is not only morally objectionable but harmful to the Hispanic and American community as well.

Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, continue to comprise a significant percentage of the Hispanic community in this country. As one of the leading organizations serving Hispanics, HSF cannot ignore the pivotal issue of immigration and its impact on Hispanic families and students. The federal government has not passed comprehensive immigration reform for over a decade. The process of naturalization has only become more onerous with current waiting periods lasting longer than 15 years for families already in process. In thousands of Hispanic homes across the country, families are split across citizenship lines where husbands and wives, parents and children, even brothers and sisters, may fall on either side. Recent immigration debates highlight the grim reality that passage of a more humane immigration policy is a remote possibility. While local and national politicians fail to resolve myriad immigration problems, tens of thousands of Hispanic youth, educated and living in this country, are falling through the cracks.

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