Table of Contents

    Cover Theme: Making Black Lives Matter in Our Schools
  • Free Editorial: Making Black Lives Matter in Our Schools

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools

    As we return to our schools this fall, we need to rededicate ourselves to building an education system and a society that values Black lives. 

  • Free How One Elementary School Sparked A Citywide Movement to Make Black Students' Lives Matter

    By Wayne Au, Jesse Hagopian

    Teachers at one Seattle school show the important role educators have to play in the movement for Black lives, in part by creating a Black Lives Matter at School day, having 3,000 teachers wear Black Lives Matter T-shirts, and responding together to issues like the death of Charleena Lyles. 

  • Free Beyond Just a Cells Unit

    What My Science Students Learned from the Story of Henrietta Lacks

    By Gretchen Kraig-Turner

    A science teacher includes Black voices and Black history in her classroom by building curriculum around The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In doing so, she shows how nonfiction books should not be relegated to language arts but can be effective in a science classroom.

  • Free What We Don't Learn About the Black Panther Party — but Should

    By Adam Sanchez, Jesse Hagopian

    The history of the Black Panther Party holds vital lessons for today’s movement for Black lives and all movements to confront racism, inequality, and police violence. But our textbooks distort the significance of the Panthers — or exclude them completely.

  • Free Black is Beautiful

    By Kara Hinderlie

    A kindergarten teacher uses images, literature, poetry, and collages — as well as her own history — to challenge students' implicit bias and preconceived notions surrounding the color black and to teach the lesson that Black is beautiful.

  • Free Who Do I Belong To?

    A Black Teacher's Dilemma

    By Natalie Labossiere

    A teacher in a predominantly white school and classroom describes how she chose to protect and educate one of her Black students, rather than use him to educate her white students.

  • Features
  • The Struggle for Bilingual Education

    An Interview by Bob Peterson with Bilingual Education Advocate Tony Báez

    By Bob Peterson

    Organizer and advocate Tony Báez has been fighting for improved bilingual education programs for decades. In this interview, he talks about the current state of bilingual education and describes how parents and educators won a maintenance K–12 bilingual program in the Milwaukee Public Schools.

  • "Stupid Book of Wrongness"

    The Heartland Institute's Climate Change Denial Book Meets Informed 3rd and 4th Graders

    By Eric Fishman

    A teacher shows his 3rd- and 4th-grade students the Heartland Institute's climate change denial book that was sent to every science teacher in the nation. 

  • "No One is Going to Tell Us What is Right"

    Language and Decolonization in Alaska

    By Lauren Markham

    A journalist explores the way Indigenous language and community is connected to the classroom in several communities in Alaska, and explores how educators there have built new frameworks to fight against Eurocentric curriculum.

  • Resources
  • Free Our Fall 2017 Picks for Books, Videos, Websites, and Other Social Justice Education Resources

  • Departments Free
    Ed Alert
  • Curtis Acosta on the Tucson Ethnic Studies Victory

    By Ari Bloomekatz

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The Struggle for Bilingual Education

An Interview by Bob Peterson with Bilingual Education Advocate Tony Báez
The Struggle for Bilingual Education

Barbara Miner

Tony Báez is a longtime advocate for bilingual education. When he was a child, his parents moved regularly between New York City and Puerto Rico as migrant garment workers. After 6th grade, he remained in Puerto Rico until his early 20s when he moved to the United States and became involved in political movements in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. Over several decades, Báez has worked as a community organizer, expert on bilingual education litigation, university instructor, and high school principal. He has also served as vice president of the Milwaukee Area Technical College, as executive director of Centro Hispano Milwaukee, and currently serves on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. Bob Peterson (Contact Me) is a founding editor of Rethinking Schools and a founder of La Escuela Fratney in Milwaukee. He taught 5th grade for 30 years and served four years as president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association. In the following interview, Báez talks about the history and current state of bilingual education, and describes how parents and educators successfully fought for a maintenance K–12 bilingual program in the Milwaukee Public Schools. This interview was adapted from a longer interview that appears in the new book by Rethinking Schools, Rethinking Bilingual Education.

Bob Peterson: How did bilingual education start in the United States?
Tony Báez: In modern times it started in the 1960s, as people in the Southwest of the United States and Cuban immigrants in Miami pushed for bilingual education to retain their home languages and improve the academic situation for their children. It emerged in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. These were communities in battle, communities fighting for improvements in services. For example, in New York City, there was the community control movement. Evelina López Antonetty, a parent leader who was involved in improving schools, gradually began talking about bilingual education and about creating parent universities to prepare families to fight for bilingual education. Chicano leaders like Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales in Colorado connected Latino and Chicano cultures to the notion that bilingual/bicultural education is something we all deserve.

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