Despite the inherent contradictions embedded in these

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Despite the inherent contradictions embedded in these two strategies, MexicanAmericans were hopeful that the courts would eventually adopt bilingual educa-tion in desegregated settings. The 1974 ruling in theLaudecision and additionalMEXICAN AMERICAN DESEGREGATION LITIGATION233
actions by Congress and the executive branch of the federal government the fol-lowing year buoyed their hopes (San Miguel, Jr., 2004).The Tenth Circuit court, however, did not support the bilingual within desegre-gation approach. In 1975, it rejected the bilingual program and ordered integrationof the experimental schools.12Bilingual education, the Court held, “is not a substi-tute for desegregation. Although bilingual instruction may be required to preventthe isolation of minority students in a predominantly Anglo school system … suchinstruction must be subordinate to a plan of school desegregation” (Keyes,1973/1975, p. 480).13This decision was a major blow to the advocates for bilingualeducation within desegregation.MEXICAN AMERICAN DESEGREGATIONLITIGATION AFTER 1975During the latter part of the decade, a few educators and activists continued tomake a case for bilingual education in desegregated settings. Representative ofthose who continued to support this approach was José Cardenas, a consultant totheKeyescase. In 1977, he stated, “It is my belief that it [i.e., bilingual education]is theoretically and pedagogically sound and that all future efforts at desegregatingschools in the country must be accompanied by similar integrating activities”(Cardenas, 1977).The majority of scholars, educators, parents, and activists, for the most part, be-came disillusioned with desegregation as a collective strategy for improving ac-cess to a quality education for Latinos/as (González, 1979). Many of them felt thatthe Mexican American community was carrying the burden of desegregation; thatit was having a negative impact on their neighborhood schools; that the majoritypopulation was vehemently opposed to desegregation, especially busing; and thatthe courts were inadequately enforcing desegregation plans. The continuing per-ception of clashing federal mandates also contributed to this disillusionment withdesegregation. By the end of the 1970s, most educators and activists abandonedthe desegregation struggle. In its stead, they turned to bilingual education as a moreappropriate strategy for eliminating discrimination and for improving the aca-demic achievement of Spanish-speaking children in the country. Bilingual educa-tion held out a greater possibility for meeting the special needs of Mexican Ameri-can and Latino students in segregated or desegregated settings.234SAN MIGUEL12InMorales v. Shannon(1975), the court also was reluctant to order a specific bilingual remedy,noting that the need for bilingual education is a matter reserved to educators.

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