Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 1998 Issue »

    From the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to Hopwood

    The Educational Plight and Struggle of Mexican Americans in the Southwest

    Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr., Richard R. Valencia
    The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which brought an end to the Mexican American War of 1846-1848, marked its sesquicentennial on February 2, 1998. The signing of the Treaty and the U.S. annexation, by conquest, of the current Southwest signaled the beginning of decades of persistent, pervasive prejudice and discrimination against people of Mexican origin who reside in the United States. In this article, Guadalupe San Miguel and Richard Valencia provide a sweep through 150 years of Mexican American schooling in the Southwest. They focus on the educational "plight" (e.g., forced school segregation, curricular tracking), as well as the "struggle" (e.g., litigation) mounted by the Mexican American people in their quest for educational equality. The authors cover four major historical eras: 1) the origins of schooling for Mexican children in the "American" Southwest, 1848-1890s; 2) the expansion of Mexican American education, 1890-1930; 3) the changing character of public education, 1930-1960; and 4) the contemporary period. In their discussion they identify a number of major themes that characterize the education of Mexican Americans in the Southwest from the time of the Treaty up to the Hopwood decision in Texas--the landmark case that gutted affirmative action in higher education. These include the exclusion and removal of the Mexican-origin community and its cultural heritage from the schools; the formation of the template (segregated, inferior schooling) for Mexican American education; the quest for educational equality; the continuing academic gap between Mexican American and Anglo or White students; and the impact of nativism on educational opportunity, as reflected most recently in the regressive and oppressive voter-initiated propositions in California and in the legal decisions in Texas. As such, Mexican Americans face an educational crisis of an unprecedented magnitude in the history of racial/ethnic minority education.

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    Fall 1998 Issue


    Reporting Ethnography to Informants
    Reba N. Page, Yvette J. Samson, Michele D. Crockett
    On the Theoretical Trappings of the Thesis of Anti-Theory; or, Why the Idea of Theory May Not, After All, Be All That Bad
    A Response to Gary Thomas
    Kanavillil Rajagopalan
    From the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to Hopwood
    The Educational Plight and Struggle of Mexican Americans in the Southwest
    Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr., Richard R. Valencia
    Voices Inside Schools - Teacher as Rain Dancer
    Simon Hole
    Book Review - Will Teach for Food edited by Cary Nelson
    Robert P. Engvall

    Book Notes

    The Role of State Departments of Education in Complex School Reform
    By Susan Follett Lusi

    Improving America's Schools
    Edited by Eric A. Hanushek and Dale W. Jorgenson

    Orly's Draw-a-Story

    Locked in the Cabinet
    By Robert B. Reich

    Journeys of Women in Science and Engineering
    By Susan A. Ambrose, Kristin L. Dunkle, Barbara B. Lazarus, Indira Nair, and Deborah A. Harkus

    The Curriculum Studies Reader
    Edited by David J. Flinders and Stephen J. Thornton

    First Person, First Peoples
    By Andrew Garrod and Colleen Larimore

    Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States
    Edited by Linda Eisenmann

    I Don't Want to Talk About It
    By Terrence Real

    Randomized Experiments for Planning and Evaluation
    By Robert R. Boruch

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