Friday, March 01, 2013

The Demise of Multicultural Education at CSU-Sacramento

The Bilingual Multicultural Education Dept. at CSU Sacramento was established in 1994 as one of the first  major Bilingual Departments in the CSU system.  Since then it has graduated over 800 bilingual teachers, administrations, college professors, and educational leaders.  The department at one time had a faculty of 18 tenure track members.
In response to the severe crisis in teacher preparation in California, the department was  voted out of existence during the Fall of 2010 . During the last decades the BMED  department  prepared thousand of new teachers and educational leaders who made bilingualism and multiculturalism a priority.  The programs emphasized Spanish –English, Chinese and more recently Hmong bilingualism.
In place of the prior, successful Bilingual/Multicultural Department at CSU Sacramento,  with a strategy of change based upon the nature of culture and recognition of racial oppression in this society and its schools, the College has taken a business-functional approach.   It has subsumed the previous departments that had specific missions-- such as serving culturally and linguistically diverse students or students with disabilities--, and placed them in three general divisions, Undergraduate, Credentials, and Graduate.  In creating a new one size fits all  teacher preparation curriculum it has bowed to test driven mandates (PACT)  by eliminating required courses in multicultural education. It has become just another  College of Education with all of its merits and demerits.

This “we are all multicultural now” approach is based upon assumptions including that Latino students and other students of color  are best served with the same teacher preparation program designed for the dominant majority group.  It assumes that  Mexican American students, although significantly under represented in enrollment and kept from their own history  by a colonized university curriculum, do not benefit from a cohort experience where they are the majority- the strategy of equal status interaction- and other empowerment strategies.
The College of Education faculty, including faculty of color, have voted to move away from a commitment to equity strategies, civil rights, human rights and social justice.  In compensation, they have passed a resolution endorsing these goals.
Read a more detailed history at

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