Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Sacramento Bee covers one side of the story; Misses drop in Mexican American/Chicano enrollment

The story of the Chinese graduates from an MBA program in Singapore that  appeared in the Friday on-line paper and on Page 1 of the Saturday print edition  of the Sacramento Bee was interesting and a bit problematic. 
I don't have a problem with this entrance into international education. It could well be a valued new program.
Unfortunately, at the same time, Mexican American/Latino students in teacher preparation at Sac State have been reduced from over 100 per semester  to less than 10. This at the same time as the student population in California  k-12 schools has reached over 50% Latino descendent students.
And, in the graduate programs in education the percentage of Mexican American/Latino students have declined from 35% of the total enrollment! to less than 10%.
While the economic crisis of the last four years contributed to an  overall decline in enrollment,   the percentage decline  in Mexican American enrollment is a consequence of  eliminating programs serving language minority students. Prior to 2010, Sac State had one of the few teacher preparation programs in Northern California  successfully preparing a  large number of diverse future teachers, including bilingual teachers for the states  growing population of  language minority students. Successful programs in Bilingual multicultural teacher preparation  were dismantled  and potential future teachers  went elsewhere.

See the story of the dismantling of the program on the Mexican American Digital History site The percentage decline in enrollment  of minority students is a   clear example of failure of leadership.
So what should we do now?  Remove the administrators who presided over this debacle and rebuild. Begin the long process of rebuilding a program and a faculty that took over  20 years to create in the first place.

Dr. Duane Campbell
Professor of Education (emeritus)

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