are the principal contributors to school dropouts. I will limit myself \(and, then, in dren of Mexican descent; for few would challenge my competence to speak authoritatively on that score. First of all, it is taken for granted by many Texas school systems, including the Texas Education Agency, that children who come to school speaking only Spanish are, ipso facto, doomed to retardation in their educational progress. As a matter of fact, it is regarded as normal in Texas that the vast majority of those children must spend two or more years in the first grade. This is a lot of nonsense, easily refuted by What goes on in school systems elsewhere and by the experience in other countries. As a former elementary school teacher and principal, experienced in schools where nearly all of the children came to school speaking only Spanish, I find it absurd that otherwise intelligent educators and statesmen should find a foreign homelanguage such an insuperable hurdle. They impose retardation on such children, and they add to that imposition throughout the educational processby having the children repeat grades, by “genteel segregation,” by watering down the curriculum, by using improper criteria for measuring progress, by suppressing Spanish, and by a great many other professionally shameful malpractices. On top of the above, though referring to the Spanish-speaking child as “handicapped,” the schools treat him as though he were a sort of super-child, one who can overcome his “handicap” under the most adverse conditions that the schools can offer! Over-crowded classrooms, teachers and principals selected catch-as-catch-can, prohibitions \(the Spanish language, for infailure to give due credit to his culture \(in so on ad adsurdum. It is a wonder that this child gets fed up, frustrated, and leaves school at the first opportunity? What would you do if, at the age of 12 or 13, you were still in the third grade, in a school where you, your parents, your culture were stigmatized? You would drop out of school, and so would Iassuming that we could have taken that kind of pushing around that long. I have stated publicly that most public Pilgrimage A group of blind Christians have just made their way to a conference in Waco : “Chartered bus will take the blind people to Waco August 23rd through August 25th for the Texas Church Conference for the Blind. “There will be no charges for the bus and two nights lodging. All who are interested in going please get in touch with Mrs. Bromie Hollon, OX 5-3390. White race only.” The Church News, Houston Chronicle Publishing Co., Houston, Tex., reprinted in the Carolina Israelite. schools in Texas that have large numbers of Spanish-speaking children are “assembly lines for the production of illiterates and juvenile delinquents.” This statement is, of course, a purely graphic oneone intended to arouse discussion and, hopefully, reforms. However graphic the statement may be, there is substance in it. The 1960 U.S. Census points out that persons of Spanish surname in Texas have a median of 4.7 years of schooling, as contrasted with more than 7 years for the Negroes. I could recite further figures from that Census and from other unimpeachable sources that would corrobrate further my evaluation. Then, too, I could recite figures as to the ethnic proportions at Gatesville. A sorry educational system is the major Washington Excerpts from the testimony here of Albert Fuentes, Jr., state executive secretary of the Political Assn. of Spanish-speaking Kennedy civil rights legislation : “As late as 1960 or ’61, a city councilman and his wife were refused service [in Texas] because ‘they were Mexicans.’ Now Cong. Henry Gonzalez in 1955, then mayor pro-tern of San Antonio, was refused admittance to a privately-owned public park in New Braunfels. In 1961 P.A.S.O. protested the denial to ‘Mexicans’ \(Americans swimming pool in Kenedy. The city council, rather than integrate Latin Americans to swimming pools, closed the pool, and private businessmen built a private pool, closed to Latin-Americans today. This was also true at Crystal City. In Kingsville, the only country club refused admittance to Latin-Americans because the by-laws of the club were for white only . . .” “[Gov. Connally] said he is proud of the progress made so far in civil rights in Texas. . . . There are no Texas Rangers of Mexican descent, there are no Texas highway patrolmen who are Latin-Americans, there are no Latin-Americans in executive or administrative capacities in state government in Texas, without exceptionor the highway department, insurance commission, game and fish, or any other departments. In 1961 there was not a single state employee of Latin-American descent in the state capitol, with the exception of some of the personal staff of some elected officials, and this was minor.” “The vast majority of the population of Delivery Note Subscribers: If you live in Texas, you should be receiving your Observer no later than Saturday of the week in which it is dated. If you do not, please send us your name, address, and the particulars, and we shall direct appropriate inquiries to the postal authorities. contributor to school dropouts. The school system is a sorry one because it is led by sorry leaders, and because it is financed by a niggardly legislature. Let those in positions of power, and the public in ‘general, learn that the dropout problem, the problem of juvenile delinquency, and other similarly depressing problems can be solved only by the intelligent application of greatly increased appropriations for public education. Let them show their concern by positive proposals to make Texas schools “first class.” And let them recognize that to go first class costs money. GEORGE I. SANCHEZ, Professor of Latin American Education ; Director, College of Education Center for International Education, The University of Texas. Kleberg County bears Spanish surnames, yet not a single engineer or administrator, not even a skilled worker [of Spanish surname] has been hired to date by the Celanese Corp. operating in Kleberg County just outside the city limits of Kingsville. Many Spanish surname engineers have applied for positions at Celanese, all graduates of Texas A. & I. College or some other state college or university. The only Spanish surname people employed are common labor. We feel it more than coincidence, not a single Spanish surname Texan is employed by the Humble Oil Co., other than labor, in that county. The Kleberg First National Bank does not have a single cashier, clerk, or administrator with a Spanish surname. . . . The high school in Kingsville does not have a single Spanishsurname teacher teaching any academic course.” “The City Public Service Co. in San Antonio maintains a club room for employees, called the Live Wire Club, but this is for Anglos only. Across the maintenance yard is an old building that . houses the Latin Club, for Latins only. When confronted, the board said the Latins preferred it that way. Of course, it may be difficult to get Latins to say otherwise; after all, you have seen what happens to others that want to protest, and you must eat. So accept? Yes. Prefer? No. No man ever preferred being second class. . . . “In San Antonio, no law firm with more than six employees has any Latin-American employees. In view of the fact that about one-third of the lawyers in San Antonio are Latin-American, not one single Latin-American lawyer is retained by the city of San Antonio or any board of the . city. There are no Latin-Americans employed in executive or administrative capacities in the river authority, water board, public service, transit board, etc. . . . “The governor may be proud but we are not.” August 23, 1963 `Not a Single Spanish Surname…
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