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Back to November Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 262 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS NOVEMBER 2007

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Pro-Indoctrination Bills
In several cities and states, schools are using curriculum materials from Mexico's public schools, and even aligning their courses with those taught in Mexico so that courses will be valid in both countries. "The availability of resources is astounding," said Patrick Burk of the Oregon Department of Education's superintendent's office. "We're able to serve students so much better if we're working together." Burk, with several other Oregon curriculum officials, flew to Mexico over the summer to discuss aligning Oregon's standards for such courses with Mexico's.

Mexico has made its public school curriculum available to American schools free of charge since 2001. Administrators such as Burk adopt the curriculum to "minimize disruption" for immigrants from Mexico. While 15% of Oregon students are Hispanic, only 2% of teachers are. The materials from Mexico include DVDs and website components, which students can use without direct teacher supervision.

Critics of the idea, however, doubt that continuing to teach Hispanic students in Spanish using Mexican curriculum will help them to get their learning on track or adapt to their new English-speaking schools. The longer students receive instruction in Spanish, the more slowly they will learn English. Many also question whether Mexico's curriculum will adequately teach math or science, let alone U.S. history, which is also among the subjects offered by Mexico.

Oregon is not the only place where schools are implementing this curriculum. In Washington state, about 30 schools already use it. The city of Yakima, Washington is also considering aligning courses officially with Mexico's national curriculum, as are San Diego, California and Austin, Texas. (The Oregonian, 9-19-07)

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