The future of North American education?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
A charter school for Aztlanians:
Our mission is to provide urban children of immigrant native families an excellent education founded upon their own language, cultural values, and global realities through a k-8 California public charter school to fulfill our commitment to justice, freedom and dignity in education.

Our vision of education emphasizes a student centered school society that cultivates academic excellence, talents, humanist ethics, positive culture, and social consciousness for students grades K-8 and their parents. Our pedagogy is meant to enrich the human capacity to transform our reality into one that is more just. We believe our school will be an integral member of a community, capable of providing learning and leadership opportunities to the entire community.

Ancestral Mexican schooling ethos embodied social ideals and appreciations intended to develop the child as a complete person. The indigenous heart of our vision is a repossession of an identity denied from our children in standard schools.
link

From an interview with the school's founder and principal, Marcos Aguilar:
TCLA: How does learning different languages impact your students?

MA: By learning Nahuatl, they will be able to understand their relationship with nature (because language is based on our human relationship with nature) and be able to understand themselves as part of something larger, not as an isolated individual. They will be able to understand our own ancestral culture and our customs and traditions that are so imbued in the language. The importance of Nahutal is also academic because Nahuatl is based on a Math system, which we are also practicing. We teach our children how to operate a base 20 mathematical system and how to understand the relationship between the founders and their bodies, what the effects of astronomical forces and natural forces on the human body and the human psyche, our way of thinking and our way of expressing ourselves. And so the language is much more than just being able to communicate. When we teach Nahuatl, the children are gaining a sense of identity that is so deep, it goes beyond whether or not they can learn a certain number of vocabulary words in Nahuatl. It’s really about them understanding themselves as human beings. Everything we do here is about relationships.
[...]
TCLA: What do you recommend to students and parents who are frustrated with schooling and want to create change?

MA: If we want anything we have to organize ourselves. We should organize with other people who share that frustration and see what we can do to solve the problem. The people have to change from an attitude of asking for things to a practice of organizing things for ourselves. We have to get away from the welfare mentality and the welfare society and more and more develop self-reliance and resolve our problems by organizing our own resources.

TCLA: Finally, what do you see as the legacy of the Brown decision?

MA: If Brown was just about letting Black people into a White school, well we don’t care about that anymore. We don’t necessarily want to go to White schools. What we want to do is teach ourselves, teach our children the way we have of teaching. We don’t want to drink from a White water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts. We don’t need a White water fountain. So the whole issue of segregation and the whole issue of the Civil Rights Movement is all within the box of White culture and White supremacy. We should not still be fighting for what they have. We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger. And ultimately the White way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction. And so it isn’t about an argument of joining neo liberalism, it’s about us being able, as human beings, to surpass the barrier.

14 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

Yeah, lets all learn Nahuatl. Any Unix textbooks in Nahuatl down at Barnes & Noble?

And so it isn’t about an argument of joining neo liberalism, it’s about us being able, as human beings, to surpass the barrier.

"Neo-liberalism". A nice Marxist code word. How original.

Don't get me started.

terrye said...

Right now in Indiana there is increasing pressure to force Amish to abandon their schools and to stop using child labor. Ofcourse that would change them forever.

The two may not seem related, but then again the first language the Amish learn is rarely English. They will not fight in the armed forces and they insist they be left alone because they believe their way is the better way...and they have been here for a very long time...and there are a lot of them.

terrye said...

skook:

The guy does sound like a kook.

Skookumchuk said...

The Hispanic community can't afford to take the position that they are simply kooks and can safely be ignored. They have to come down on these guys HARD, disassociating themselves completely from this sort of thing and they have to do it now.

Because nobody else will.

David Thomson said...

“The guy does sound like a kook.”

Kook? But aren't we talking about California? Seriously, this is just added evidence to support my thesis that the red states are going to get a lot redder---and the blue states will become even more blue. I don’t see the Republican Party recapturing California’s electoral votes anytime in the near future. This is a lost cause.

terrye said...

david:

It makes you wonder what other kind of alternative schools there are out there.

But skook has a point, the hispanics need to marginalize people like this.

Skookumchuk said...

The problem is that since the separatists are usually considered kooks, nobody bothers to marginalize them. It would be like you or me taking off work to stand on the corner with a protest sign against the KKK or the Nazi skinheads. Why would you want to waste your time? So it is very difficult to motivate people to protest this. But only the Hispanics can and must do it, since elite white culture lacks the cojones to do anything in its own defense.

Buddy Larsen said...

Well, teaching the kids about life in the distant past is great, but only if the six-year old will project his spirit forward in time, to when he will be a 21st century adult in the job market, and sign a release first.

Skookumchuk said...

Well, learning some phrases in Nahuatl at the expense of ax2 + bx + c = 0 guarantees a life working behind a sewing machine in Compton for minimum wage and voting for the Socialist Mechistas forever.

But that is the point.

I won't comment on these kinds of threads anymore. These guys just drive me right around the bend.

Buddy Larsen said...

"But that is the point."

Yes--consciously, for the strategists, unconsciously for the following echelons.

All the wonderful all-American NEA members in the country can't change the fact that there is a powerful political force working diligently to dumb-down the nation.

Coisty said...

An update to this story from a reader at L Auster's blog.

Stephen T. writes:

An important update to your story yesterday about Academia Semillas del Pueblo, the LAUSD school which teaches Hispanic racism and the reconquista doctrine at taxpayers expense:
This a.m. a reporter from KABC Los Angeles visited the school to file a report. While standing on the sidewalk, clearly identified as a member of the media with press credentials around his neck, a black SUV containing several Hispanic males drove over the sidewalk and onto school grounds and nearly ran him down. The driver then physically assaulted him, took his tape recorder from him, and drove away. School “security guards”—all of whom are Spanish speaking Latinos—did nothing to intervene.

It is significant that yesterday, when this same reporter spoke to the principal, Marcos Aguilar, a former MECHA leader, he was warned not to attempt to file investigative reports about the school and to “watch your back” if he did.

In listening to this on KABC moments ago, I hear many comparing this incident to Nazis, Islamic terrorists, etc. People shouldn’t kid themselves. This is not anything so remote or exotic. This is simply MEXICO—the “watch your back” threat from an official, the black SUV, the thugs, the law enforcement turning away—transplanted intact and in toto into the United States. This is business as usual in that backwards, chaotic culture and is evidence of how emboldened they have become that they now consider such tactics will be viable here, too—and unopposed by the populace.

We’ll see if the LAPD, which has for years swelled its ranks with affirmative action Hispanics, will act on this crime aggressively, or at all.

Buddy Larsen said...

Coisty, read more here:

Skookumchuk said...

I've described in previous posts how my Mother came - legally - from El Salvador in 1943. She was a young school teacher who lived through some turbulent times. She remembered machinegun bullets hitting the adobe walls of their house during some aborted coup. She told of having to get the school kids to lie on the floor during some disturbance or other, in an attempt to protect them. She had a girlfriend who worked at the post office, and who decided she couldn't work there any longer because they were opening all the mail. She told me of arguments with cops who wanted bribes.

Anyway, we were having a dinner for some family and friends at home in LA. I was maybe eight or nine. There was a discussion among the men in which some local politican - Jesse Unruh or Sam Yorty or whoever - was being described by one of them as being "just like Hitler".

When this remark was being made, I was taking some plates or something back to the kitchen, where my Mom was.

I remember this as if it were yesterday. She sighed. "The people of this country are good people" she said quietly, in Spanish "but they don't know anything about the world".

Buddy Larsen said...

Yes, we've been so damn good at building the Shining City, we've forgotten the Jungle, and that we're the exotics. I mean, we know the world's a zoo--but we thought WE were looking at THEM.