There are many similarities within the Mexican and Indian1 experiences of schools and education policy in what is now referred to as America. However, thematically, these similarities represent the larger scope of Anglo attitudes and policies that characterize the educational "missions" applied to most dominated groups in the United States. Most notably is the emphasis of addressing perceived language deficiencies and implementing language education programs. Secondly, is the staunch attempts at deculturalization for both groups.
While these methods are not unique, as they have been and continue to be used on the majority of dominated groups, the circumstances to which these methods were applied in the Mexican and Indian cases are quite unique, and perhaps because of this, especially threatening to Anglo interests. This may be best depicted with the quote, "a victor has the choice of either eradicating the conquered population or assimilating them into its own culture.(p.91)" The essential key revealed in this quote is that both of these groups were conquered peoples. The languages and cultures of these peoples within the borders of the aspiring America posed a greater threats to Anglo society and therefore the methods of education and deculturalization employed had to be carefully chosen and justified in order to maintain Anglo control.
While racial classifications were manipulated to enact segregated schooling, obstruct citizenry, and deny voting rights for Mexicans by classifying them as Indians, their treatment and experiences differed vastly from that of the Indians. Rather than race being the deciding factor for this discrepancy, for Mexicans were now considered Indians, it was the recognition of the separate historic and cultural specific circumstances of the Mexicans and Indians that provided the grounds for different approaches to deculturalization by the Anglos.
The most visible difference in educational policies for Mexicans...
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