Skrentny's The Minority Rights Revolution

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Skrentny's book, The Minority Rights Revolution (2002), provides a historical and critical analysis of civil rights laws and policy in the United States from the 1960s. Focusing on ethnic groups that benefited from the rights protection secured by African-Americans with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he argues that the extension of those rights to those groups were supported by politicians because of the political power those groups held. Skrentny's position toward Latinos is quite critical because “[he does not] understand how [Hispanics] won new policies so easily despite weak mobilization” (vi). In the chapter, “Learn, Amigo, Learn!: Bilingual Education and Language Rights in the Schools”, Skrentny provides a critical analysis of bilingual education…show more content…
Primarily, the idea behind bilingual education is that ““primary and secondary school students who do not speak English well or at all should be taught in some or all subjects in their native language while they learn English” (Skrentny 179). The law targeted limited English proficiency students and especially the Hispanic community who had the high rate of dropouts at schools. While Gann, Duignan, Moore and Pachon insist on the role of Hispanic movement in supporting bilingual education, Skrentny's analysis of bilingual education demonstrates that Hispanics claimed bilingual education as a civil right issue after the emergence of bilingual education. He does not deny the role of the Hispanics but does not put the merit of bilingual education on them. In fact, Skrentny explains that the strongest support for bilingual education came from organizations such as the National Education Organization which argued that forcing immigrant children to give up their mother tongue and native culture in order to assimilate might cause important damage on the self-esteem of the children.
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