Table of Contents

    Cover Theme
  • "The Laptops Are Coming! The Laptops Are Coming!"

    By Sarah Heller McFarlane Things to think about before the laptops arrive in your classroom.
  • Free A Time to End the Silences

    By the Editors of Rethinking Schools

    "When texts don't talk about racism, when standards don't mention racism, when teachers don't teach about racism, they automatically eliminate any discussion of anti-racism."
  • Prophet Motives

    An excerpt from Keeping the Promise?: The Debate Over Charter Schools

    By Leigh Dingerson "Any discussion of charter schools must ask not only whether charters promote a worthwhile vision of public education, but also whether they are faithful to their own promises."
  • Fault Lines in Merit Pay

    By Sam Coleman "Far from addressing the systemic, institutionalized problems in New York City's public schools, the city's test-based pay program attempts to provide a 'silver bullet' solution by relying on crass material incentives."
  • City Teaching; Beyond the Stereotypes

    By Gregory Michie "For city teachers, it's also about functioning within—and challenging—a system that in many ways works to undercut and even thwart your best efforts."
  • Rethinking MySpace

    By Antero Garcia "As an educator constantly searching for ways to use popular culture in my classroom, I decided to make MySpace part of my teaching repertoire."
  • Childhood Is Dying

    By Dahr Jamail, Ahmed Ali "Iraq's children have been more gravely affected by the U.S. occupation than any other segment of the population."
  • Empire or Humanity

    By Howard Zinn "The American Empire has always been a bipartisan project—Democrats and Republicans have taken turns extending it, extolling it, justifying it."
  • Introduction

  • Putting a Human Face on the Immigration Debate

    By Steven Picht-Trujillo, Paola Ledezma "For those of us working with immigrant populations, we have in our students living examples that we can use to bring the immigration issue to the forefront and teach all of our students."
  • An Open Letter to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund from the Association of Raza Educators

    The Association of Raza Educators implores you: open your scholarships to all students of Hispanic descent regardless of citizenship.
  • Everything Flowers

    By Lisa Espinosa "I noted the biased curriculum... the absence of lessons on the Chicano movement or other aspects of my history and culture, the various attempts to make me less Mexican and more white."
  • Pump Up the Blowouts

    By Gilda L. Ochoa "This year is the 40th anniversary of the Chicana/o School Blowouts, and I wonder how schools, communities, and the media will mark this important movement."
  • Free Review: Our Dignity Can Defeat Anyone

    By Julie Treick O'Neill By Julie Treick O'Neill A review of the film Maquilapolis [City of Factories]
  • Departments Free
  • Resources

  • Letters to the Editors

  • Short Stuff
  • Kids in the Middle

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Putting a Human Face on the Immigration Debate

Putting a Human Face on the Immigration Debate

During this unit we had our students read a book excerpt dealing with immigration issues from the 1940s along with a contemporary article about the experience of a Mexican family in San Diego. These readings were the initial activity for this unit and were used in order to give students a feel for how these issues have not changed substantially in the United States since the early 20th century.

Cajas de cartn: relatos de la vida peregrina de un nio campesino, by Francisco Jimnez, Chapter 1: "Bajo la alambrada." This book is the author's account of his family's illegal entry into the United States from Mexico during the 1940s. (Available in English: The Circuit, by Francisco Jimnez, Chapter 1: "Under the Wire.")

"Column One: A family's painful split decision." Los Angeles Times article from April 27, 2007, by Anna Gorman, tells the story of parents who were deported to Tijuana, leaving their three U.S.-born children in San Diego so that the children might have greater opportunities in life.


During this unit we watched three films relating to immigrants from Latin America, in which our students were able to meet a handful of immigrants and learn their stories.

El Norte, by Gregory Nava. (In Spanish, English, and Mayan languages with English subtitles) This film tells the story of a Guatemalan brother and sister who flee their country's civil war during the 1980s and shows the harrowing events crossing the U.S.-Mexican border as they immigrate to Los Angeles. Edited version for classroom use available from Teacher's Discovery,

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