On July 28, 2022, The Texan reported that the Fort Worth Independent School District hosted a training seminar over the summer for the district’s “Bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers.” The news outlet reported that this seminar promoted “lesson planning as a political act” and aiming to “chip away at the systems of oppression in education.” ESL teachers help students not native to the United States learn the English language.
The news outlet continued to report that the seminar was titled “C6 Biliteracy Instructional Framework: Lesson Planning Via a Critical Consciousness Lens” and was created by consulting firm “Dr. Jose Medina: Educational Solutions.” The firm’s website explains that “the lesson planning framework provides an opportunity for teachers to create lessons that dismantle systems of oppression.” The Texan also reported that Jose Medina previously mentioned in a podcast that U.S. schools were created to “promote white, middle income viewpoints.” The news outlet stated:
In a podcast in 2020, Medina explained the framework for the training. When asked to elucidate his viewpoint that “lesson planning is a political act,” Medina said it must be acknowledged that “U.S. schools were conceptualized to promote white, middle income viewpoints.” He continued by saying that educators must ask themselves how they have “been maintaining and supporting oppression in education.”
The Texan further reported: “Medina, who identifies as a ‘queer, Chicano, Spanglish-speaking educational leader,’ provided books of his ‘testimonio’ to seminar participants which included a conversation between siblings about one being gay and a depiction of himself as a boy being excited about wearing a pink dress.”
The Texan linked to an article written by Jose Medina. Rather than write his article in just one language, he writes it in both English and Spanish as a way to disrupt the idea that people in the U.S. should speak purely English. In this article, he provides the following pieces of advice for teachers and officials to “chip away at systems of oppression”:
- As human beings, aceptamos que todos tenemos biases and prejudices and that our sistema de educación is a product of these culturally destructive ideologies.
- As teachers, entendemos that con cada lección that we plan, we either chip away at systems of oppression or los mantenemos.
- As school leaders, reconocemos that if we are not líderes de instrucción who model this trabajo tan importante, we are but building managers.
- As district administrators, escribimos into policy, sístemas that protect culturally and linguistically diverse comunidades estudiantiles.
- As state and national policy makers, including the incoming U.S. Secretary of Education, abogamos, without apology, through a culturally sustaining lens and align with prácticas pedagógicas that actually value todos los estudiantes and not only those that fit into a White, monocultural, monolingüe, heteronormative, y patriarchal way of teaching and learning.