Texas Education Policy Changes Throughout The 20th Century

1394 Words Dec 13th, 2016 6 Pages
Texas Education Policy Changes in the 20th Century
In the twentieth century, the Texas legislature made some of the most important decisions in education law. The most powerful changes that came to education in 20th century Texas were the issues of bilingual education and school funding. Most of these policy changes and the original policies still have lasting effects on the state’s education.
English Only
At the beginning of the century, Bilingual education was not only absent in Texas public schools, it was illegal. The “English Only” law was passed in 1918. The law made it illegal for educators to use another language in classrooms and charged educators with a misdemeanor for using languages other than English in a classroom unless the class was a foreign language class. The apparent issue with the “English Only” law in Texas is that students could not understand their teachers and were not given a real opportunity to learn English. Texas still feels the weight of poor education policies that stayed far too long. Bilingual Education was illegal in Texas until 1969.
The English Only mandate was part of a movement in the time period known as the “Americanization” movement. There was a strong trend among conservatives in the state and nationwide to create uniformity. This trend can, in part, find its roots in World War I. English Only, though most negatively impacting the Hispanic community, was also targeted at Germans in Texas. German settlements in Texas had large…
Open Document