Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

March 2002


Published online as a supplement to the March 2002 issue (33:1) of Anthropology & Education Quarterly. Online at Copyright © 2002 American Anthropological Association. Used by permission.


In this poignant short volume, Valdés is adamant: Latino students, specifically the thousands of Latino newcomer students who start their U.S. schooling at the secondary level, deserve a chance to learn English and to continue their development of other academic skills. She is also blunt: typical U.S. schooling of Latino newcomers is multiply inadequate and inappropriate. Thus the goal of promoting English mastery is compromised, as are these students’ overall academic opportunity horizons. Though her initial problem diagnosis—that current ESL programs poorly serve most students in them—may superficially agree with the problem diagnosis of neoconservative crusaders such as Ron Unz, the inadequacies and possibilities she identifies depart substantially and explicitly from the Unz-supported policies of California’s Proposition 227 and its equivalents.