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“This book is a significant contribution to the literature on Mexican American activism in education and documents in rich detail the successes and failures of these legal struggles . . . It is highly recommended for scholars, historians, educators, lawyers, and community activists of all colors.”
-The Journal of American History
“The longstanding rap on Latino parents, particularly Mexican Americans, is that they are too passive, an old trope from movies and the iconic peasant taking his siesta under a palm tree. But as Valencia’s detailed book shows, these parents have been resisting school perfidy and indifference for well over a century, even against courts and school boards that have been downright hostile to their claims. I found it fascinating reading, and learned a great deal, even though I thought I had known or read all these cases. I was wrong. He has corrected this record in an authoritative fashion that has set the bar for the rest of us.”-Michael A. Olivas,editor of “Colored Men” and “Hombres Aquí”
“In this book Valencia effectively weaves together a wide variety of large and small, famous and forgotten, Chicano legal challenges to educational discrimination and ties the entire corpus of activism around the concept of critical race theory. This book is successful as a reference work and as a synthesis of critical race scholarship on the varied, confusing tangle of Mexican American educational litigation. . . . Valencia’s study offers enterprising historians myriad ways in which to engage the increasingly paramount subjects of Mexican American education, race, poverty, and immigration. In this original and laboriously researched book, Valencia successfully communicates the size and complexity of the Mexican American community’s quest for better schools—and how much more is left for historians to do on this important yet neglected topic.”
-American Historical Review
Richard R. Valencia is Professor of Educational Psychology, Faculty Associate of the Center for Mexican American Studies, and Fellow in the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education at The University of Texas at Austin. His books include Chicano School Failure and Success.