Along with around 6000 other bilingualism enthusiasts, I attended the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) conference this past week. Keynote speaker, Dolores Huerta, a pivotal player in the collective bargaining rights of farm workers, implored all of us to be the voice of advocacy for all learners, especially those who have historically been marginalized. There were hundreds of sessions with speakers prepared with sessions about dual immersion, cultural inclusion, bilingual education policy, parent engagement, migrant education, and more. The sessions enlivened the hope that we all have in connecting our students to high quality, cognitively and intellectually rigorous, and culturally relevant bilingual education. One key feature of the conference was a newfound binational partnership between CABE and the Mexican Ministry of Education because we share so many of the same students, and our teachers both need to be prepared for linguistic and cultural needs of our students. Mexico committed to instituting a policy in which English will now be taught in all public schools across Mexico. Everyone at CABE was visibly congratulatory and emphatic about the passage of Proposition 58, otherwise known as the Education for a Global Economy (EdGE) initiative, which will give localities liberty to decide the type and scope of how to employ bilingual education in their own contexts. There is incredible value in multilingualism, so it is time for us to catch up!
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