California Educator

September 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 65

editor's Note Learning differences It was the first meeting of girls from two local high schools and the school for the Deaf. We'd been learning American Sign Language for weeks, and this was our first foray into speaking this foreign language. My friends and I started this cross-cul- tural Y-Teens group after our bid to make American Sign Language count as a foreign language requirement was turned down by the local school board. Today, ASL meets state foreign language requirements, and satisfies CSU and UC acceptance requirements. As you'll read on page 44 from members who teach American Sign Language, their students never miss class. Learning sign language is kind of like learning a new culture. As I grew up, I enjoyed learning about different cultures. That's still true today. And recently, here in California, I've learned about April Carmelo and Alice Piper. April is Wintu, Maidu, Tongva and Acjachemen. The Redding/Shasta member is a respected education support professional who shares about discovering students' culture and life- style in literature. And it was April who introduced me t o t h e s t o r y o f A l i c e . F i f t e e n - ye a r - o l d Alice Piper was the reason the California Supreme Court 90 years ago overturned state law barring Native Americans from a t te n d i n g p u b l i c s c h o o l s i f a n " I n d i a n school" was in the vicinity. In fact, Piper v . B i g P i n e S c h o o l D i s t r i c t w a s c i t e d by Chief Justice Earl Warren as a prec- e d e n t i n t h e 1 9 5 4 B ro w n v . B o a rd o f Education ruling that ended the practice It was quiet, except for giggles, until I muttered, "I can't remember that sign." "Oh, you can hear, too?" several other girls laughed. o f s e g r e g a t e d s c h o o l s i n t h e United States. Yo u h a v e n ' t h e a r d o f A l i c e P i p e r ? Well, imagine it's 1923, and Alice, a Pai- ute (Nuwuvi), wants to attend the newly built Big Pine High School. She's denied because, at that time, California law pro- hibited Native American children from attending a public school if there was a sep- arate government-run Indian school within three miles of the public school. Alice and six other Indian children sued the school district for the right to attend public school. Alice maintained her 14th Amendment rights had been violated and she was not receiving the same education that the newly built public school afforded. (The local Indian school offered classes only up to fifth grade, was underfunded and lacked basic resources.) Also, the district trustees had agreed to allow Indian students to attend the school if their parents voted for a measure that would fund the construction of the school. While Cynthia Menzel E D I T O R I N C H I E F I F Y O U ' V E R E A D your magazine at, you've seen this navigation bar, which enables you to view links, share a particular story on Facebook or Twitter or via email, and review archived issues (you can do that at, too). If you've emailed me your appreciation of this new feature, yes, please give CTA credit when you share information from the magazine, digital or print. To those of you who let me know magazines should be print pieces and should be read as such, no worries. You'll continue to receive this wonder- ful publication nine times per year in your mailbox. the measure passed, the board of trustees did not honor their agreement. So they took the legal route. In June, a statue was placed in Big Pine in Alice's honor, on the 90th anniversary of the high court decision. That was only 90 years ago? Read about April and Alice on page 34. In addition to these two features, this issue covers how members handle classroom management in the computer age (page 40) and a peer coaching experiment involving a second-grade teacher and a high school gov- ernment/economics teacher (page 18). Talk about differences! Coming up in the next issue, we'll feature members who interview political candidates and make those election recommendations for you. Do you recognize this? 8

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - September 2014