A Word with David Rogers

David Rogers has dedicated his life to public service, beginning his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Volunteer Admin between 1986-1990, where he specialized in education, in Paraguay, South America. He’d like to note that in Paraguay although Spanish/Castellano was the official language of education for the entire country, only 60% of the country spoke Castellano with some proficiency, where 80-85% spoke the indigenous language Guaraní. At the time, students were dropping out of school by 3rd grade if they were unable to gain a command of Castellano as a language. David realized then that not including the Guarani language (nor culture) as an instructional language was marginalizing a large portion of the population and denying access to education for some students. This is how he became interested in bilingual education.

David works as the Executive Director of Dual Language Education of New Mexico. The organization began informally in 1997 and formally in 2001, the mission of the organization is to advocate for and support the effective design and implementation of dual language education programming. The idea is that teachers and their students are the experts, and with proper structures in place, should be expected to share their best practice and support their colleagues and their own professional growth, through on-going conversation and reflection around their practice. At the school level DLeNM is involved in facilitated discussions of all stakeholders around the idea of transformative/shared leadership being the key between effective program implementation and the sustainability of the program over the long-term.

David will be charged with facilitating a discussion with community stakeholders that include representatives from the business and advocacy communities around one of two different "principles". These are defined in the document Core Principles for Supporting Emergent Multilingual Learners, developed by the NYC Department of Education. The principle focus will either be:

  • Lifelong multilingualism is beneficial and desirable for all individuals., or
  • Everyone in the program environment makes a commitment to adopt multilingual approaches.

I hope attendees will take with them some inspiration around a set of actionable items that we hope to identify and prioritize together, as well as a personal commitment and clarity as to what their individual responsibility is in caring out one or more of those actionable items.

For David’s discussion, please come prepared with the following questions, and discussion topics:

  • How they and/or their organizations can ensure the strengthening and expansion of dual language education programming?
  • What their individual roles can be to this strengthening and expansion?
  • How can their roles align and support the roles of other organizations, including the school communities?

Consider the importance of bilingualism and multicultural competency in their own lives and for their own families (write down related thoughts), and

Read articles related to the expansion of dual language education and the reasons for the expansion. Motivations are variety as to why school communities choose to implement this transformation program model, and it is important to understand the different reasons for why the program model is chosen.

I feel the symposium is vital because where dual language education holds the promises of turning achievement gaps into achievement opportunities, and in graduating a bilingual/multicultural citizenry that is prepared to contribute and compete in local and global markets? If our stakeholders in the community want this for our students, families and future generations, then they need to take an active role in this.

Patricia Griselda Pérez
Author: Patricia Griselda Pérez

Dr. Patricia Pérez holds an A.A. from Ohlone College: B.A. and M.S. degree from California State University, East Bay and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She serves as an educator, consultant and teacher coach, which provides professional development, curriculum development and multicultural awareness services to local and international educational institutions and corporations. Dr. Pérez is fluent in Spanish and began her career as an elementary school teacher in a bilingual classroom. In the past two decades, she has developed a wide range of experience working at every level of public education, providing support to educators and directly to students. Her interest focus on promoting educational excellence through equity in order to overcome institutional barriers that confront underserved students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Pérez is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of multicultural education and organizational management and leadership. She is a contributing author to Multicultural Education in Practice: Transforming One Community at a Time and Collaboration and Peak Performance: A Multidisciplinary Perspective for Emerging Leaders.

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