Privatizing Spanish? An Idea Revisited

Anna Ochoa O'Leary


In this paper, I examine an early writing by Richard Ruiz, “The Empowerment of Language-Minority Students” (Ruiz, 1997). , I revisit its thesis and retraced its argument in light of past experiences and more current developments related to language, culture, “voice,” and minority student empowerment. I also reflect on the “privatization” strategy that Ruiz offered for consideration, which for me had raised many questions when I first read it, as it still does today. I surmise that his words reflected angst over emerging political debates over the control and use of public resources for bilingual education and multicultural approaches were certain to pose additional challenges for students’ voice and agency, without which student empowerment would be pushed further out of reach.

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