.JESSICA LEAL / TEJANO TRIBUNE
(L-R) El Paso ISD Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera, EPCC President William Serrata, Socorro El Paso ISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Canutillo El Paso ISD Superintendent Pedro Galaviz, and Ysleta El Paso ISD Superintendent Xavier De La Tore.
On Sept. 29, EPCC held the third panel for the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the Administrative Services Center to discuss education topics.
The panel featured superintendents from the largest school districts in the area.
Present at the panel were Carina Ramirez as moderator, El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan Cabrera, Ysleta Independent School District Superintendent Xavier De La Torre, Socorro Independent School District Superintendent José Espinoza, Canutillo Independent School District Superintendent Pedro Galaviz and EPCC President William Serrata.
It was pointed by Serrata that this was one of the rare times that all school district superintendents are Latino.
Discussed topics were graduation rates among Hispanics, bilingual programs, college readiness among Hispanics and standardized tests.
All questions for panelists were submitted online before the event.
K through 12 grade bilingual programs were discussed by the panelists.
“Our parents do not want their kids in dual language because their child becomes low on both languages,” Galaviz said.
“What we have done in Canutillo is taken a step back and said ‘what is our real purpose?’
“We looked at the research that supports dual languages; your brain will function better at more capacity if a child knows two or more languages.
The whole country should [do] two or more languages.”
Espinoza thought differently.
“I may be on the opposite end here. In Socorro ISD we do not have a dual language program,” Espinoza said.
“I just don’t feel in my heart, in my mind, that it is appropriate to place a student who is trying to learn English in a dual language class because that child when he goes home, 100 percent of the time, what language are they talking at home?Spanish.
“I just feel we need to expose our students, especially our students who are trying to learn the English language, to more English.”