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La Familia and Other Secret Ingredients to Latinx Student Success

Jennifer M. Matos

Almost like a well-kept family recipe, there exists in education secret ingredients into what makes Latinx students successful. La Familia and Other Secret Ingredients to Latinx Student Success demonstrates how Latinx parents, a well-kept secret ingredient, assist with the academic success of Latinx students at all educational levels. Understanding the power of this secret ingredient—and how to use it—can have a profound impact on success for Latinxs students and can be used as a model for how to work with and support students from all marginalized groups. La Familia and Other Secret Ingredients to Latinx Student Success is suitable for educators at all levels. This book can be used in general education and teacher preparation courses, ethnic studies courses, training for individuals in helping professions, or to launch exciting new dialogue.

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Chapter 4. How Latinx Parental Engagement Became Invisible



How Latinx Parental Engagement Became Invisible

The past few chapters have included narratives about my Mother’s high caliber of parental engagement. Yet, when interacting with my elementary and high schools, she was not seen as involved as the parents of my white peers. How do we make meaning out of the assertions that in this country, white parental engagement1 is valued more than Latinx parental engagement in American schools? What theoretical frameworks can help social justice educators to contextualize how racism plays a role in whose voice is heard and whose voice is absent in the discussion of Latinx parental involvement?

I argue that these theoretical frameworks are Latino Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) and Critical Race Theory (CRT). In this chapter, I set out with four goals in mind. First, I will historically situate CRT and LatCrit. This will include tracing the origins of CRT and explaining how CRT provides a foundation for LatCrit. I begin with CRT because this is the foundation from where LatCrit gains its legitimacy. Second, to foreground the relevant principles of LatCrit, I will present the main principles of CRT and make the distinction between CRT and LatCrit. This will be accomplished by sharing the main principles of these theories and demonstrating how a LatCrit framework makes meaning out of the devaluing of Latinx parental engagement. Third, I will explain how LatCrit is applied to analyzing racial dynamics in education.←61 | 62→ Fourth, and finally, I apply the...

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