Dr. José Agustín Ruiz-Escalante is a professor of Bilingual Education. He has taught courses dealing with bilingual education and cultural diversity in our schools as well as in society. His goal is to bring a better cultural understanding between the different groups that make up American. He believes that only through a sincere dialogue among the different groups we are going to learn to live and work together in harmony.
Dr. Ruiz-Escalante has a strong commitment to the establishment of dual language education programs in our public schools. It is through this type of a program that second language learners will fully developed academically. Dual language education will even the playing field for students that English is not their native language. This program will help schools close the achievement gap between white students and Latino students.
Dr. Ruiz-Escalante has the reputation on bringing into the classroom the last research findings and practices in the field of bilingual education. He also utilizes technology to augment his courses. He also has a reputation to make his classes cultural sensitive. One of his main goals is for students to understand the society in which they live.
Dr. Ruiz-Escalante obtained his Doctorate of Education from the University of Washington in Seattle; his doctorate is in Policy, Governance and Administration
with a minor Bilingual Multicultural Education. He received his Master of Education in Bilingual Multicultural Education and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Since 1977, Dr. Ruiz-Escalante has been involved in the field of bilingual education. He has worked in four states: Arizona, Washington, Oregon, and Texas. As an immigrant to this country, Dr. Ruiz-Escalante knows first hand the experiences that language minority students face in schools. He immigrated to this country at the age of 15. Dr. Ruiz-Escalante has received numerous awards among them recipient of the 1997 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, the 1997 Texas Association for Bilingual Education Conference Honoree Award, and the 1996 NABE President Award.
Dr. Ruiz-Escalante has been involved at the national, state and local level in the field of bilingual education. He strongly believes that non-English speaking students have the right to a quality education. He says that education comes in many languages not just English. He also believes that students need to master the English language. Students need to master English but not at an expense of an education.
Dr. Ruiz-Escalante chaired the NABE committee that published Professional Standards for the Preparation of Bilingual/Multicultural Teachers in 1992. He is also one of the three editors of TABE’s publication Compendium of Readings in Bilingual Education: Issues and Practices. He is working to ensure that state and national conferences dealing with bilingual education include professional presentations in Spanish. He was also the editor of The Journal of the Texas Association for Bilingual Education.
Dr. Ruiz-Escalante conducts a number of workshops for parents of second language learners. The purpose of the workshops is to give parents information about the rights and responsibilities for a quality education for their children. He also gives them some ideas on how they can assist their children with schoolwork.