History

This document depict AMAE's history from its inception in 1965 until 1985 State Convention in Fresno. We are currently involved in an effort to research and document the ensuing eighteen years.

The Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) was born in conflict with existing school systems and mode of instruction. The early efforts were directed at countering the inequality of educational opportunity for Mexican American/Latino students. In the Association's Articles of Incorporation of 1965, it states that the AMAE educators were organized to address the problems facing Mexican American/Latino students in educational systems. These efforts were directed toward the elimination of English only rules, toward scholarships to encourage students to continue their education and toward a drive to attract more Chicanos/Latinos to education and into positions of leadership and influence.

From its early beginnings in Los Angeles to chapters in Fresno, Sacramento, Madera, San Diego, and rapidly expanding throughout California, AMAE has grown over the past thirty-seven years, through periods of activity and periods of reflection, to include as many as 40 chapters. An important project of the Association is the annual staff development conference that brings together educators and concerned parties to address the critical issues facing students and professionals. These issues include the development of methodologies and materials to address the educational needs of Latino and limited English proficiency students, the recruitment of Latino teachers, and the professional advancement of Latino educators.

In 1982, AMAE initiated "The Day of the Teacher," an annual event which serves to recognize the contributions of educators to California and the nation. In that same year, the Association established the Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Conference, now held annually on the campus of California State University, Sacramento. The conference has as its purpose to encourage young people to assume leadership positions in their schools and communities as well as, to raise their career aspirations.

In addition, the organization has served as an advocate for the interests of the Chicano/Latino community. In 1987, AMAE was a plaintiff in a suit against the Los Angeles Unified School District requiring it to provide English language classes on a demand basis to all limited English speaking adults.

Today, AMAE has earned respect and recognition in educational circles and has the ability to influence and change the history of educational neglect in Latino communities. The Association is involved all aspects of education: from migrant to gifted education, from bilingual education to foreign language instruction, from administration to legislation and from community to political issues, which bear upon the education of Latino communities.

AMAE prides itself on being an inclusive, rather than an exclusive, professional organization. Membership is open to all who subscribe to its goal of serving Latino students and educators. State and local chapter officers have included Latinos and non-Latinos from backgrounds other than Mexican. Faculty, administrators, counselors, librarians, paraprofessionals and students, are all invited to become members of the AMAE network.