Don't Speak Spanish! Just Three Words and Their Harmful Impact at Two Texas Middle Schools

By the 2005-2006 school year, Jacobson Middle made an incredible transformation from one of the most violent inner-city schools to a relatively stable environment. In this personal narrative, I recount how the initial stabilization phase was achieved, and what contributed to its decline in 2010. Just three words hold the key to understanding the causes of student disengagement at Jacobson Middle. More
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About Alfredo Diaz

Alfredo Diaz was raised near Alton in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. He was stationed with the U.S. Army at Ft. Riley, Kansas and the Panama Canal Zone. After military service, he earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies at Southwest Texas State University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Houston. He has worked in the field of public education as a teacher and assistant principal in Houston area schools for twenty years. For questions or comments, contact Alfredo (Fred) Diaz at

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