Since the 1970s, Mexican-Americans in the United States have been identified as apathetic, indifferent, and disinterested in the process of attaining an education. Many Americans point to the high Mexican-American drop-out rates and the low number of Mexican-American professionals as a confirmation of this stereotype. This Latino group has struggled to dispel the characterization. In response, Mexican-Americans, as well as Anglo-Americans, have searched for ways to counter such misinformation. As a result, many communities have adopted bi-lingual programs, in order to help Mexican-American students ease into English submersion by using both the Spanish and English languages in the educational process. Detractors argue that such programs require the Mexican-American student to maintain ties to two languages, causing confusion and learning difficulties. Other supporters argue that a working knowledge of two languages serves as useful preparation for a student's years after high school. While the goal of bi-lingual education for Mexican-American students has been to end their struggle in English-speaking public schools, some state and city governments across the United States have called for the abolition of these programs. However, Mexican-American officials have continued to try to find ways to avoid such restrictions, indicating that they care deeply about educating their own students. Thus, members of Mexican-American communities have shown that they are capable and ready to surmount the educational barriers necessary for their children's academic, social, and economic success. .
A major assumption regarding Mexican-Americans living in the United States is that they have crossed the Mexico-United States border with little desire to challenge themselves in school. Rios-Bustamante, an assistant professor and research coordinator of Mexican-American Studies at the University of Arizona, states, "`We"re thought of as a working-class people, and there is an idea that because we are a working-class people, we are uninterested in education.