Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arizona Now Takes Aim at Ethnic Studies!

Howard Fischer writes for the Arizona Daily Star:

State senators approved legislation aimed at the curbing the ethnic-studies program in Tucson Unified School District.

HB 2281 would make it illegal for a school district to have any courses or classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity "instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

It also would ban classes that "promote resentment toward a race or class of people."

Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, said the legislation is little more than a thinly disguised effort to quash a program TUSD officials have said was proven academically successful.

According to TUSD officials, the program in the district's Mexican-American studies department simply provides historical information, which conflicts with state School Superintendent Tom Horne's assessment the program is promoting racial hatred and "ethnic chauvinism."

District officials insisted earlier this year nothing in the program would violate the legislation, if it were to become law.

But Lopez said teachers in the program have told her the measure would affect how they can teach history. Beyond that, she said this level of legislative intervention into how subjects can be taught is academically a bad idea. Click here for the rest of the story.


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