"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Save Ethnic Studies

Amigos,

This information is being sent to you by Roger & Norma Cazares . . . PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY! If you want someone to address this issue further at any gathering, let us know.

As you may know, Arizona has banned the teaching of ethnic studies, specifically targeting Mexican-American Studies in the Tucson Unified School District. Eleven TUSD teachers, administrators and students are suing the state to bring back Ethnic Studies.

To fight blatant discrimination and the spread of this civil/human rights violation to other states, join us for a fundraiser ($10, but hope you can donate more!) for:

SAVE ETHNIC STUDIES
Saturday, February 25, 2012
2:00 p.m.
Lincoln High School
4777 Imperial Avenue
San Diego, 92113

Attached you'll find the flyer for the Save Ethnic Studies event.

Here's the link to the trailer for Precious Knowledge

Here's the link to the description of the ethnic studies program:

Please encourage everyone to register at Eventbrite. com for SAVE ETHNIC STUDIES Fundraiser at Lincoln High School.

Add Your Name to the Save Ethnic Studies Petition

The Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District is facing the real threat of being shut down. The program successfully keeps otherwise-disengaged students motivated to learn and go on to college by using curriculum with which they culturally identify to teach critical thinking skills and empower the students to be strong leaders in their communities.

Despite all of the benefits of the program, in May 2010 Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill (HB 2281) into law that aimed to ban ethnic studies in Arizona schools. This law went into effect at the beginning of 2011 and prohibits schools from offering classes that are designed for students of a certain ethnic group. As a result, the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, which has contributed to a 97% decrease in the dropout rate, is now facing a serious threat to its existence, while African American, Native American, and Asian American Studies programs are all allowed to continue.

An independent audit commissioned by the state found the program to be fully in compliance with Arizona’s ban, and recommended that the program be maintained as part of the core curriculum for high schools. Despite these findings, State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal has threatened to withhold $15 million of state funding from the school district.

Join the 11 teachers and administrators from the Mexican American Studies program and two of its students to defend the program. Sign the Save Ethnic Studies petition below to show your support and we’ll keep you updated on the progress of the lawsuit against the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.

Learn more! Watch the trailer of Precious Knowledge, which documents the program and the battle to save it. The full program will be shown at the fundraiser.

We the undersigned support the effort to save ethnic studies in the Tucson Unified School District. The Mexican American Studies program poses no threat to the state of Arizona or its education system. On the contrary, it provides a proven-effective method to educate students and motivate them to stay in school and become productive leaders in their community.

We stand in opposition to State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal’s attempt to withhold $15 million of state funding from the school district. This action is completely unwarranted given the results of the independent audit commissioned by the state, which found the program to be fully in compliance with Arizona's ethnic studies ban. In fact, the audit recommended that the program be maintained as part of the core curriculum for high schools in the district.

The Mexican American Studies program should be applauded and replicated for its success, not destroyed by a pointless ban.

Here's an interesting interview by Anderson Cooper interviewing Tom Horne and the great sociologist Michael Dyson.

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