Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Battle to Save Ethnic Studies Continues

Yesterday Superintendent John Huppenthal declared that the Tucson Unified School District’s Ethnic Studies program, specifically Mexican-American Studies, violates A.R.S. §15-112, the law that resulted from HB 2281. He based the decision on an Arizona Department of Education audit, claiming that the audit shows that the program violates 3 of the 4 sections in the law:

1) that it promotes resentment towards a race or class of people
2) that it is designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic race
3) that it advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals

Click here for the full text of Huppenthal’s statement

However, as Jeff Biggers of the Huffington Post says, the audit does not actually conclude what the superintendent claims. In fact, Biggers quotes extensively from the audit, which has such gems as “No evidence as seen by the auditors exists to indicate that instruction within Mexican American Studies Department program classes advocates ethnic solidarity; rather it has been proven to treat student as individuals” (Pg. 63). He then goes on to quote two more sections that, when combined with the quote above, effectively disprove all of the Superintendent’s claims.

Click here for the full text of Jeff Biggers’ blog

TUSD now has 60 days to bring MAS and the Ethnic Studies program into compliance with A.R.S. §15-112 or else the district will lose 10% of its state funding. The fight to save Ethnic Studies is not over; 11 teachers are still involved in a lawsuit against TUSD. For more information about the battle to save Ethnic Studies, visit


Post a Comment