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Arizona Ethnic Studies Program on the Ropes Until Federal Judge Rules

December 27, 2011,

A decision came down on December 27nth to affirm Arizonas Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal’s June 15 determination that the RAZA or Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in the Tucson Unified School District violates Arizona State Law ARS ss15-112(A)(2-4). This paved the way for the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Education to withhold 10 percent of the monthly apportionment of state aid unless the district complies. Administrative Law Judge Lewis D. Kowal states that, ” it promotes racial resentment, and is designed primarily for one ethnic group that advocates that groups solidarity instead of treating pupils as individuals.”
The judge specifically states that the hearing was only intended to determine whether Tucsons MAS program violates that statute and not question the success of it. The Arizona Law reads as follows;
15-112. Prohibited courses and classes; enforcement
A. A school district or charter school in this state shall not include in its program of instruction any courses or classes that include any of the following:
1. Promote the overthrow of the United States government.
2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
B. If the state board of education or the superintendent of public instruction determines that a school district or charter school is in violation of subsection A, the state board of education or the superintendent of public instruction shall notify the school district or charter school that it is in violation of subsection A. If the state board of education or the superintendent of public instruction determines that the school district or charter school has failed to comply with subsection A within sixty days after a notice has been issued pursuant to this subsection, the state board of education or the superintendent of public instruction may direct the department of education to withhold up to ten per cent of the monthly apportionment of state aid that would otherwise be due the school district or charter school. The department of education shall adjust the school district or charter school’s apportionment accordingly. When the state board of education or the superintendent of public instruction determines that the school district or charter school is in compliance with subsection A, the department of education shall restore the full amount of state aid payments to the school district or charter school.
C. The department of education shall pay for all expenses of a hearing conducted pursuant to this section.
D. Actions taken under this section are subject to appeal pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10.
E. This section shall not be construed to restrict or prohibit:
1. Courses or classes for Native American pupils that are required to comply with federal law.
2. The grouping of pupils according to academic performance, including capability in the English language, that may result in a disparate impact by ethnicity.
3. Courses or classes that include the history of any ethnic group and that are open to all students, unless the course or class violates subsection A.
4. Courses or classes that include the discussion of controversial aspects of history.
F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or prohibit the instruction of the holocaust, any other instance of genocide, or the historical oppression of a particular group of people based on
ethnicity, race, or class.” Go to this link:

Mexican American Studies was formerly known as “La Raza” studies.
The phrase “La Raza” means “The Race.” The group MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano@ de Aztlán), means “Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan identifies themselves as :La Raza.” Aztlan is the Southwestern region of the USA. This group is dedicated to the overthrow of the “caucasians” and regaining control over that part of the country.
One textbook is entitled, “Occupied America,” and includes this sentence,” Gutierrez attacked the gringo establisment angrily at a press conference and called upon Chicanos to “kill the gringo,” which means to end white control over Mexicans.
Tucson’s schools embraced these racial mantras and took up as their guiding document Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed­, with its thesis that students must learn to rise up, in anger and power, against “the man” who’s holding them down.(THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOLARS).
According to “the Law Enforcement Examiner, J. Kouri,”
The curriculum engendered racial irresponsibly, demeaned America’s civil institutions, undermined public servants, discounted any virtues in western civilization and taught disdain for American sovereignty, according the teacher who blew the whistle on the La Raza program. He also revealed that many of the instructors who taught the courses were not certified to teach.”(National Association of Scholars). Several more examples can be found in Judge Kowals 37 page decision here. http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/documents/doc/122711_tusd_mas_doc/

The group that is for is called “Save Ethnic Studies.” They have come out in support claiming that students who take the courses score higher on standardized tests, graduate highschool at higher rates improve their overall grades and have better attendance.
The MAS program offers classes in Literature, American History, American Government/Social Justice (HMM, HERE’S THE SOCIAL JUSTICE AGAIN!) and Chicana Art. They offer courses in all of the k-12 and at the University level as well. The following is a list of Universities known to have Chicano, Chicana studies:
San Fransisco State; Sacramento State; Contra Costa College; San Diego State; College of San Mateo; Rutgers; University of California (Berkely); California State University (Los Angeles CSULA);
California State University (Northridge CSUN), UCLA,
University of California, Irvine; UCSB; California State University, Bakersfield; Arizona State University; California State University, Dominguez Hills; California State University, Fullerton;
Claremont McKenna College; Loyola Marymount University; Scripps College; Stanford University; University of California, Davis;
University of Minnesota; University of New Mexico University of Texas at Austin; University of Texas at El Paso; University of Washington;
University of Wisconsin–Madison;University of Wyoming; Michigan State University; Western New Mexico University. This list is not exhaustive.

Doreen Finkle


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