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Sun Apr 27, 2014, 08:59 AM

This Teacherís Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Courtóand Won


from YES! Magazine:


When This Teacherís Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Courtóand Won
Curtis Acosta's classes in Mexican American Studies gave kids pride in their heritageóuntil the Arizona Legislature canceled them. That's when his students became activists, and some real-life lessons began.

by Jing Fong
posted Apr 25, 2014




The Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in Tucson, Ariz., began in 1998 as a few courses and grew to 43 classes serving 1,500 students in six high schools, with similar programs in middle and elementary schools.

MAS was founded with the aim of reversing some disturbing academic trends for Chicano students in Tucson. It worked. In 2011, the high school dropout rate for MAS students in Tucson was 2.5 percent, as opposed to 56 percent for Latino students nationally. A study by Tucson United School District (TUSD) found that 98 percent of MAS students reported they did homework, and 66 percent went on to college. The program was widely regarded as helping Latino youth feel empowered and achieve their full academic and human potential.

Immigration and cultural diversity are particularly controversial in Arizona. A politically motivated campaign against the MAS program culminated in a 2010 law banning Arizona state schools from teaching ethnic studies classes, described in the law as courses that advocated "the overthrow of the United States government" and "ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals." Eventually, the school district had to stop offering MAS or lose $15 million in annual state aid.

Teachers, parents, and students filed a legal challenge to the law and lost the case. They appealed that ruling, and three years after the ban, in July 2013, a federal court ordered TUSD to reinstate high school Mexican American Studies and add African American studies. The courses are now known as "culturally relevant" classes. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/education-uprising/interview-with-curtis-acosta


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Reply This Teacherís Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Courtóand Won (Original post)
marmar Apr 2014 OP
oneofthe99 Apr 2014 #1
antiquie Apr 2014 #2
oneofthe99 Apr 2014 #3
hobbit709 Apr 2014 #4
TheSarcastinator Apr 2014 #13
oneofthe99 Apr 2014 #14
TreasonousBastard Apr 2014 #5
Chiquitita Apr 2014 #6
Baitball Blogger Apr 2014 #7
xchrom Apr 2014 #8
DhhD Apr 2014 #9
DhhD Apr 2014 #10
HooptieWagon Apr 2014 #11
kmlisle Apr 2014 #12
paleotn Apr 2014 #16
LittleBlue Apr 2014 #15

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:04 AM

1. Was the teacher really saying this in class and agreeing with it ?

 

" law as courses that advocated "the overthrow of the United States government"

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Response to oneofthe99 (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:11 AM

2. No.

 

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Response to antiquie (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:21 AM

3. So that's just the way the Arizona state court interpreted the study material?

 

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Response to oneofthe99 (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:23 AM

4. DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!

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Response to oneofthe99 (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 11:42 AM

13. no, that was the propaganda being pushed by the AZ GOP

who tried to pass a law to ban the class. The court overturned it.

It's all right there in the article if you read it.

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Response to TheSarcastinator (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 12:00 PM

14. I don't think you read it correctly

 

It says in the article the law was passed by the state but over turned in federal court.

The GOP did pass it , they didn't try......

Or am I misreading it?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:41 AM

5. From the article...

Acosta: I think we can learn a lot from Arizona, because they're divesting from education so badly. We're always at the bottom, in teachers' salaries, per pupil spending, and performance. More charter schools per capita than anyone else. It's the Wild West for education right now.

I think they're experimenting with killing public education. At my former school right now, in my district, it's about 65 percent Latino. Five years from now it's going to be 80 percent. They're just going to leave this giant defunded school district filled with brown kids: fend for yourself. We better be ready to respond.


Scary stuff, but the signs of this are all over.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:42 AM

6. Curtis Acosta is amazing and so are his students

Definitely watch 'Precious Knowledge' if you have the chance and you will understand what they were all up against: racism pure and simple.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:44 AM

7. Kudos to the attorney who pleaded their case.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:59 AM

8. du rec.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 10:43 AM

9. Precious Knowledge Struggles-12 Videos in a You Tube Presentation.

&list=PL75EAE23C6B025F70

Includes a previous video and next video button in the 12 video series.

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Response to DhhD (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 10:48 AM

10. Keyboard in, 'Precious Knowledge Struggles,' for a more direct path to the 12 videos.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 11:21 AM

11. Cool.

 

kicked and recced.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 11:32 AM

12. They also banned a long list of books associated with MAS

Including Howard Zinn and many others. I hope that ban has been rescinded as well. This is one of my favorite documentaries for its look into the fear based racist mindset of the Arizona legislature. And for the effects of a curriculum that connects to the lives of Latino students. The graduation rate for students in this program went from 50-60% to over 90% and many were going on to college.

The irony is that most of these white colonists in the legislature have been in the state less than 100 years. I worked one year in Phoenix with a Latino family who have owned ranch land in Arizona for 300 years. And yet they are the ones who are asked for "papers" by colonists.

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Response to kmlisle (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 12:04 PM

16. Hopefully it was or will be......

I wonder if the ban included any mention of the Mexican - American war. After all, Arizona is really just part of the Mexican territory of Alta California. And don't even get me started on Coahuila y Tejas, what we Americans call Texas.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 12:02 PM

15. Imagine how much those kids have learned versus

 

just sitting in a classroom with the kids half-asleep.

Great teacher.

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