The Corner

Rah! Rah! Raza Studies!

Back in my May Diary I had a note about former Tucson schoolteacher John A. Ward, who got into a spot of bother over Tucson’s “Raza Studies” program.

John has now made a formal complaint to the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board. He has kindly allowed me to post the complaint here.

From the introductory paragraph:

A You Tube video that documents the instruction and messages engendered in a Tucson High Magnet School classroom should receive public consideration because of the questions it raises. The video presents evidence of classroom content that canonizes historical figures who were hostile to the United States. It shows posters encouraging readers to disregard the rule of law. Other posters declare that the United States military should get “out of our community.” Teacher writing on the blackboard states, “Neo-Conservatives … Fascists …” Other materials encourage students to boycott school and the AIMS test — an exam required by both Arizona law (A.R.S. §15-741) and the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Moreover, while the class is a “literature” class there is no literature content during the nearly ten minutes of video.

The video (9½ minutes) is well worth watching by itself.

John’s closing paragraph:

Although the video highlights one teacher at one school in TUSD, my experiences as a former teacher in the ethnic studies program in TUSD allow me to recognize the situation for the much wider problem that it is. TUSD should be forthcoming about its ethnic studies program. It has an obligation to the citizens of Tucson and the taxpayers of Arizona to do so. Ultimately, it is We the People who get to decide the nature of our public schools, not one powerful lobby within the District.

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