Tuscon students who take Mexican-American studies classes go to college at a higher rate than those who don't. The courses have also encouraged some potential drop-outs to stay in school.
Yet, the program is on the chopping block since Arizona's state superintendent has deemed that these classes violate a state law that bans schools from offering classes targeted to a specific race or ethnicity. Now, Tuscon must shut down the classes or lose nearly $15 million in funding.
Ethnic-studies classes merely expand the world view for students of all races. Moreover, Latino history -- including the unsavory parts like injustice and oppression committed against Mexicans -- is part of American history and should be included in public education.
Tell the State Schools Chief John Huppenthal to respect minorities and allow all Arizona schools to teach ethic studies classes.
Dear Superintendent Huppenthal,
I am disappointed to hear that you are continuing the punitive action against Tuscon Unified School District for offering Mexican-American studies courses.
The material taught in these classes -- including the unsavory parts like injustice and oppression committed against Mexicans -- are part of American history and should be included in public education. Moreover, these classes are offered to and taken by students of all races.
These classes have had an important impact on students. They have encouraged many students to stay in school who would otherwise have dropped out. Students who take these ethnic studies classes attend college at a higher rate than those who don't.
Mexican-American studies don't divide students, they teach a shared history among Latinos and Americans of other races. Please, respect Latinos and allow Tuscon and all Arizona schools to continue to teach Mexican-American studies.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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