The new state schools chief in Arizona says she agrees with her predecessor’s claim that the Tucson district is violating a state ban on ethnic studies.
But Diane Douglas supports ethnic studies and said the state education department approves of curriculum used by the district, but not the way it is taught. She said teachers’ lessons plans and classroom materials don’t reflect the courses, which focus on culturally relevant subjects from the Latino and African-American perspectives.
Tucson has 60 days to correct course or risk losing $14 million in state funding. Former Superintendent John Huppenthal issued the violation notice during his last day in office on Jan. 2.
School district Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said the curriculum follows a federal racial-desegregation order requiring culturally relevant courses.
The dispute dates back to a 2011 state law.
A version of this article appeared in the January 14, 2015 edition of Education Week as Ethnic-Studies Classes Remain Under Fire in Ariz.