Arizona Bans Ethnic Studies Classes

By Catherine Gewertz — May 13, 2010 1 min read
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Arizona is already the subject of national debate because of its new immigration law. But there’s more to watch in that state that has ethnic and racial implications.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill Tuesday making it illegal to teach courses that encourage “ethnic solidarity” in the schools. That measure is intended to do away with “ethnic studies” courses, and was sparked by such classes in Tucson.

The new law, House Bill 2281, forbids teachings that “promote the overthrow of the United States government, promote resentment toward a race or class of people, are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, [or] advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

State schools superintendent Tom Horne, who pushed for the law, is also making the issue a prominent part of his campaign for state attorney general, featuring mention of it on his campaign website.

You can see what a New York Times blogger has to say about it here, read Politico’s story here, and see Horne debate sociologist Michael Eric Dyson about it on CNN here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.