Research Org. Calls for Reinstatement of Ethnic Studies in Tucson

By Lesli A. Maxwell — February 23, 2012 1 min read
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The governing body of the American Educational Research Association recently approved two resolutions that call for the reinstatement of a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson’s public schools and the repeal of an Arizona law that bans such programs.

Last month, the Tucson school board voted to shut down its popular, yet controversial Mexican-American studies program after Arizona’s schools chief ruled that the program violated a new state law that prohibits public schools from offering courses that are designed for a particular ethnic group, advocate ethnic solidarity, or promote resentment toward a race or group of people. The school system faced a loss of $15 million in state funding if the ethnic studies courses continued.

In their recent monthly meeting, AERA council members unanimously approved the two documents—one directed at the Tucson school board and the other at the Arizona Legislature.

AERA council members argue that there is a large body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the positive impacts of such ethnic studies courses on the academic acheivement of students. The group also offered to assist Tucson school officials in designing a Mexican-American studies course that would not run “afoul of the restrictions in the recently passed legislation.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.