Hear, hear PSLMAN!
Originally Posted by PSLMAN
Arizona is showing the rest of us what it really means to be American.
I lived there for six years in the 70's....It is a most beautiful state...
Originally Posted by ACfixer
I am seriously considering Arizona as a career move. My HVAC biz should thrive there. I think I am in love with Jan Brewer.
Arkansas, that is what is so wonderful about this great land, we will just turn around and do the same..
Originally Posted by ArkansasHunter
Have yall heard some companys and states are banning doing bussiness, vacationing in Arizona ??? As well as not buying goods from Arizona ??? That is total B.S !!!
Ethnic Studies program at Tucson High School, Part II.
Ethnic Studies program at Tucson High School, Part II.
Feb. 3, 2008 12:54 AM
For the activists of the Ethnic Studies program at Tucson High School, history teacher John Ward seemed like a useful tool.
He was a certified teacher with a good academic record. He already had taught numerous social-studies courses, including Mexican-American history, by the start of the 2002-03 school year.
And, despite his Anglo-sounding name, Ward is Hispanic.
The school administration asked Ward to teach a classinconjunction with the Tucson Unified School District's nascent Ethnic Studies program, which recently had set up a pilot project at Tucson High. As he understood it at first, Ward would be the "teacher of record," while facilitators from the Ethnic Studies group would make presentations. But that's not exactly how the class turned out.
"I was told it would be a standard history class with a Mexican-American influence," said Ward, who no longer teaches. "But the whole inference and tone was anger. (They taught students) that the United States was and still is a fundamentally racist country in nature, whose interests are contrary to those of Mexican-American kids.
"Individuals in this (Ethnic Studies) department are vehemently anti-Western culture. They are vehemently opposed to the United States and its power. They are telling students they are victims and that they should be angry and rise up."
Ward is still an important and valuable guy, even though he left teaching in 2003.
He is important and valuable because he has witnessed, firsthand, the caustic nature of a program that, according to its advocates, is purely academic in nature while being supportive of TUSD's growing body of Hispanic students.
And he is important because he is brave.
I have interviewed several other employees of TUSD in recent weeks, all of whom have witnessed the program firsthand or who have discussed the Ethnic Studies program with students taking it. None of them would speak on the record. All asked that their names not be used and that any chronicle of their experiences not include details that could be traced back to them.
They are fearful. And for good reason.
"There's a lot of people who know this problem is occurring," one TUSD employee said. "They won't do anything for two reasons. One, they know (the program) is so much bigger than they are. And, two, you're going to be called a racist."
Despite his heritage, Ward said he was accused of racism after complaining to Tucson High administration about being used as a "teacher of record" in behalf of the program known generally as "raza
"I began to voice these concerns internally," Ward said, "to teachers. The situation then went immediately from bad to worse. I was told I was racist."
The Ethnic Studies department, he said, took their complaints about Ward to the TUSD school board.
A compromise was reached. Ward said he was removed from the class entirely in March 2003 and reassigned to assist another teacher in a traditional social-studies class. But the experience, especially the changes he saw in the students in the class, was seared into him.
"By the time I left that class, I saw a change (in the students)," he said. "An angry tone. They taught them not to trust their teachers, not to trust the system. They taught them the system wasn't worth trusting."
TUSD's Ethnic Studies program first became an issue last fall when Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, Tom Horne, asked the district about it. He requested the books and other teaching materials used in the program.
District officials objected to Horne's interest, suggesting the state's highest elected official in charge of public education had no right to examine course materials used in a public-school curriculum. They went to the Tucson newspapers, which, in no uncertain terms, told Horne in editorials to "butt out."
In Tucson news stories, program director Augustine Romero defended the program. He said students taking raza
studies courses perform better on standardized tests than most students. He said the program, which includes about 1,700 TUSD students, helps the students develop a better sense of self-worth.
After several weeks, the district finally sent the materials to Horne. As expected, Horne was not impressed.
They included texts titled Occupied America
and The Pedagogy of Oppression
. Another text, he said, "gloats over the difficulties our country is having at enforcing its immigration laws."
"Most of these students' parents or grandparents came to this country legally because it is the land of opportunity," he said. "They trust our public schools with their children. We should be teaching the students that this is the land of opportunity; they can achieve their ambitions if they work hard.
"They should not be taught that this is the land of oppression." Reach the author at 602-444-888