Arizona has decided that Ethnic Studies classes will not be taught in public high schools. Starting January 1st, any schools teaching ethnic studies will have their school district budget cut by 10%.
CNN has been getting some great coverage of the conflict between public schools and the state of Arizona. Check out the link at the bottom of the page.
If you want a detailed explanation of the ban, known as House Bill 2281, website Revolution gives an unsettling run down of what this bill entails. We may not agree with everything posted on their website (they are the self proclaimed “Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA”) but the piece was well written.
Here’s a sample:
“(Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom) Horne’s letter went further; it singled out for attack particular books used in the curriculum, including Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by historian Rudolfo Acuña, a book which received the Gustavus Myers Award for an Outstanding Book on Race Relations in North America, and has been used as a standard text in college-level curricula for Chicano (Mexican-American) Studies for many years. And Horne targeted the student group MEChA for attack as well.”
We Bay Area folks have a personal connection to this controversy. A little bit of history: The first Ethnic Studies class was offered at San Francisco State University in 1968 after one of the longest strikes in US History.
It looks like it might be time for us to strike again.