Ethnic Studies Could Return to Tucson in Desegregation Plan
By Lesli A. Maxwell
November 12, 2012
Mexican-American studies is poised for a comeback in Tucson. After a years-long, tumultuous fight that came to a head earlier this year when local school officials pulled the plug on the program, a leading civil rights group today announced that the ethnic studies courses will not only return to the school district, but could be expanded.
This turn of events stems from a much broader plan to settle a nearly four-decades-old desegregation lawsuit against Tucson Unified that must still be approved by the federal judge overseeing the case. The lawsuit involves both plaintiffs who are Latino and African American.
The new plan—intended to bring "unitary status" to Tucson Unified—involves numerous, highly prescribed components related to student assignment, transportation, enhancing the racial and ethnic diversity of its workforce, access to rigorous curriculum and programs, family and community engagement, dropout prevention, and discipline practices.
In a call with reporters on Monday, lawyer Nancy Ramirez particularly highlighted the plan's restoration of the popular, yet politically charged Mexican-American studies program. In the draft settlement, the district would not only bring the program back to its high schools, but it would have to expand the course offerings to middle schools by 2014 and propose plans to bring "culturally relevant curricula" to students in the earlier grades.
Read the full article at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2012/11/ethnic_studies_could_return_to.html
Read a related article about the desegregation case at http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/latinos-support-latest-plan-for-tusd-balance/article_264d4245-73bd-5625-8c5f-d3bb1dd3cb78.html