Preserve Multicultural Education in Arizona Public Schools

Target: Arizona Superintendent of Schools, John Huppenthal

Goal: Reinstate multicultural education, specifically Mexican-American studies, in Arizona public schools.

Arizona’s Superintendent of Schools has launched a campaign against Mexican-American studies, seeking to abolish it from all public education institutions in the state. But ethnic studies are beneficial to the students, and have improved graduation rates. We need to preserve ethnic education in Arizona’s public schools.

Earlier this year, the Arizona Superintendent of Schools, John Huppenthal, suspended Mexican-American studies in Tucson public schools. He did this on the basis of a law he helped to pass in May 2010 banning public school courses that advocate the overthrow of the United States, promote racial resentment, or treat students as members of an ethnic group rather than as individuals. Supporters of the public school ban insist that Mexican American studies incite resentment from Mexican-Americans against the Anglo population, and that the material is often taught in a biased manner.

Huppenthal is now threatening to go after the state university system. And with this law as a foundation, he would be free to eliminate most, if not all, ethnic studies in public schools in the state. But in fact, Mexican-American studies have increased graduation rates for Mexican-Americans in the state. When students feel engaged in their schoolwork, and that what they study in school applies to them, they become more committed to working hard and graduating.

To prevent this trend from spreading to higher education within Arizona, and to protect all students in the state, we must reinstate multicultural education in Arizona’s public schools.

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Dear Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal,

There is no legitimate reason to suspend Mexican-American studies programs in Arizona’s public schools. The Mexican-American studies program engages students in the course material, and encourages them to work harder in school. Since this curriculum has been utilized, the graduation rates for Mexican-Americans has increased noticeably. Clearly, this type of curriculum is good for the students. And eliminating this program is not only detrimental to public school students, but also encourages racism. Knowledge is power; and the more students are exposed to factual information about other cultures, the less fear there will be of things that are “different.” Please reinstate Mexican-American studies programs in Arizona’s public schools.


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