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Latino Daily News

Friday April 29, 2011

AZ Protest Disrupts School Board’s Ethnic Studies Vote to Remove Class From Core Curriculum

AZ Protest Disrupts School Board’s Ethnic Studies Vote to Remove Class From Core Curriculum

Photo: Studetn protest disrupts Tucson school board meeting

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The fight to keep Tucson Unified School District’s Ethnic Studies/Mexican-American Studies (MAS) program moved to the University of Arizona’s College of Education, Tuesday, for an event titled “The Real Truth.”

About 50 people, primarily UA students, attended the presentation which was intended to highlight data that supports the successes of students in the program. After Dr. Augustine Romero gave an energetic presentation in its defense, a student demonstration broke out. Hundreds of students wound up storming into the board room and chaining themselves together.

TUSD Superintendent, Dr. John Pedicone, blamed Romero for leading the students in protest, though Romero disputed those claims.

Due to the protest, the board canceled its meeting in which they were preparing to vote on making Ethnic Studies an elective class rather than a part of the core curriculum.

Dr. Romero credits Mexican-American studies in claiming that students who have taken the classes, generally score higher in math and reading on the state tests known as AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards). He pointed to research that he said reveals that some of those scoring higher, 97 percent go on to graduate high school, as apposed to only 92 percent for the general population.

“People don’t care about the truth,” he said. “People don’t care what the data says honestly. All they want to do is pick and choose their perspectives.”