Journal of Educational Controversy

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Federal Court Decision on Tucson, Arizona’s Ban of Mexican-American Studies to be Appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Here is the latest word on the recent court decision on the banning of the Tucson, Arizona Mexican-American program. The fight will continue. Supporters of the program have announced that they will appeal the decision to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

While the case continues on in the courts, interest in multicultural literature is reported to be soaring. Censorship appears to have drawn students across the nation to ethnic studies. Even the young students who watched the books being packed in boxes and taken away in their Tucson, Arizona high school classrooms have been given the opportunity to be taught outside the confines of the school district. Their teacher, Curtis Acosta, teaches a Chicano literature class at John Valenzuela Youth Center in South Tucson on Sundays. Moreover, Prescott College is now offering the students college credit for their study, ironically, the same study that was deemed too dangerous by the State of Arizona.

This raises an interesting and disturbing question. It seems that in a class-based society, only those privileged to continue on to college will have an opportunity to critically explore these deeper questions and assumptions underlying the power relations in our society. But all citizens in a democracy need this type of inquiry if they are to engage in the body politic. Given that many students will end their studies at the high school door, what are the implications for the kind of society we are forming?

We will be exploring the politics of education in the journal’s next issue on “Who Defines the Public in Public Education?”