Journal of Educational Controversy


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Federal Court Rules that Arizona’s Banning of the Mexican American Studies Program was Discriminatory and Motivated by Racial Animas

A U.S. District Court has ruled that the banning of the Mexican American Curriculum in Tucson, Arizona was discriminatory and motivated by racial animus.

We have been following the events following the banning of the Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona in our journal, on our blog and in several panels and forums that were videotaped and made available to our readers.  See “The Hypocrisy of Racism: Arizona's Movement towards State-SanctionedApartheid” by Augustine F. Romero, “Dangerous Minds In Tucson: The Banning of Mexican American Studies andCritical Thinking In Arizona” by Curtis Acosta, “Precious Knowledge: An Interview with Film Director, Ari Palos, on April15, 2013” by Celina Meza, and “Keeping the Flames at Bay: The Interplay between Federal Oversight andState Politics in Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Program,” by Leslie A. Locke and Ann E. Blankenship.

We will provide an extensive analysis of the court decision in a future post on this blog. Check back.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Some Resources for Teaching about Charlottesville

Some Resources for Teaching about Charlottesville

We are gathering some resources for teaching about the horrific events that have taken place in Charlottesville.  Below are some of them. 

l. Facing History

“Message from Roger Brooks: Teaching About Charlottesville”

The Learning Network

“Teaching Activities for: ‘Man Charged After White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville Ends in Deadly Violence‘ “

 3. Washington Post

“The first thing teachers should do when school starts is talk about hatred in America. Here’s help.”

 4. Education Week Teacher

“Teachers Share Resources for Addressing Charlottesville Hate Rally in the Classroom”

 5. Northwest Public Radio

“Resources For Educators To Use In The Wake Of Charlottesville”

6. Southern Poverty Law Center

“SPLC releases new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate guide after Charlottesville attack”

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide

 6. Rethinking Schools Blog

This article first appeared on AlterNet

“7 Ways Teachers Can Respond to the Evil of Charlottesville, Starting Now:  An educator confronts the failures of an education system that breeds white supremacy”

7. The Choices Program, Brown University

History in Dispute: Charlottesville and Confederate Monuments
  • Understand the idea of historical memory.
  • Contextualize recent events in Charlottesville within a larger historical controversy.
  • Apply the concept of historical memory to the controversy over Confederate monuments.
  • Appraise media sources that express a range of views on Confederate monuments.

 I will continue to add to this list.  Check our list above to see additions.


“Faced with the domestic terrorism at Charlottesville, Betsy DeVos fails another test”

The Hechinger Report



Thursday, August 3, 2017

What George Washington and Donald Trump have in Common

In these lazy days of summer, we might pepper it with some experiments in thought.  Can you think of anything that our first president, George Washington, might have in common with the current occupant of that position, Donald Trump?  Well, there actually is something that both of them have in common.  When Washington was commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, he nobly declined a salary and only requested that his expenses be covered, something that the Continental Congress may have regretted.  In place of his $500 a month salary, Washington presented them with a meticulous account of expenses that some claim amounted to $160,074 while others claim was closer to $449,261.51, depending on how you calculate monetary amounts prior to the nation state. Still it was an amount considerably higher than a salary of $48000 over that eight-year revolutionary war period. "As to pay, Sir," he wrote, "I beg leave to Assure the Congress that no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to have accepted this Arduous employment at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make a profit from it: I will keep an exact Account of my expenses; these I doubt not they will discharge and that is all I desire." To view a list of expenses that Washington recorded, check out the records at the Library of Congress. Another account is located at the National Archives in RG 56, General Records - Treasury Department. 

Our current president, Donald Trump, has likewise offered to decline his salary.  And like Washington, the government and taxpayers are covering expenses, including a widely reported figure in the millions for his frequent visits to his weekend resorts.    No one knows what the final accounting is going to be. Thus, Trump joins two other wealthy presidents who refused to take a salary – John Kennedy and Herbert Hoover.  Question: If the money is donated to a charity or to the Treasury Department, can it be claimed as a deduction for charitable contributions on his taxes  ---  a question simply not applicable for our comparison with our first president.

But what do these musings have to do with a blog dedicated to education.  Well, for one thing, Trump’s second quarter salary was just donated to the Department of Education for the furthering of stem education.  The donation that amounted to $100,000 was accepted by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos who praised the president for his generous gift that she says has shown his “commitment to our nation’s students” so all have “access to a high quality education.”  Of course, Trump’s recent budget recommendation will also result in a 13.5 percent spending cut to the department that amounts to $9.2 billion dollars.

It’s going to be hot summer.  Muse on.