“This legislation against diversity might be focused on Tucson, but it has significant ramifications across the country.”
Arizona State Senator
Arizona State Senator Legislative District 27
Arizona State Senator Legislative District 28
“What we are seeing here is political bullying by elected officials holding schoolchildren and a Tucson school district hostage by withholding education dollars as ransom.”
Arizona State Legislature
Arizona State Legislator Legislative District 16
Arizona State Legislator Legislative District 27
Arizona State Legislator Legislative District 28
Pima County Board of Supervisors
Pima County Board of Supervisors
“I fully support the Mexican-American Studies core curriculum courses and the Ethnic Studies Programs at TUSD. Students who complete MAS coursework are more likely to pass AIMS, graduate high school and enroll in post-secondary education.”
Tucson City Council
City Council Member Ward 1
“I am proud to stand with educators, students and our community in support of educational programs, policies, and legislation that cultivate cultural awareness and diversity such as the successful Ethnic Studies education courses at TUSD.”
City Council Member Ward 2
“For me it's easy. Why wouldn't I support a program that engages kids in school and gets them to graduate and off to college?”
City Council Member Ward 3
“Students in Ethnic Studies achieve better academic outcomes and graduation rates, two key goals we must sustain in our educational system. As the proud Aunt of a recent Ethnic Studies participant / TUSD graduate, I've learned firsthand how the program reinforces pride and understanding amidst extraordinary diversity. In an era when the State Legislature seems to be attacking all that Tucson values--including Clean Elections, community-based policing, and our unique history and culture--we ought to unite and resist, not cowar to, misguided dictates from afar.”
City Council Member Ward 5
“TUSD's ethnic studies program does what other programs offered by the school district, it educates the youth, especially those of the largest growing population, the Latino/a community, about the people places and most importantly, their history so they can be better citizens and to fully participate in society. The recent events and legislative maneuvering seeks to marginalize segments of our population, something this community was not built on. I emplore that you consider all options within your ability as Superintendent to ensure that the program can continue its benefits to Tucson's future, its youth.”
Governing Board Member
Pendergast Elementary School District, No. 92
“I credit my education in ethnic studies program for making me who I am today. The realization I gained from these courses, studies, books and professors opened my eyes to a history of critical importance that the standard textbooks either minimized or ignored entirely. The exposure to this history helped me realize that my community's was just as important and critical to a complete understanding of our country as a whole and of the struggles my community faces today. It also helped me realize the importance of continuing my education, getting involved in my community and getting involved in the political process. An attack on this program is an attack on the people that make this country great. These programs should be expanded and celebrated, not scrutinized.”
“I wish to officially endorse this organization. I am not an elected official in Tucson, but I serve on a school board in a district that covers parts of Avondale, Glendale and Phoenix. You have support here in Phoenix also.”
Governing Board Member, 2011-2015
Creighton Elementary School District
Recent attacks by the Arizona State Legislature on the Latino community have brought our community together in unprecedented ways over the past several years. Of late, these attacks have been focused on the education of our children in the form of HB 2281, an effort to ban Mexican-American Studies courses within the Tucson Unified School District.
Las Adelitas Arizona, a group of strong, independent women -- mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters -- will simply not stand for this unjust assault on the education of our youth. The TUSD Mexican-American Studies program is engaging students and creating conscientious citizens, as well as improving youth performance on standardized tests and increasing graduation rates.
Research has shown that TUSD's Mexican-American Studies curriculum contributes in a positive way to student achievement. Graduation rates and AIMS test scores are higher among students who participate in the program than among students who do not. This is true particularly with Latino students, who make up over 60% of the Tucson Unified School District.
The Latino community has long struggled with high drop-out and push-out rates within our educational system. TUSD's Mexican-American Studies courses deal with these issues head-on and have substantially reduced these troubling statistics for program participants within TUSD. Instead of attempting to eliminate the program, it is the opinion of Las Adelitas Arizona that these courses be expanded and similar classes be provided nationwide so that Latinas and their families have increased opportunity and access to higher education.
The Mexican-American Studies program in TUSD should be maintained as-is and the excellent Mexican-American Studies teachers should be praised for their work in the TUSD school system and granted the recognition they deserve.
Las Adelitas Arizona is proud to stand with the courageous educators who are opposing HB2281, and we encourage all Arizonans who believe in public education to join us.
Therefore, be it resolved that Las Adelitas Arizona opposes HB 2281.
The Arizona Humanities Council is please to support Arizona Writers for Justice. Our mission is to build a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.
We are strongly opposed to the ban on ethnic studies. We believe that everyone has a story to tell, a contribution to make, a lesson to share. When voices are silenced the picture of America's family is incomplete. We applaud your efforts to make sure that the educational environment is open to all, and that the cultural traditions and history of Latinas and Latinos is not lost, but celebrated. Thank you for creating an opportunity for all of us to learn this evening.
Whereas, the Faculty Senate of the University of Arizona recently passed a motion challenging the actions of the State of Arizona in enacting HB 2281, which makes Ethnic Studies programs, particularly Hispanic Studies, more difficult for school districts to provide;
Whereas, it is incumbent to the educational community to provide students an understanding and an appreciation of the increasingly diverse nature of Arizona, the Southwest, and the nation as whole;
Whereas, the assumptions of HB 2281 raise substantive academic and historical issues regarding the 410 year presence of the Hispanic population in this region;
Whereas, the literature of and on Hispanics is a crucial part of American history, generally neglected in many American history courses in the schools;
Whereas, there is often little effort made to integrate the contributions of Hispanics to all of the United States, but most particularly to Arizona; and,
Whereas, it is the obligation of the academic community to advise government in areas of public policy in matters related to the education of the citizens of Arizona especially when its presumptions are highly questionable in regards to alleged student segregation, seditious intent, or the development of resentment due to instruction;
The University Senate of Arizona State University calls on the State of Arizona to repeal HB 2281 with a view of aligning its policy toward Ethnic Studies programs in Arizona's schools to be in greater harmony with the historical record of the important and diverse contributions of the many peoples and cultures that have made Arizona the great state that it has become over its century of existence.
March 13, 2012
The Global Studies Association Executive Board strongly supports the continuation of the ethnic studies program in the Tucson School District. The banning of Chicano/Chicana studies and the banning of books is a serious attack on educational freedom, diversity and the tradition of democracy in our public education system. This outrageous attack on the freedom of thought and discussion must be turned back and we support the teachers, students and concern activists who are fighting for this just cause.
Professor Jerry Harris
Global Studies Association/North America
METROPOLITAN EDUCATION COMMISSION RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR ETHNIC STUDIES PROGRAMS IN PIMA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes the cultural diversity within Pima County; and
WHEREAS, the community has a strong ethnic history and cultural foundation among its Latino, Native American, African American, and Pan Asian communities in Pima County; and
WHEREAS, the ethnic populations (Latino, Native American, African American, and Pan Asian) are continuing to grow within Pima County; and
WHEREAS, cultural heritage and history are important components in the establishment of pride and confidence among our local ethnic youth; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes the importance of offering all students an American historical narrative that transcends one culture and one race; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes the importance of relevant and meaningful curriculum; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes that Ethnic Studies courses in no way, shape or form promote the overthrow of the United States government; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes that Ethnic Studies courses are designed for all children; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes that the inclusion of historical oppression within the curriculum does not inherently promote the resentment of a particular group of people nor does it promote anti-American sentiments; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes that Ethnic Studies courses in no way, shape, or form, promote ethnic exclusion, but rather, build and strengthen the social bridges between our students and within our community; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes that the diversity of thought helps students become more skillful critical thinkers; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission recognizes that Ethnic Studies courses promote a more inclusive historical narrative of the United States, and through the recognition of respect of cultural diversity, and through the promotion of greater critical thinking and diversity of thought, create an educational experience that is rigorous and inclusive in nature and scope; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission supports ethnic diversity study programs for all Pima County school districts; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission was formed by the City of Tucson and Pima County as a joint commission for educational promotion and advocacy; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Education Commission membership includes educational school representation within Pima County;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Metropolitan Education Commission does hereby declare its unwavering support of Ethnic Studies Programs in Pima County school districts.
Be it resolved that the Pima County Democratic Party opposes HB 2281; the product of the misguided Neo-McCarthyism promulgated by Tom Horne and John Huppenthal. Programs that keep students in school, prepare them for higher education and develop well-rounded thoughtful, productive members of society should be praised, replicated and expanded, rather than criminalized.
We agree with Senator Paula Aboud that, “What we are seeing here is political bullying by elected officials holding schoolchildren and a Tucson school district hostage by withholding education dollars as ransom.”
Horne and Huppenthal usually extol the virtues of local control regarding public education, making their hypocritical attack on ethnic studies particularly disdainful. In addition to pushing political opportunism at the expense of students, Horne and Huppenthal are simply wrong in their assessment of Raza Studies as a detriment to the education of students in TUSD. Research shows that ethnic studies curriculum such as TUSD's Raza Studies contribute significantly to student achievement. The graduation rate among students who have participated in the Raza Studies curriculum is 97%, compared to the national average of about 44% for all Latino students. And approximately 85% of Raza Studies graduates go on to college.
African-American, Native American, Pan-Asian and Raza Studies should not only be left as-is but should be expanded to include more ethnicities and cultures in every school throughout Arizona who want to enhance the academic, personal and social development of their students.
We are proud to stand with the 11 educators opposing HB2281 and we encourage all Arizonans who value innovative, successful programs in the realm of public education to join us.
University of Arizona Faculty Senate Resolution in Support of the Tucson Unified School District Mexican American Studies Program
The Faculty Senate of the University of Arizona hereby expresses its support for the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Mexican American Studies Program, currently under review by State Superintendent Huppenthal in relation to compliance with HB 2281, a law to which this Senate has previously expressed its opposition.&bnbsp; We endorse the TUSD Mexican American Studies program for the following reasons:
- it draws on research in the field of Ethnic Studies, an important and legitimate field of scholarship, to which many University of Arizona faculty members, across the disciplines, contribute;
- it is a pedagogically sound program, enabling improved academic achievement for students who participate;
- many graduates of the program go on to become students at the UA, where they make valuable contributions in an beyond the classroom.
If you are an elected official, you are affiliated with a non-profit or social welfare organization or business organization that would like to officially endorse us please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.