Posts Tagged: mas

April in Tucson: Time for a new beginning!

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April has always been a symbolic month when it comes to recent events in Tucson.

It was 8 years ago that the Sensenbrenner anti-immigrant bill was released which led to some of the largest marches nationwide. In Tucson that march ended with police brutality as the police forced white supremacists into the middle of a rally and allowed them to start taunting the students gathered while burning the Mexican flag. Just as the Phoenix police did with the neo-Nazis in November 2010, police used white supremacists as bait to provoke an altercation which led to the beatdown of brown youth.

It was 8 years ago that a woman who was over 70 years old, an icon of the Chicano civil rights movement, co-founder of the UFW along with Cesar Chavez, would speak about this recent legislation at Tucson’s largest high school. During this speech she said three little but truthful words; Republicans hate Latinos. Immediately this led to coverage on Bill O’Rielly’s Fox News show where conservatives prove the point she was making but hate being called out on their xenophobic and racist agenda.

Tom Horne, the state superintendent, would devote the next 6 years to banning the most successful educational program in the nation that bridges the achievement gap for high school Chicanos, all in retaliation for what Dolores Huerta said at Tucson High School.

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Guess how much TUSD is paying the new Director of Culturally Relevant Classes?

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When the Desegregation Plan for TUSD was being written there was no Culturally Relevant Classes nor was there a director. All that existed in the beginning was the Special Master’s “Multicultural Curriculum” hamburger helper experiment to be unleashed on the Latino students of TUSD that once had the filet mignon of Mexican American Studies classes that saw high school graduation rates as high as 97% for its students.

Auggie_Romero_300_392.PNGDr. Augustine Romero split with the MAS teachers to accept the job at John Pedicone’s side in return for a paycheck worth near $100K to soothe his ears after being called a vendido by the MAS community; he became the picket-line crosser that Cesar Chavez hated.

After late-night community forums that included all the parties involved in the Deseg case, not only was a Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRC or CRPI) included but also a person to run the program at the Director level; presumably an expert would fill this position and earn a salary similar to the Multicultural Director.

John Pedicone never appointed the CRC Director by the federal court ordered deadline of April 1st, 2013 even with the new “pro-MAS” board that had been elected. Instead Augustine Romero was put in charge of creating the new “MAS-lite” courses that were supposed to be offered at every high school by Fall 2013.

Romero was only able to implement the courses at 33% of the high schools. He is also the person that has been placed in charge of organizing the NAME national conference in Tucson this year; apparently not doing his job leaves him plenty of time to do other activities?
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MAS spreads to Texas: How Horne, Huppenthal, Hicks, Hawley and HT helped spread Hispanic History classes to Houston

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Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.

Cesar Chavez address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984

The Mexican American Studies program that existed in Tucson was unique.

Colleges all across the nation from Harvard to Arizona have an MAS program, but this education is already for the privileged few who made it through the K-12 educational system that seems to be content with having a high school graduation rate for Latinos that is just below 50%.

The MAS program in TUSD was created during a gang violence epidemic in our schools during the 90s and created for those students who were one step away entering the private-prison-pipeline. Students who never read a book in their lives now could not put these books down! This is the power that we all know comes from a quality education, where the student can’t wait to tell their family and friends about what they learned that day in school. Sadly in Arizona, when brown youth do the same, it must be because they are conspiring to overthrow the US government, and they must be stopped.

In 2010, HB2281 was signed into law a month after SB1070 transformed Arizona, and after many battles, in January 2012 the MAS program which had graduation rates as high as 97% for its students was killed.

During this battle we made many allies nationwide, and despite the minimal to non-existent coverage of the movement by local media, the nation has been able to see how we have continued through local blogs and national media that can view events in Arizona from the outside and see clearly the injustice that is happening here.

Along with MAS classes being banned, they banned our books that were used in these classes. This led to the birth of the Librotraficante movement led by Tony Diaz that involved motivated MAS advocates such as Georgina Perez from El Paso who would lead a bus of the most ruthless and hardcore nerds across the Southern United States into the belly of the beast, smuggling the finest contraband and latest paperback editions of banned books the students here have ever seen.

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Houston votes unanimously to create MAS classes; meanwhile TUSD’s supe from Texas keeps it banned

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Curtis Acosta Houston

Make no mistake, the very same Mexican American Studies program that was banned in Tucson is about to be born again in Texas!

The Librotraficante movement began in response to the banning of MAS books in TUSD, and the people involved with this MAS movement in Texas have very strong ties to the MAS teachers in Tucson; not CRC or Auggie Romero’s watered-down Huppenthal-compromised Multicultural classes, but the real deal.

MAS teacher Curtis Acosta is even in Houston giving presentations (poster above) on the program before the vote which passed unanimously.

The Houston school board, representing the largest school district in Texas, threw its support Thursday behind the state creating a Mexican-American studies course.

The 9-0 vote followed some debate over whether the district would appear to be favoring one culture over another.

HISD board president Juliet Stipeche, who brought the resolution to the board for consideration, asked her colleagues whether they could name five Mexican-American leaders in history.

“It’s not that we don’t care. It’s that we don’t know,” she said.

The State Board of Education plans to discuss creating an elective Mexican-American history and culture course at its meeting in Austin next week.

via HISD backs Mexican-American studies course – K-12 Zone.

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Will TUSD violate Civil Rights investigation finding tonight with MAS vote?

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By Arnie Bermudez.

It was exactly one month ago on February 11th, 2014, that we wrote about the results of a Civil Rights investigation in TUSD regarding inadequate meeting space, especially when a controversial vote on MAS was about to take place.

Based on the attendance at previous Governing Board meetings concerning the future of the MAS program, it was abundantly clear that attendance would dramatically exceed the number of seats available in the meeting room… the failure to move the meeting to a larger facility unnecessarily burdened public opportunities to attend and listen.

via TUSD finally agrees to move board meetings to larger venue after Civil Rights investigation.

Not even a month has passed before the board has scheduled a board meeting that will address a controversial MAS vote this month and once again we have a “failure to move the meeting to a larger facility.”

1010 is expected to be packed tonight with a whole slate of racial issues to be decided on, including the passage of a Cesar Chavez Week while paradoxically voting against the future of the Mexican American Studies program with a vote that Cesar Chavez might himself hold a fast against.

TUSD never learns from history it seems, perhaps due to it banning history from being taught, and HT Sanchez is fast becoming like John Pedicone especially with his strengthening ties to SALC and now with this public meetings that are held in a laughably small board room.

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