In a move that no outsiders could see coming, this week TUSD superintendent HT Sanchez appointed education veterano Sal Gabaldon to be the Director of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.
To be clear, you will hear not one word negative about Gabaldon from me, but there has been so much going on behind the scenes that at least we can know some things now with certainty. What is certain is that there remains a lot of uncertainty for the future of the Culturally Relevant Pedagogy department which was created to replace the banned Mexican American Studies program.
Maestro Sal Gabaldon
Let me reiterate that the choice of Gabaldon is a good one, but the way in which he was chosen raises many more questions about problems at TUSD, so let us begin.
Briefly, a year after the MAS program was banned in TUSD, a new federal desegregation order took effect that took over a year to be crafted by the so-called Special Master that is overseeing the process.
The Special Master is an expert of the old school in black-white school issues as a retired professor from Maryland, but this is the Southwest and this is post-SB1070 Arizona, a state where the top school chief John Huppenthal actually runs on a racist platform, promising to “Stop La Raza” if elected.
The Mexican American Studies program in TUSD was unique, even from college programs of the same name nationwide. MAS-TUSD was created by the Chicano community in Tucson and was built using an indigenous pedagogy to bridge the achievement gap where the nationwide average of Latino high school graduation rates is under 50%.
College programs are made for those who have already made it to college, but this program was made for those youth in high school at risk of dropping out immediately. Actually when the program was first created in TUSD there was an epidemic of gang violence in the schools and this was a response to that problem also. Sometimes the first book the student ever completely read was in an MAS class where the love of reading was finally realized.
Read more on TUSD appoints Director for Culturally Relevant classes after search process aborted…
Summary of article regarding the January 14th, 2014 TUSD board meeting.
- An information item dealt with the Desegregation issue. It was discussed for over half an hour and may be up for a vote at the next board meeting.
Read more on Desegregation gets heated as TUSD seeks Ninth Circuit’s help against Special Master…
The discussions and dilemmas taking place under the desegregation decree over Tucson’s largest school district (TUSD) are epic in nature and the nation should be watching.
High-level debates over modern-day race and racism and how to remedy the remnants of the racist past are taking place today in TUSD at every school board meeting. However, those taking place in the debate are not experts in the field, sociologists or professors with backgrounds in this highly complex field, but rather simple folks like Michael Hicks who thinks Mexican American Studies (MAS) is racist and Mark Stegeman who thinks that a unity clap by students is evidence of the MAS classroom being a cult.
The great United States of America has a way of turning possible remedies to a solution into a problem. It is as if someone was dying in the desert, something that happens very frequently in the Southern Arizona desert from those seeking the mythical American Dream, and Uncle Sam saves the person dying from thirst and gives them water. This would be fine but then Uncle Sam gets that mischievous look in his eyes and keeps giving the person water even after they are full, now using the potion as a poison.
Turning the potion into a poison is what is taking place in TUSD today, and the well-meaning MALDEF who stepped in to save the Latino students seems to be feeding the Special Master more gallons of water as he attempts to force-feed that which we wanted down our throats even after being satiated.
“No, you were thirsty and wanted water, so DRINK!”
“But now I’m drowning in water!”
Here is the epic dilemma
Read more on TUSD vs Deseg Special Master & MALDEF: The Epic Discussion of Racism Today…
The Fall 2013 Semester begins today in TUSD, and despite misleading headlines from the media, there are NO Mexican American Studies classes being offered in the school district that banned MAS in January 2012 after they gave in to the White Supremacist attack from the same state that brought you SB1070.
Read more on TUSD Fall Semester begins WITHOUT MAS, but the continued forced segregation of Latinos under HT Sanchez watch…
Dr. Diana just gave birth.
The best way to honor her to is write what you just did not even an hour after her giving birth. She didn’t need the phone calls or congratulations from her amigas. She really needed your essay, not your love.
Read more on Dear Malintzine: You’re right…