by Cesar Aguirre
On the second page of today’s Daily Star (12/2/14) the headline reads, “State reviewing TUSD on Mexican American Studies”. This is because Augustine Romero was baited into an argument over whether or not Mexican American Studies had returned to TUSD in the form of a federally required Culturally Relevant Curriculum (CRC) that is being implemented because of a 40 year old desegregation lawsuit. Augustine Romero is the new principal at Pueblo High school and from where we sit, on the south side of Tucson, we see a man who is passionate about educational justice, who fights for the rights of those students without a voice, and works tirelessly fighting for our south side schools and communities.
I totally understand “losing it” when it comes to something that you are passionate about. That is exactly the type of leader we need to make a difference. I feel the real news is on page 8 of today’s Star, “Defunct program linked to student Achievement”. UofA professor Nolan Cabrera did a study that describes how the dismantled Mexican American Studies program “helped students with low performance in their freshman and sophomore years of high school succeed when they participated as juniors and seniors.” Not only that but he also found direct links to higher graduation rates and higher test scores (http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/study-links-student-achievement-to-defunct-program/article_9fe88653-ed85-5217-a321-2148c5e9ab8f.html).
We must keep in mind what this is really about, the achievement of our minority students (http://tucson.com/news/opinion/mailbag/letters-to-the-editor/article_bdb1d823-ee10-54a3-9d2b-0b99792d95d1.html). The district is trying to do what they are ordered by the Federal court by making sure that CRC is available at all schools in the district, but now here comes the right winged politicians from Phoenix destroying anything good that we do for our kids in Tucson. Isn’t it bad enough that these people who control the state are already killing our public schools? They continue to cut funds making it harder for those of us trying to climb out of poverty to educate our kids, with slogans like “school choice”, the voucher programs and of course the charter school movement.
I believe that fear drives this, young minorities thinking critically and questioning everything scares the people in power over them. The work force of tomorrow which the ruling class envision is one of apathy and following orders without question. Noam Chomsky backs me up on this! (http://www.alternet.org/education/chomsky-how-young-are-indoctrinated-obey?page=0%2C0&paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark). I want my kids to question everything, and I’m sure you do too. So let’s get behind TUSD and its passionate leaders, like Augie, to make sure that the state does not continue to rob our children of the education and opportunities that all people deserve.