Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Expect Empty Seats at Tonight's TUSD Governing Board Meeting

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Jeff Biggers reports today on AlterNet that a TUSD governing board meeting is expected to be unusually quiet and sparse this evening because a group of TUSD students have decided to boycott the meeting.

The students interviewed are part of UNIDOS, a coalition that includes students from Tucson high schools, alumni and activists who have filled past governing board meetings asking the board and TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone for full support of the Ethnic Studies and Mexican American Studies classes—and now, specifically, to not change the designation of those classes to electives.

Here's part of the story, but you can read the full post here:

In fact, there will be a row of empty seats at tonight’s Tucson Unified School District board meeting: Outraged by the lack of consideration of student concerns and data, the “UNIDOS” coalition of students from local Tucson high schools, alumni and community members, have called for a boycott of the school district’s meeting and increasing capitulation to a political stunt from the extremist politicians in Phoenix.

In effect, the kids have had enough. Or, as Rincon High School student Mayra Feliciano simply puts it: “The witch hunt has got to stop.”

And can you blame them?

Thanks to the success of their acclaimed Mexican American Studies program, the college-bound students are fed up with the machinations of a faltering Tucson Unified School District school district and board that appears to have acquiesced to demands to tear apart the acclaimed Ethnic Studies Programs and turn them into non-accredited electives.

Reproached yesterday by the courts for the controversial anti-immigration law, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is now considering a court-defying bill today to gut public education through an extraordinary private voucher program, on the heels of last month’s massive budget cuts in education, as the Tucson Unified School Board entertains the latest episodes in the costly “audit” of the district’s very successful Mexican American/Ethnic Studies Program.

The students are not alone: Teachers and leading civil rights lawyers and community activists with the Save Ethnic Studies have also announced their refusal to even meet with the embarrassingly bungled investigation of the out-of-state auditors.

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