Ethnic Studies Resolution Hardly a Solution

It's hard to say what's going to happen at the Tucson Unified School District governing board meeting on Tuesday, April 26, regarding the future of TUSD’s ethnic-studies courses—particularly Mexican-American studies.

There's a 30-minute call to the audience at the meeting, which starts at 4 p.m. at 1010 E. 10th St. Here's the agenda: April_26_agenda.pdf.

If logic were brought into play, you'd think we'd be having a different discussion on Tuesday. But there's no logic when it comes to ethnic studies, only strange political maneuverings and opportunism—and the result is heartbreaking.

On Tuesday, TUSD board president Mark Stegeman will bring a resolution to change the existing ethnic-studies classes—currently available to students as requirement-fulfilling courses for English and history—into watered-down classes offered only as electives.

We have to think back to how all of this started, when then-Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne deemed ethnic studies un-American, Satan-worshiping liberal-brain washing, and on and on and on. Mind you, he never visited a Mexican-American studies classroom.

If Horne's concerns were real, he would have gone into those classrooms, but he never did. That's because the case against these classes has always been about political opportunism.

Because Stegeman is a Democrat, the Southern Arizona Unity Coalition’s Solomon Baldenegro Jr. sent e-mails and began a Facebook campaign asking people to call all TUSD governing board members and Democratic Party officials, asking them to pressure Stegeman to pull the resolution from Tuesday’s agenda. They are also sending out e-mails to board member Miguel Cuevas, considered the third vote needed to pass Stegeman’s resolution, with Stegeman and Michael Hicks being the other two probable votes.