"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Curriculum Has Consequences

On Tuesday night boisterous, chanting high school students took over the Tucson Unified School District boardroom to protest the district's changing the Mexican American Studies course from an accepted core history course to an elective. Some protesters chained themselves to board members' chairs, effectively preventing the board from meeting. The students’ anger is apparent in the video.

The students were part of UNIDOS, a youth coalition that was formed in response to HB 2281. UNIDOS first started out as a simple meeting that just trained students about more organized protest. A student from Pueblo High school said, “When we saw how big and how powerful our group could be, we decided to start meeting more often.”

It is not clear yet what role MECHa may have played in this protest. MEChA is an Hispanic separatist organization that encourages anti-American activities and civil disobedience. The radical members of MEChA who refer to themselves as "Mechistas," romanticize Mexican claims to the "lost Territories" of the Southwestern United States -- a Chicano country called Aztlan.

These anti-American "Mechistas" live with the false illusion that they are being racially discriminated against because they are Latinos while totally dismissing the idea that maybe it is their ideology that is being discriminated against.

The myth of Aztlan can best be explained by California's Santa Barbara School District's Chicano Studies textbook, "The Mexican American Heritage" by East Los Angeles high school teacher Carlos Jimenez. On page 84 there is a redrawn map of Mexico and the United States, showing Mexico with a full one-third more territory, all of it taken back from the United States.

Books included as required reading in the Raza Studies or Mexican American courses: Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire, a Brazilian Marxist. From the book, “This then is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well.” Sources include Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Mao, Herbert Marcuse, and Vladimir Lenin. Also required is Occupied America by Rodolfo Acuna, a professor emeritus of Chicano studies at California state U in Northridge . It includes an image of Fidel Castro on the front cover and Castro and Che Guevara on the back. In it are references to white people as gringos and actually includes a quote from Jose Angel Gutierrez of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MATO) who was angry over the cancellation of a government program. He said, “We are fed up. We are going to move to do away with the injustice to the Chicano and if the gringo doesn’t get out of our way we will stampede over him.”


A steady diet of this stuff in school leads to the over the top angry protest you see in this video.


  1. "A steady diet of this stuff in school leads to the over the top angry protest you see in this video".

    You are correct. Don't forget this: the taxpayer is paying for this diatribe of violence and call for American government overthrow.

    Go ahead and stampede over the many gringos paying for this curriculum. Why is this in the schools?

  2. My backyard again! Arizona infamy. If only conservatives would show some passion and fight to regain our public schools rather than only clamor for choice. You'd think examples like Tucson Unified would make folks demand local control of curriculum. Local or even statewide watchdogs who can complain to local elected officials stand a snowball's chance even in Tucson. What kind of courses will national education experts select do you think? Will the reading lists to support Common Core Standards for language arts turn out to be a balanced selection of literature?

    Our current Ariz AG was state superintendent and publicly fought against these Tucson courses (right before the contested primary last year). However, he also signed onto the Common Core and virtually no parents had a clue. If curriculum is so important, why did our state cede control of it "voluntarily" and without meaningful public discourse?

    As for the distraction of school choice, charters don't come with locally elected school boards do they? I for one fiercely believe local elections are vital for democracy. Local elected bodies distributing taxpayer funds can surely be corrupt and inept. However, public-private partnerships and oversight at the state level is trickier yet.


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