TUSD "Raza" Unit Update


A little more than two weeks ago, I brought you an article wherein a teacher with Tucson Unified School District exposed the dirty underbelly of the “RAZA” unit ethnic studies within the school district. The teacher, John A. Ward, has subsequently been interviewed by the morning radio talk show host who first brought Mr. Ward’s op-ed letter to my attention (I don’t normally buy newspapers–don’t have the time to read them and they just stack up).

There has been quite a bit of response from the culprits wasting our tax dollars teaching these seditious and subversive hate classes as well. Let us not forget US Congressman Raul Grijalva was the instigator behind these classes and his daughter, Adelita, sits on the TUSD Board of Supervisors. On a side note, I didn’t think anyone was further left than Grijalva–scary to think BHO is considered the most liberal representative there is in Congress. This is Adelita’s response to the controversy:

TUSD’s budget crisis is putting the kibosh on any new money for this coming school year, but Governing Board member Adelita Grijalva says she’s committed to seeing the program grow the following year.

The district has 30,118 Hispanic students. This program only serves 500. Those 500 are in high school and the district wants to extend this hate class to elementary students. The director of this program, is blatantly racist–all the more ironic since it was THIS country who gave him the opportunities he wouldn’t have had in any other country. And he’s completely unapologetic in his rhetoric.

The Superintendent of Schools, Tom Horne, is not happy with these studies either.

Here is the full text of the follow up piece in the Arizona Daily Star (any emphasis mine):

TUSD’s Raza unit survives under fire

Ethnic studies dept. could grow, reach younger kids

By Rhonda Bodfield
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.25.2008

Calls are heating up to kill the Tucson Unified School District’s ethnic studies program — at the same time it becomes more likely that the district’s most controversial department could expand to reach more, and younger, students.

Critics, from the state’s schools chief to lawmakers to conservative talk-show hosts and columnists, have singled out Mexican-American/Raza Studies in particular, saying it’s divisive and turns students into angry revolutionaries.

But supporters say the program’s reach is too limited, given that it boosts student achievement by providing relevant and rigorous work to students all too often overlooked.

In a ruling last month that conditionally lifted the district’s decades-old racial balance order, a federal judge noted that “it is unimaginable that the eight-staff Mexican American/Raza Studies department would be capable of serving the (district’s) 30,118 Hispanic students.”

TUSD’s budget crisis is putting the kibosh on any new money for this coming school year, but Governing Board member Adelita Grijalva says she’s committed to seeing the program grow the following year.

For now, she’s asking for a discussion about equity within the ethnic studies’ $2.3 million budget, given that African-American Studies gets more funding and staff in a district overwhelmingly Latino.

Raza Studies serves about 500 high school students, who take a four-course block of history, social justice and two Chicano literature classes.

The program should reach younger students, a 2006 outside audit said. Auditors recommended a feeder pipeline starting in the elementary schools.

Although they criticized the African-American, Pan-Asian and Native American departments for too few accountability measures, they lauded Raza Studies as the program’s “flagship.”

Inside the classroom

It’s the end of the school year and Raza Studies students at Tucson High Magnet School are presenting research findings to their principal.

Their PowerPoint presentation is critical of policies toward English learners; some concerns hinge on whether students are funneled to vocational tracks, and some focus on inferior equipment.

Then comes an exploration of classroom décor, with photos of classroom items students consider culturally insensitive.

First up is a baseball poster, which they say should be soccer or rugby to validate other cultures. Next up flashes the Pledge of Allegiance and a patriotic poster featuring the Statue of Liberty, the American flag and an eagle.

“Most of the kids are from a different country, and this is showing them that this is the country that’s the greatest and yours doesn’t matter,” a student maintains.

Principal Abel Morado tells the students he disagrees with their perspective. An initial role of public education was to mold a citizenry united under one democratic blanket, he says.

“It’s in our DNA in public schools to be sure we’re teaching you about being citizens of this nation,” Morado says.

Morado says he considers the dialogue valuable because it’s important to reflect that America does not have just one culture or value system.

Tom Horne, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, considers the program’s very premise grounds to publicly rail against it, and, if necessary, to ban it through legislation.
“One of the most basic American values is that we judge people as individuals based on what they know and what they can do and what their character is like — and not based on what ethnic group they happen to have been born into,” Horne says. “I think it’s profoundly wrong to divide students up by ethnicity.”

The director

Augustine Romero took over as head of ethnic studies two years ago, after running Raza Studies for four years. In his view, the system already divides students by ethnicity.

When he was a senior at Tucson High, his father asked school counselors to make military recruiters stop calling. His counselor couldn’t believe Romero planned to go to college.

He proved the counselor wrong, and the 41-year-old just finished his doctorate. “Yes, there are examples of people who have made it, but we’ve made it by having to work harder than most people because we’ve had to endure the inequities of the system,” he says.

Romero summons the work of Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire to explain the premise of the program, hauling out a dog-eared and extensively highlighted copy of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.” He points to a passage: “This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well.”

If people don’t like being called oppressors, Romero offers no apology. “We have to be able to be honest. If we have cancer, should we not name the cancer and overcome it? If oppression and subordination are our cancers, should we not name them?”

Anglos often don’t see racism, he says, so it needs to be pointed out, even though it has led to accusations that he propagates reverse racism. “When you name racism, people think you’re playing the race card and then they say, ‘You don’t like me because I’m white.’ No, I don’t like what was said. Because I’m one who names these things, some have the perception that I’m a racist and that I only care about children of color.”

Those children clearly need advocates, Romero says. There are glaring performance disparities between white and minority students — even in this district, where whites are only 30 percent of the student body. The recent court ruling noted test scores for black and Hispanic students lagged 10 percent to 15 percent behind those of their white counterparts, and up to 21 percent for Native Americans.

A person can take two views on this, Romero says.

The first: Blame the students and say their ethnic heritage in some way is deficient.

The second: Acknowledge that the educational system perpetuates white privilege and is stacked against minorities. These students are not at-risk, he says. “The system created risk for them.”

A program like Raza Studies can even the odds, he says. Raza students outperform peers on AIMS tests. Scores from the 2006 senior class show 95 percent of the students passed reading, 97 percent passed writing and 77 percent passed math. Five out of six on a recent survey said the program kept them in school.

Tucson High’s Morado visits the classes and doesn’t believe they’re divisive. “They offer a sense of identity for students who have historically not found that within these walls.”

One recent Raza Studies research project highlighted the fact that minorities take too few Advanced Placement courses and too many remedial classes — something the administration has been trying to address.

“What those kids are talking about is the new civil rights movement of the 21st century,” Morado says.

The critics

The program’s critics range from elected state officials to high school students.

The campus Republicans at Tucson High circulated a petition in April to rein in the class after seeing a banner in a class window asking, “Who’s the illegal alien, pilgrim?”

The petition, signed by 50 of the school’s 2,900 students, was forwarded to a handful of state legislators, along with a note that maintained the department “is creating a hostile environment for non-Hispanic students and students who oppose creating a racially charged school environment.”

John Ward taught in the department in the 2002-03 school year. Of Latino heritage despite his Anglo-sounding name, Ward was all for more thoroughly integrating the contributions of Mexican-Americans into U.S. history. But once he started teaching, he became concerned about the program’s focus on victimization.

“They really wanted to identify the victimizer, which was the dominant group — in this case white America — and they wanted students to have a revolution against upper-class white America,” says Ward, who now works as a state auditor.

“They had a clear message that political departments in the U.S. are arms of the dominant culture designed to keep minorities in the ghetto and to keep them downtrodden. They’re teaching on the taxpayers’ dime that police officers and teachers are trying to keep them down. What a perverse message to teach these kids.”

Such messages, he says, won’t be found in the program’s textbooks, such as “Occupied America.”

“The department doesn’t look bad on paper. It’s what happens verbally that moves the debate from benign to pernicious,” Ward says.

The tone worried him: “The students had become very angry by the end of the year. I saw a marked change in them.”

That anger was evident in a presentation director Romero gave at a social justice symposium at the University of Arizona in April. Exploring ways schools create racially hostile environments, the presentation flashed quotes from former Raza Studies students.

Nate Camacho complained that teachers actually encouraged students to fight each other.

Vanessa Aragón said students see violence differently from what school officials see. “For us, it is violence we face from our teachers, administrators and TPD (the Tucson Police Department) every single day,” she said.

Kim Dominguez maintained she didn’t feel valued because nothing in class reflected her life. “We don’t really have a chance,” she said.

Romero says anger is essential for transformation, but insists teachers work to transform that anger into something positive. “For me, there’s a real fine line between anger and awareness,” he says.

He chalks up the dispute with Ward to politics, saying Ward didn’t fit in because he was a conservative while he and the teachers in the department are liberal.

The students

Kristin Grijalva, 17, counts this last year as the most transformative of her school career. She was so shy as a young student that her teachers assumed she spoke only Spanish and put her in an English-learners class.

“Now I’ve gained so much confidence,” says Grijalva, who plans to attend the University of Arizona to study medicine, with a minor in theater. “I have learned so much about myself that now I can talk and use my voice to inform people.”

Raza Studies teachers push students hard, she says, but are so supportive that they share cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses and encourage students to text or call anytime.

Grijalva says that when she learned more about Christopher Columbus, she became angry that he remains a celebrated figure. But she was taught to use her anger to be a warrior, not a soldier. Soldiers do what they’re told, she says. Warriors fight with their minds.

Grijalva acted like a warrior when a student asked her to sign the “pilgrim” petition. Before, she would have ripped up the paper, she says. Instead, she explained to the student that pilgrims from Europe seeking freedom weren’t all that different from Mexicans coming here.

Her fellow students would be just as angry to hear a white person called a “cracker” as a Mexican person called a “beaner,” Grijalva says.

“We realize it’s not only Euro-Americans who are against our class. There are our own Chicanos and African-Americans against our class,” she says. “It’s what we call ‘internal oppression.’ When you hate your own race, you’re basically hating yourself, but they’re going with what they hear instead of what they see.”

In class, students are encouraged to think critically and to defend their positions.

One day in early May, students analyzed a political cartoon to determine if the artist was liberal or conservative. With the newspaper required reading, they discussed the Democratic presidential nomination.

During a recent presentation, a student noted, “Even a game of chess can reflect the inequalities of our society. From way back, white always goes first.”

Teacher Jose Gonzalez nodded approvingly. “That’s deep. That’s powerful.”

Amy Rusk, Tucson High’s chief librarian who taught Chicano literature in the department for three years, says that as a white woman, she finds white privilege is “very much embedded in the system and that’s why we have to talk about it.”

Kids need to read literature where the grandmother switches back and forth between English and Spanish, just like they hear at home, she says.

They need to name 10 important Hispanic and 10 important black figures in U.S. history.

And they need to know the system was set up to block minority achievement, she says.

“I think to pretend everything is fine is very unfair to the kids,” Rusk says.

She says she’s heard students say they can’t do some academic work because they aren’t white and they aren’t smart. But not Raza Studies students; they come to her library more than their peers, and are more able to do independent research.

“This program has much more to do with figuring out ways to help kids succeed who have not had academic identities before,” Rusk says. “And this system has let them not have those academic identities.”

Contact reporter Rhonda Bodfield at 573-4118 or rbodfield@azstarnet.com.

Do we really want our tax dollars being used to teach this nonsense? Is it really necessary to enrage the students with this propaganda? Rather than putting the blame for under achievement right where it belongs–squarely on the student and parents for not making their education a priority and STUDYING for what they want–they blame the white man.

This is the liberal agenda. Divide and conquer, allow the ruination of this nation with illegals who think they’re ENTITLED to our bounty.

It’s time for ALL ethnic studies courses to be banned from all schools. When you are in America, you are an AMERICAN, not a hyphenated entity. If you want to learn more about your background, do some extra credit work. Break away from the hip-hop/gansta attitude, turn off your tv and Xbox and pick up a book. Don’t expect my tax dollars to pay for it.

Arizona House of Representatives Legislator Russell Pearce has introduced SB 1108 to stop this kind of tax payer waste and subsidized hate propaganda. Click on the site and read the text of the measure.

Teaching this nonsense is akin to a white class forcing students to participate in classes on the KKK (which we know was started by the democrats after losing the civil war–the same party that advocates slavery in one way or another to this day). We’d certainly hear an outcry over that, wouldn’t we? So why the silence in this instance? It’s time to let your voices be heard, loud and clear, you will no longer tolerate this being forced down your child’s throat and you will no longer support it through your taxes. Contact information for the TUSD governing board and other essential interested parties follows:

TUSD Governing Board Phone – (520) 225-6070
FAX – (520) 798-8767
Email Contact: governingboard@tusd1.org
Email TUSD Governing Board
Arizona Superintendant of Schools Tom Horne 602-542-5393

CONTACT TUSD OFFICIALS AND DEMAND AN EXPLANATION WHY THIS ALLOWED!
Email Superintendent Roger Pfeuffer
Email Deputy Superintendent Patricia Lopez

CONTACT LOCAL MEDIA ASK THEM TO INVESTIGATE
EMAIL KGUN 9
EMAIL KVOA
EMAIL FOX11AZ
News 13 Hotline Phone: (520) 744-6397

Contact them. Let your voice be heard. And remember what Teddy Roosevelt said:

There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100% Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.

Isn’t it time Teddy was listened to–again?

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TUSD "Raza" Unit Update


A little more than two weeks ago, I brought you an article wherein a teacher with Tucson Unified School District exposed the dirty underbelly of the “RAZA” unit ethnic studies within the school district. The teacher, John A. Ward, has subsequently been interviewed by the morning radio talk show host who first brought Mr. Ward’s op-ed letter to my attention (I don’t normally buy newspapers–don’t have the time to read them and they just stack up).

There has been quite a bit of response from the culprits wasting our tax dollars teaching these seditious and subversive hate classes as well. Let us not forget US Congressman Raul Grijalva was the instigator behind these classes and his daughter, Adelita, sits on the TUSD Board of Supervisors. On a side note, I didn’t think anyone was further left than Grijalva–scary to think BHO is considered the most liberal representative there is in Congress. This is Adelita’s response to the controversy:

TUSD’s budget crisis is putting the kibosh on any new money for this coming school year, but Governing Board member Adelita Grijalva says she’s committed to seeing the program grow the following year.

The district has 30,118 Hispanic students. This program only serves 500. Those 500 are in high school and the district wants to extend this hate class to elementary students. The director of this program, is blatantly racist–all the more ironic since it was THIS country who gave him the opportunities he wouldn’t have had in any other country. And he’s completely unapologetic in his rhetoric.

The Superintendent of Schools, Tom Horne, is not happy with these studies either.

Here is the full text of the follow up piece in the Arizona Daily Star (any emphasis mine):

TUSD’s Raza unit survives under fire

Ethnic studies dept. could grow, reach younger kids

By Rhonda Bodfield
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.25.2008

Calls are heating up to kill the Tucson Unified School District’s ethnic studies program — at the same time it becomes more likely that the district’s most controversial department could expand to reach more, and younger, students.

Critics, from the state’s schools chief to lawmakers to conservative talk-show hosts and columnists, have singled out Mexican-American/Raza Studies in particular, saying it’s divisive and turns students into angry revolutionaries.

But supporters say the program’s reach is too limited, given that it boosts student achievement by providing relevant and rigorous work to students all too often overlooked.

In a ruling last month that conditionally lifted the district’s decades-old racial balance order, a federal judge noted that “it is unimaginable that the eight-staff Mexican American/Raza Studies department would be capable of serving the (district’s) 30,118 Hispanic students.”

TUSD’s budget crisis is putting the kibosh on any new money for this coming school year, but Governing Board member Adelita Grijalva says she’s committed to seeing the program grow the following year.

For now, she’s asking for a discussion about equity within the ethnic studies’ $2.3 million budget, given that African-American Studies gets more funding and staff in a district overwhelmingly Latino.

Raza Studies serves about 500 high school students, who take a four-course block of history, social justice and two Chicano literature classes.

The program should reach younger students, a 2006 outside audit said. Auditors recommended a feeder pipeline starting in the elementary schools.

Although they criticized the African-American, Pan-Asian and Native American departments for too few accountability measures, they lauded Raza Studies as the program’s “flagship.”

Inside the classroom

It’s the end of the school year and Raza Studies students at Tucson High Magnet School are presenting research findings to their principal.

Their PowerPoint presentation is critical of policies toward English learners; some concerns hinge on whether students are funneled to vocational tracks, and some focus on inferior equipment.

Then comes an exploration of classroom décor, with photos of classroom items students consider culturally insensitive.

First up is a baseball poster, which they say should be soccer or rugby to validate other cultures. Next up flashes the Pledge of Allegiance and a patriotic poster featuring the Statue of Liberty, the American flag and an eagle.

“Most of the kids are from a different country, and this is showing them that this is the country that’s the greatest and yours doesn’t matter,” a student maintains.

Principal Abel Morado tells the students he disagrees with their perspective. An initial role of public education was to mold a citizenry united under one democratic blanket, he says.

“It’s in our DNA in public schools to be sure we’re teaching you about being citizens of this nation,” Morado says.

Morado says he considers the dialogue valuable because it’s important to reflect that America does not have just one culture or value system.

Tom Horne, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, considers the program’s very premise grounds to publicly rail against it, and, if necessary, to ban it through legislation.
“One of the most basic American values is that we judge people as individuals based on what they know and what they can do and what their character is like — and not based on what ethnic group they happen to have been born into,” Horne says. “I think it’s profoundly wrong to divide students up by ethnicity.”

The director

Augustine Romero took over as head of ethnic studies two years ago, after running Raza Studies for four years. In his view, the system already divides students by ethnicity.

When he was a senior at Tucson High, his father asked school counselors to make military recruiters stop calling. His counselor couldn’t believe Romero planned to go to college.

He proved the counselor wrong, and the 41-year-old just finished his doctorate. “Yes, there are examples of people who have made it, but we’ve made it by having to work harder than most people because we’ve had to endure the inequities of the system,” he says.

Romero summons the work of Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire to explain the premise of the program, hauling out a dog-eared and extensively highlighted copy of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.” He points to a passage: “This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well.”

If people don’t like being called oppressors, Romero offers no apology. “We have to be able to be honest. If we have cancer, should we not name the cancer and overcome it? If oppression and subordination are our cancers, should we not name them?”

Anglos often don’t see racism, he says, so it needs to be pointed out, even though it has led to accusations that he propagates reverse racism. “When you name racism, people think you’re playing the race card and then they say, ‘You don’t like me because I’m white.’ No, I don’t like what was said. Because I’m one who names these things, some have the perception that I’m a racist and that I only care about children of color.”

Those children clearly need advocates, Romero says. There are glaring performance disparities between white and minority students — even in this district, where whites are only 30 percent of the student body. The recent court ruling noted test scores for black and Hispanic students lagged 10 percent to 15 percent behind those of their white counterparts, and up to 21 percent for Native Americans.

A person can take two views on this, Romero says.

The first: Blame the students and say their ethnic heritage in some way is deficient.

The second: Acknowledge that the educational system perpetuates white privilege and is stacked against minorities. These students are not at-risk, he says. “The system created risk for them.”

A program like Raza Studies can even the odds, he says. Raza students outperform peers on AIMS tests. Scores from the 2006 senior class show 95 percent of the students passed reading, 97 percent passed writing and 77 percent passed math. Five out of six on a recent survey said the program kept them in school.

Tucson High’s Morado visits the classes and doesn’t believe they’re divisive. “They offer a sense of identity for students who have historically not found that within these walls.”

One recent Raza Studies research project highlighted the fact that minorities take too few Advanced Placement courses and too many remedial classes — something the administration has been trying to address.

“What those kids are talking about is the new civil rights movement of the 21st century,” Morado says.

The critics

The program’s critics range from elected state officials to high school students.

The campus Republicans at Tucson High circulated a petition in April to rein in the class after seeing a banner in a class window asking, “Who’s the illegal alien, pilgrim?”

The petition, signed by 50 of the school’s 2,900 students, was forwarded to a handful of state legislators, along with a note that maintained the department “is creating a hostile environment for non-Hispanic students and students who oppose creating a racially charged school environment.”

John Ward taught in the department in the 2002-03 school year. Of Latino heritage despite his Anglo-sounding name, Ward was all for more thoroughly integrating the contributions of Mexican-Americans into U.S. history. But once he started teaching, he became concerned about the program’s focus on victimization.

“They really wanted to identify the victimizer, which was the dominant group — in this case white America — and they wanted students to have a revolution against upper-class white America,” says Ward, who now works as a state auditor.

“They had a clear message that political departments in the U.S. are arms of the dominant culture designed to keep minorities in the ghetto and to keep them downtrodden. They’re teaching on the taxpayers’ dime that police officers and teachers are trying to keep them down. What a perverse message to teach these kids.”

Such messages, he says, won’t be found in the program’s textbooks, such as “Occupied America.”

“The department doesn’t look bad on paper. It’s what happens verbally that moves the debate from benign to pernicious,” Ward says.

The tone worried him: “The students had become very angry by the end of the year. I saw a marked change in them.”

That anger was evident in a presentation director Romero gave at a social justice symposium at the University of Arizona in April. Exploring ways schools create racially hostile environments, the presentation flashed quotes from former Raza Studies students.

Nate Camacho complained that teachers actually encouraged students to fight each other.

Vanessa Aragón said students see violence differently from what school officials see. “For us, it is violence we face from our teachers, administrators and TPD (the Tucson Police Department) every single day,” she said.

Kim Dominguez maintained she didn’t feel valued because nothing in class reflected her life. “We don’t really have a chance,” she said.

Romero says anger is essential for transformation, but insists teachers work to transform that anger into something positive. “For me, there’s a real fine line between anger and awareness,” he says.

He chalks up the dispute with Ward to politics, saying Ward didn’t fit in because he was a conservative while he and the teachers in the department are liberal.

The students

Kristin Grijalva, 17, counts this last year as the most transformative of her school career. She was so shy as a young student that her teachers assumed she spoke only Spanish and put her in an English-learners class.

“Now I’ve gained so much confidence,” says Grijalva, who plans to attend the University of Arizona to study medicine, with a minor in theater. “I have learned so much about myself that now I can talk and use my voice to inform people.”

Raza Studies teachers push students hard, she says, but are so supportive that they share cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses and encourage students to text or call anytime.

Grijalva says that when she learned more about Christopher Columbus, she became angry that he remains a celebrated figure. But she was taught to use her anger to be a warrior, not a soldier. Soldiers do what they’re told, she says. Warriors fight with their minds.

Grijalva acted like a warrior when a student asked her to sign the “pilgrim” petition. Before, she would have ripped up the paper, she says. Instead, she explained to the student that pilgrims from Europe seeking freedom weren’t all that different from Mexicans coming here.

Her fellow students would be just as angry to hear a white person called a “cracker” as a Mexican person called a “beaner,” Grijalva says.

“We realize it’s not only Euro-Americans who are against our class. There are our own Chicanos and African-Americans against our class,” she says. “It’s what we call ‘internal oppression.’ When you hate your own race, you’re basically hating yourself, but they’re going with what they hear instead of what they see.”

In class, students are encouraged to think critically and to defend their positions.

One day in early May, students analyzed a political cartoon to determine if the artist was liberal or conservative. With the newspaper required reading, they discussed the Democratic presidential nomination.

During a recent presentation, a student noted, “Even a game of chess can reflect the inequalities of our society. From way back, white always goes first.”

Teacher Jose Gonzalez nodded approvingly. “That’s deep. That’s powerful.”

Amy Rusk, Tucson High’s chief librarian who taught Chicano literature in the department for three years, says that as a white woman, she finds white privilege is “very much embedded in the system and that’s why we have to talk about it.”

Kids need to read literature where the grandmother switches back and forth between English and Spanish, just like they hear at home, she says.

They need to name 10 important Hispanic and 10 important black figures in U.S. history.

And they need to know the system was set up to block minority achievement, she says.

“I think to pretend everything is fine is very unfair to the kids,” Rusk says.

She says she’s heard students say they can’t do some academic work because they aren’t white and they aren’t smart. But not Raza Studies students; they come to her library more than their peers, and are more able to do independent research.

“This program has much more to do with figuring out ways to help kids succeed who have not had academic identities before,” Rusk says. “And this system has let them not have those academic identities.”

Contact reporter Rhonda Bodfield at 573-4118 or rbodfield@azstarnet.com.

Do we really want our tax dollars being used to teach this nonsense? Is it really necessary to enrage the students with this propaganda? Rather than putting the blame for under achievement right where it belongs–squarely on the student and parents for not making their education a priority and STUDYING for what they want–they blame the white man.

This is the liberal agenda. Divide and conquer, allow the ruination of this nation with illegals who think they’re ENTITLED to our bounty.

It’s time for ALL ethnic studies courses to be banned from all schools. When you are in America, you are an AMERICAN, not a hyphenated entity. If you want to learn more about your background, do some extra credit work. Break away from the hip-hop/gansta attitude, turn off your tv and Xbox and pick up a book. Don’t expect my tax dollars to pay for it.

Arizona House of Representatives Legislator Russell Pearce has introduced SB 1108 to stop this kind of tax payer waste and subsidized hate propaganda. Click on the site and read the text of the measure.

Teaching this nonsense is akin to a white class forcing students to participate in classes on the KKK (which we know was started by the democrats after losing the civil war–the same party that advocates slavery in one way or another to this day). We’d certainly hear an outcry over that, wouldn’t we? So why the silence in this instance? It’s time to let your voices be heard, loud and clear, you will no longer tolerate this being forced down your child’s throat and you will no longer support it through your taxes. Contact information for the TUSD governing board and other essential interested parties follows:

TUSD Governing Board Phone – (520) 225-6070
FAX – (520) 798-8767
Email Contact: governingboard@tusd1.org
Email TUSD Governing Board
Arizona Superintendant of Schools Tom Horne 602-542-5393

CONTACT TUSD OFFICIALS AND DEMAND AN EXPLANATION WHY THIS ALLOWED!
Email Superintendent Roger Pfeuffer
Email Deputy Superintendent Patricia Lopez

CONTACT LOCAL MEDIA ASK THEM TO INVESTIGATE
EMAIL KGUN 9
EMAIL KVOA
EMAIL FOX11AZ
News 13 Hotline Phone: (520) 744-6397

Contact them. Let your voice be heard. And remember what Teddy Roosevelt said:

There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100% Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.

Isn’t it time Teddy was listened to–again?

Tucson Teacher Exposes "Raza" Studies In TUSD


While getting ready for work this morning and listening to my morning talk, I noticed my commentator was reading a letter that had appeared in our local newspaper as a guest opinion. He was rather animated about it so I “tuned in” a little more to get the full story.

As anyone with a pulse in the past year or so knows, Tucson is ground zero for the illegal immigration battle. We not only fight it on the border, we fight it in our schools (which have decided to become sanctuary schools and have told the police, ICE and Border Patrol they aren’t allowed on school properties even in an emergency) through the “Ethnic Studies” programs.

We have long suspected what was taught with our tax dollars, whether we like it or not. Our suspicions were confirmed by this guest opinion. Much like Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” (which shuts up and black lists those who disagree with the globull warming hysteria), the “Ethnic Studies” here are churning out kids who have no respect for authority and who buy the lie the American Southwest is actually Aztec land under the memories of Aztlan–of course with no historical reference to the fact the Aztecs forcibly invaded and controlled the lands themselves. Whites are interlopers.

The author of this guest opinion is a former teacher of these studies. However, he is a teacher with conscience and refused to teach this drivel as history. Below is his guest opinion as published by the Tucson Citizen May 21, 2008:

All emphasis mine.

Guest opinion: Raza studies gives rise to racial hostility

JOHN A. WARD

As a former teacher in Tucson Unified School District’s hotly debated ethnic studies department, I submit my perspective for the public’s consideration.

During the 2002-2003 school year, I taught a U.S. history course with a Mexican-American perspective. The course was part of the Raza/Chicano studies department.

Within one week of the course beginning, I was told that I was a “teacher of record,” meaning that I was expected only to assign grades. The Raza studies department staff would teach the class.

I was assigned to be a “teacher of record” because some members of the Raza studies staff lacked teaching certificates. It was a convenient way of circumventing the rules.

I stated that I expected to do more than assign grades. I expected to be involved in teaching the class. The department was less than enthusiastic but agreed.

Immediately it was clear that the class was not a U.S. history course, which the state of Arizona requires for graduation. The class was similar to a sociology course one expects to see at a university.

Where history was missing from the course, it was filled by controversial and biased curriculum.

The basic theme of the curriculum was that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.

In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if minorities are held down. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through this lens.

This biased and sole paradigm justified teaching that our community police officers are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used “to keep minorities in their ghettos.”

It justified telling the class that there are fewer Mexican-Americans in Tucson Magnet High School’s advanced placement courses because their “white teachers” do not believe they are capable and do not want them to get ahead.

It justified teaching that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans because of the insatiable greed of the Yankee who acquired his values from the corrupted ethos of Western civilization.

It was taught that the Southwest is “Atzlan,” the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, and still rightfully belongs to their descendants – to all people of indigenous Mexican heritage.

As an educator, I refused to be complicit in a curriculum that engendered racial hostility, irresponsibly demeaned America’s civil institutions, undermined our public servants, discounted any virtues in Western civilization and taught disdain for American sovereignty.

When I raised these concerns, I was told that I was a “racist,” despite being Hispanic. Acknowledging my heritage, the Raza studies staff also informed me that I was a vendido, the Spanish term for “sellout.”

The culmination of my challenge to the department’s curriculum was my removal from that particular class. The Raza studies department and its district-level allies pressured the Tucson High administration to silence my concerns through reassignment to another class during that one period.

The Raza studies department used the “racist” card, which is probably the most worn-out and desperate maneuver used to silence competing perspectives.

It is fundamentally anti-intellectual because it immediately stops debate by threatening to destroy the reputation of those who would provide counter arguments.

Unfortunately, I am not the only one to have been intimidated by the Raza studies department in this way.

The diplomatic and flattering language that the department and its proponents use to describe the Raza studies program is an attempt to avoid public scrutiny. When necessary, the department invokes terms such as “witch hunt” and “McCarthyism” to diminish the validity of whatever public scrutiny it does get.

The proponents of this program may conceal its reality to the public. But as a former teacher in the program, I am witness to its ugly underbelly.

Arizona taxpayers should ask themselves whether they should pay for the messages engendered in these classrooms with their hard-earned tax dollars.

The Raza studies department has powerful allies in TUSD, on its governing board and in the U.S. House of Representatives (sidenote: one of the board members is Adelita Grijalva, daughter of US Congressman Raul Grijalva who got his start on the Tucson Unified School District board himself and was the initiator of these studies) and thus operates with much impunity.

Occasionally there are minor irritations from the state superintendent of public instruction and the Legislature.

Ultimately, Arizona taxpayers own TUSD and have the right to change it. The change will have to come from replacing the board if its members refuse to make the Raza studies department respect the public trust.

John A. Ward is a former teacher at Tucson High Magnet School.

Now, quite some time ago I wrote about a protest at another TUSD school, Catalina High Magnet School, wherein an illegal was suspected to have drugs on campus, it was found he was illegal, ICE removed him and his brother from a junior high and deported the family. Read about that here, here and here.

Ladies and gentleman, this is not an issue exclusive to Tucson. Check into your own school district’s curriculums. We have four schools on the chopping block due to budget deficits. The school district wants to close schools and continue to teach this hate rather than give up these special interest studies, cut their pork (Adelita’s learning well from her father, isn’t she?) and teach a proper curriculum. Your school district may be doing the same thing.

The writer makes an excellent point. Ultimately, the school districts are owned by the taxpayers. The legal residents who pay the taxes, not the illegal alien front groups who wish to continue educating illegals at your expense. Therefore, it is up to the taxpayers, the legal citizens, to do something (and NO I am NOT advocating violence) about this. The easiest thing to do is VOTE THEM OUT and put in supervisors who will teach instead of preach.

What are YOU going to do about your own school district? Contact information for TUSD can be found here, on the 104.1 The Truth morning show blog. Make your voice, your opinion and your vote heard.

Tucson Teacher Exposes "Raza" Studies In TUSD


While getting ready for work this morning and listening to my morning talk, I noticed my commentator was reading a letter that had appeared in our local newspaper as a guest opinion. He was rather animated about it so I “tuned in” a little more to get the full story.

As anyone with a pulse in the past year or so knows, Tucson is ground zero for the illegal immigration battle. We not only fight it on the border, we fight it in our schools (which have decided to become sanctuary schools and have told the police, ICE and Border Patrol they aren’t allowed on school properties even in an emergency) through the “Ethnic Studies” programs.

We have long suspected what was taught with our tax dollars, whether we like it or not. Our suspicions were confirmed by this guest opinion. Much like Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” (which shuts up and black lists those who disagree with the globull warming hysteria), the “Ethnic Studies” here are churning out kids who have no respect for authority and who buy the lie the American Southwest is actually Aztec land under the memories of Aztlan–of course with no historical reference to the fact the Aztecs forcibly invaded and controlled the lands themselves. Whites are interlopers.

The author of this guest opinion is a former teacher of these studies. However, he is a teacher with conscience and refused to teach this drivel as history. Below is his guest opinion as published by the Tucson Citizen May 21, 2008:

All emphasis mine.

Guest opinion: Raza studies gives rise to racial hostility

JOHN A. WARD

As a former teacher in Tucson Unified School District’s hotly debated ethnic studies department, I submit my perspective for the public’s consideration.

During the 2002-2003 school year, I taught a U.S. history course with a Mexican-American perspective. The course was part of the Raza/Chicano studies department.

Within one week of the course beginning, I was told that I was a “teacher of record,” meaning that I was expected only to assign grades. The Raza studies department staff would teach the class.

I was assigned to be a “teacher of record” because some members of the Raza studies staff lacked teaching certificates. It was a convenient way of circumventing the rules.

I stated that I expected to do more than assign grades. I expected to be involved in teaching the class. The department was less than enthusiastic but agreed.

Immediately it was clear that the class was not a U.S. history course, which the state of Arizona requires for graduation. The class was similar to a sociology course one expects to see at a university.

Where history was missing from the course, it was filled by controversial and biased curriculum.

The basic theme of the curriculum was that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.

In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if minorities are held down. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through this lens.

This biased and sole paradigm justified teaching that our community police officers are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used “to keep minorities in their ghettos.”

It justified telling the class that there are fewer Mexican-Americans in Tucson Magnet High School’s advanced placement courses because their “white teachers” do not believe they are capable and do not want them to get ahead.

It justified teaching that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans because of the insatiable greed of the Yankee who acquired his values from the corrupted ethos of Western civilization.

It was taught that the Southwest is “Atzlan,” the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, and still rightfully belongs to their descendants – to all people of indigenous Mexican heritage.

As an educator, I refused to be complicit in a curriculum that engendered racial hostility, irresponsibly demeaned America’s civil institutions, undermined our public servants, discounted any virtues in Western civilization and taught disdain for American sovereignty.

When I raised these concerns, I was told that I was a “racist,” despite being Hispanic. Acknowledging my heritage, the Raza studies staff also informed me that I was a vendido, the Spanish term for “sellout.”

The culmination of my challenge to the department’s curriculum was my removal from that particular class. The Raza studies department and its district-level allies pressured the Tucson High administration to silence my concerns through reassignment to another class during that one period.

The Raza studies department used the “racist” card, which is probably the most worn-out and desperate maneuver used to silence competing perspectives.

It is fundamentally anti-intellectual because it immediately stops debate by threatening to destroy the reputation of those who would provide counter arguments.

Unfortunately, I am not the only one to have been intimidated by the Raza studies department in this way.

The diplomatic and flattering language that the department and its proponents use to describe the Raza studies program is an attempt to avoid public scrutiny. When necessary, the department invokes terms such as “witch hunt” and “McCarthyism” to diminish the validity of whatever public scrutiny it does get.

The proponents of this program may conceal its reality to the public. But as a former teacher in the program, I am witness to its ugly underbelly.

Arizona taxpayers should ask themselves whether they should pay for the messages engendered in these classrooms with their hard-earned tax dollars.

The Raza studies department has powerful allies in TUSD, on its governing board and in the U.S. House of Representatives (sidenote: one of the board members is Adelita Grijalva, daughter of US Congressman Raul Grijalva who got his start on the Tucson Unified School District board himself and was the initiator of these studies) and thus operates with much impunity.

Occasionally there are minor irritations from the state superintendent of public instruction and the Legislature.

Ultimately, Arizona taxpayers own TUSD and have the right to change it. The change will have to come from replacing the board if its members refuse to make the Raza studies department respect the public trust.

John A. Ward is a former teacher at Tucson High Magnet School.

Now, quite some time ago I wrote about a protest at another TUSD school, Catalina High Magnet School, wherein an illegal was suspected to have drugs on campus, it was found he was illegal, ICE removed him and his brother from a junior high and deported the family. Read about that here, here and here.

Ladies and gentleman, this is not an issue exclusive to Tucson. Check into your own school district’s curriculums. We have four schools on the chopping block due to budget deficits. The school district wants to close schools and continue to teach this hate rather than give up these special interest studies, cut their pork (Adelita’s learning well from her father, isn’t she?) and teach a proper curriculum. Your school district may be doing the same thing.

The writer makes an excellent point. Ultimately, the school districts are owned by the taxpayers. The legal residents who pay the taxes, not the illegal alien front groups who wish to continue educating illegals at your expense. Therefore, it is up to the taxpayers, the legal citizens, to do something (and NO I am NOT advocating violence) about this. The easiest thing to do is VOTE THEM OUT and put in supervisors who will teach instead of preach.

What are YOU going to do about your own school district? Contact information for TUSD can be found here, on the 104.1 The Truth morning show blog. Make your voice, your opinion and your vote heard.