Tucson Ariz. District Beginning Transition From Ethnic Studies, Program Supporters Prepare to Fight

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, January 13, 2012

Tuesday night's vote by the Tucson Unified School District's governing board wiped out the ethnic studies program. Now, students and teachers are going through a transition, while supporters gear up for another legal battle.

"You're asking us to suffer in silence, to be quiet?  To die in silence," said an upset ethnic studies supporter at Tuesday night's board meeting.

Outrage was a common sentiment after the TUSD governing board voted to stop offering ethnic studies courses.

"I can tell you right now I will be removing my sons from TUSD," said a father angry over the vote to dismantle ethnic studies.

Wednesday the dust had settled somewhat but changes are in the air. Superintendent John Pedicone says ethnic studies teachers are already reverting to core curriculum.

"So they already have sylibi they already have lesson plans so it will be easier for them to convert from one course to another," said Pedicone.

The courses are gone but the department remains.  Ethnic studies educators will maintain advisory roles.

"They're adults who intervene when students have either academic or discipline issues and they become mentors and models for students in different ways," said Pedicone.

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