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ethnic studies

Scottsdale USD created annual summer programs called Unitown and Minitown to create bonds between high school and middle school students, respectively, who live in different neighborhoods.

To teach kids to appreciate diversity in the city’s schools, Scottsdale USD created Unitown and Minitown, programs that create bonds between crosstown students.

After years of controversy, court battles, and a disbanded cultural studies program, the Tucson (Ariz.) Unified School District is turning to a new program to raise the achievement of Hispanic students.

A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School

It is the belief of the three authors of the recently published book, A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School, all of whom are former school superintendents, that all educational leaders, male and female from all cultural groups, have the capacity to be successful when they have an understanding of the importance of students' cultures being viewed and treated as an asset.

Northeast Yucai Oxford International High School, a first-of-its-kind public school, opened its doors in Shenyang, China, this fall. The school, a joint partnership between Oxford (Mich.) Community Schools and Northeast Yucai Education Group in Shenyang, allows American and Chinese high school students to attend and earn dual degrees for each country.

Black Students Union demonstration

On April 26, students from the Tucson (Ariz.) Unified School District's Mexican-American studies classes, angry that these courses might be eliminated because of a state law targeting programs that advocate "ethnic solidarity" and "the overthrow of the United States government," barged into a school board meeting, chained themselves to the board members' chairs, and banged and chanted until the meeting was canceled. When the board reconvened on May 3, so did police in riot gear, and seven people were arrested.

The editors at DA have been taking advantage of a little extra time that a double issue affords us, talking to our readers at various conferences across the country, as well as checking in with industry experts as we plan our upcoming content. After all, summertime is a time for renewal.

In an effort to help stop bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, school district leaders can look to various organizations for help. And in what is considered landmark legislation, California Senate passed a bill on April 14, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 14, that will require public schools to include lessons in part about the historical contributions of gays and lesbians in their curriculum.

On the heels of a Florida pastor's announcement of an International Burn a Koran Day this past September and protests over a planned Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York City, the topic of teaching Islam in public schools is gaining more attention—but this attention is yielding different results in different places.


Amid all the national attention on Arizona these past few months, largely due to Senate Bill 1070 empowering police to take "reasonable" steps to verify the immigration status of criminal suspects, the state's K12 district administrators have been wrestling with a unique segregation issue, as well.