Saturday, February 18, 2012

Arizona Republicans propose legislation to "prohibit public school teachers from using partisan books or any partisan doctrine."

[Note: A chronological list of links to AICL's coverage of the shut-down of the Mexican American Studies Department at Tucson Unified School District is here. Information about the national Mexican American Studies Teach-in is here. The best source for daily updates out of Tucson is blogger David Abie Morales at Three Sonorans.]

On February 6, 2012, I wrote about a new bill being drafted in Arizona that said, in part:
A teacher who uses partisan books and/or partisan materials or teaches any partisan doctrine or conducts any partisan exercises in school is guilty of unprofessional conduct and his certificate shall be revoked.
Earlier this week, Arizona's Committee on Government Reform approved the bill with a vote of 5-2. It will have to make it through the House and Senate, too, and then be signed into law by Jan Brewer.  I speculated that the bill was aimed at MAS teacher Curtis Acosta because his syllabus for a Social Justice class he taught is on the website for the group that wrote the bill: Tucsonans United For Sound Districts.

News reports out of Arizona  provide additional context.

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer is a Republican who is running against Raul Grijalva for his seat in the US House of Representatives. She testified that even though the MAS classes have been shut down, teachers are ignoring the law by being political in encouraging students to walk-out of school.

The language of the bill is ambiguous. Who will determine if something is partisan? What does that mean for social studies and history classes that study politics, elections, etc.? On its face, it seems ridiculous, but so did the Ethnic Studies law that got passed. We'll see. Will saner minds prevail this time?

1 comment:

Debby Dahl Edwardson said...

Taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean that you can't teach which presidents were Republicans and which were Democrats.

Oops, partisan.

And stay away from the Civil Rights movement--it might insight racial tension.

And...well really, there is no end to it, is there?