Dear Principal Domingues,
I am deeply saddened that while Mr. Ricardo Valencia is ready to begin teaching a Mexican American/Chican@ & Latin@ Studies course at Santa Maria High School for next year he is facing resistance.
The staff members trying to prevent Mr.Valencia’s class from happening next year claim that the Mexican American Studies course should not be allowed because it will “take away” students from other elective classes. This concern is purely based out of the interests of this select faculty rather than the students. Since when is it a bad thing for students to be excited about a course?
According to the Director of Accountability and Research of the Tuscon Unified School District, “there are positive measurable differences between Mexican American Studies students and the corresponding comparative group of students.” Mexican American Studies students score higher on standardized reading, writing, and even math tests than their peers, are more likely to graduate from high school, [and] more likely to attend college.
The staff members opposing this course do NOT share the values of the community. Although they are trying to block this course moving forward, we know that the final decision is in your hands.
Our community needs you. No matter what a few staff members say, a campus that has over 2,000 Latino students and make up 85 percent of the entire student body, at the very least deserves one course that teaches our youth about the Latino community’s contributions and struggles throughout history.
As you craft next year’s class agendas, think of the students that make Santa Maria High School and do what’s best for them. We need your courage to improve the educational success and lives of our youth. Please allow Mr.Valencia’s Mexican American/Chican@ & Latin@ Studies course to be part of next year’s curriculum.
Go to http://www.change.org/petitions/principal-domingues-allow-mexican-american-studies-at-santa-maria-high-school and sign the Petition Letter.