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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.
Hey, everyone,Couldn’t resist passing this on…When I sat down to eat my lunch today while watching last night’s Daily Show, I was surprised to see a segment on the banning of Tucson’s Mexican-American Studies program. I was even more surprised to see that most of the footage in it was taken from Precious Knowledge, a documentary I edited that will be on PBS next month. It’s a funny segment–check it out!-Jacob
4/6/12 – TOWN HALL FORUM JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON “The Attack on Black Men & Boys” Stop S. Bill 661 H. Bill 1568
Stop S. Bill 661 H. Bill 1568
@ Hibernian Hall (Dudley Sq)
FRIDAY APRIL 6th 6-8pm
Topics to be addressed:
* Trayvon Martin case: Justice for Trayvon
* Cases of violence against Black Men throughout the US; Lynchings, Draggings, etc.
* Racist Rhetoric, Racial profiling, Police Brutality, Murders, Violence, Mass Incarceration
* ACTION ITEM: Stop SB 661 HB 1568 which are the “Stand Your Ground Laws” currently being proposed in MA
* ACTION ITEM: THURS. APRIL, 12th RALLY & LOBBY DAY – Meet at Boston Commons Bandstand 11AM
RALLY IN BOSTON COMMONS; MARCH TO STATE HOUSE LOBBY AGAINST STAND YOUR GROUND IN MA
For More Info
“As a network of Teacher Activist Groups (TAG) we believe that education is essential to the preservation of civil and human rights and is a tool for human liberation. In alignment with these beliefs, TAG is proud to coordinate No History is Illegal, a month of solidarity work in support of Tucson’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program. In January, 2011, state attorney general Tom Horne declared the Tucson Unified School District MAS program illegal. Over the past year, teachers, students, and administrators have come together to challenge Horne’s ruling, but on January 10, 2012, the TUSD school board voted 4-1 to cease all MAS classes immediately for fear of losing state funding.
Join Teacher Activist Groups in standing in solidarity with teachers and students from the banned Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in Arizona. Show your support by teaching lessons from and about MAS in the month of February.”
Our movement continues to sweep the nation as countless battles are fought nationwide. The past few months brought progress in In-State Tuition Bill in several states, including Maryland, Connecticut and Florida. However, even with these minor victories we’ve faced grave threats through copycat Arizona Bills SB1070 in states like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and many others.
We will not let these atrocities happen, and as time goes on more and more of us will need to stand up and fight for what’s right.
Students are getting deported everyday even while President Obama continues to say we aren’t. Several deportations have been highlighted recently, including Manolo from Tennessee, Mario from Texas or sisters Karen and Lizza. The Education Not Deportation (END) campaigns for these students will not end until we get justice.
We have been working hard to stop their deportations, but we need all of us to stand up to fix the broken system.
In Georgia, 7 undocumented students stood up yesterday.
Georgia recently instituted a policy that effectively closes the door to higher education for undocumented students. These 7 students decided to block the streets in front Georgia State University to demand a reversal from the University President.
They were arrested and have been in jail since yesterday. Funds are being raised to bail them out.
In Massachusetts, our fight for In-State tuition is about to begin. We will be launching our campaign soon and will be asking for your support. We have been busy researching our targets and developing a strategy, while also coordinating a college access program to help our students navigate the current system toward a college education.
SIM has been actively at work the past 4 months, and soon we will all reap the benefits.
For immediate release: March 16, 2011
Mexican American Studies stats show program works
Even without apples-to-apples comparison, TUSD analysis shows that the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program produces results, negating Arizona Daily Star report.
A Tucson Unified School District report issued March 11, 2011 concludes that TUSD’s Mexican American Studies program give students a measurable advantage over non-MAS students in passing standardized AIMS reading and writing tests, and that MAS students graduate at higher levels than their non MAS counterparts.
The analysis was conducted by David Scott, Tucson Unified School District Director of Accountability and Research, reporting to TUSD superintendent Dr. John Pedicone. Scott writes:
• “I find that there are positive measurable differences between MAS students and the corresponding comparative group of students.”
• “Juniors taking a MAS course are more likely than their peers to pass the reading and writing AIMS subject test if they had previously failed those tests in their sophomore year.”
• “Seniors taking a MAS course are more likely to persist to graduation that their peers.”
Scott’s analysis examined performance by MAS students against scores from the entire TUSD district rather than just the schools where MAS programs are offered (Cholla High Magnet School, Pueblo Magnet High School, Rincon High School and Tucson High Magnet School) which are primarily lower socio economic student populations relative to the entire district. Moreover, the primarily Latino MAS students were compared in Scott’s analysis with students from all ethnic backgrounds. And still the data shows that MAS students showed a distinct advantage over non-MAS students in high schools throughout the district.
“The district has no other program that creates the success for students, particularly Latino students like we have in this program,” says TUSD Director of Mexican American Studies Sean Arce. “And yet we are under fire.”
Scott’s data shows clear trends. “I find that over the last six years, students who complete a Mexican American Studies class during their senior year are more likely to graduate than comparison group seniors,” Scott writes. “The difference in completion rates ranges from 5-11 percent higher.”
An Arizona Daily Star news story by Alexis Huicochea from March 13, 2011 (“Ethnic studies claim in question”) states, “The district’s graduation rate of nearly 83 percent holds true for students who took a Mexican American Studies course and for those who did not, Scott found.”
Figures from Scott’s analysis support the advantage of MAS students over non-MAS students in AIMS reading and writing courses. On the AIMS reading course, the data shows that MAS students passed anywhere from 5-16 percent more than non MAS students over the six year period, and that in all but 1 year, the results were above 10 percent greater passing rates. On AIMS writing texts, the scores show passing rates anywhere from 5-16 percent higher for MAS students, with only one year below 10 percent higher.
For further information contact Deyanira Nevarez at 520-975-1485 (email firstname.lastname@example.org) or go to saveethnicstudies.org
The March 19 mobilization was initiated by the ANSWER Coalition and has been endorsed by the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Please help us spread the word about this event.
Saturday, March 19 at 12 noon
From Boston to Baghdad: End the Occupation!
Fight for Jobs & Education! Say ‘No’ to Racism!
Rally and March
Southwest Corridor Park at Ruggles Station
MBTA: Orange Line
The momentum is building for the March 19 anti-war actions. In less than two weeks, demonstrations will take place across the country to mark the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In Boston, we will gather for a rally at Southwest Corridor Park at Ruggles station followed by a march.
Eight years after the U.S. invasion, Iraq remains occupied by tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and foreign mercenaries. The war in Afghanistan rages on. Now, the U.S. government and its allies are setting their eyes on oil-rich Libya as a potential next target.
The wars abroad are directly connected to the war on poor and working people at home. Thirty million people in the U.S. remain unemployed or severely underemployed. Unions in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere are fighting to survive. Yet the government will spend $1 trillion for war, occupation and weapons in 2011 alone.
Our communities in Boston, too, are under attack. Mayor Menino’s hand-picked School Committee has moved to close seventeen schools and are pushing additional cutbacks. Police brutality and racial profiling continue to plague Black and Latino neighborhoods, yet 7 out of the 10 highest paid city employees are Boston police officers. More than $30 million were spent to build a state-of-the-art police station in Roxbury.
Gov. Patrick is trying to bring the anti-immigrant law enforcement program “Secure Communities” program to Massachusetts, and gentrification continues to push working families out of communities like Jamaica Plain.
It doesn’t have to be this way! From Egypt and Tunisia to Wisconsin and Ohio, people are fighting back. Now more than ever it is clear that our movement must stay in the streets. Join us on March 19th for a rally andmarch to say “From Boston to Baghdad: End the Occupation! Fight for Jobs and Education! Say ‘No’ to Racism!”
Help us cover the costs of building the March 19 demonstration by making an urgently needed donation.