A lot has happened since Three Sonorans first began in the summer of 2010. Racial tensions were heating up with the recent passage of SB1070, the Papers Please law, and with HB2281, the law banning Ethnic Studies.
More than seven years later, we are glad to report that we have been there throughout the entire MAS trial and the federal court case is officially over as of yesterday, 12/27/2017.
Tashima said the ban was “not for a legitimate educational purpose, but for an invidious discriminatory racial purpose and a politically partisan purpose.”
Tashima also said the state could not keep funding from schools for not obeying the ban. The state’s threat to withhold more than $14 million led Tucson to drop its Mexican American studies program in 2012.
The judge added that the state cannot lead “any inspections or audits of any program, curriculum or course” to check whether a school district is following the 2010 law.
A former teacher in the Tucson program, Curtis Acosta, celebrated on Twitter. “This! Happy New Year, mi gente!” he wrote.
Richard Martinez, an attorney who represented the teachers and students in the lawsuit, said “the judge gave us precisely what we asked for.”
The Tucson district has not said whether it will revive the curriculum, which helped spur similar educational programs in schools around the country.
Via LA Times.
In the past seven years, many of the most vehement anti-MAS Republicans have fallen by the wayside. Radio hosts Jon Justice, Joe Higgins and JT Harris are no longer on the air. Huppenthal and Horne only lasted one-term in their last elected position, losing as incumbents.
However, as the LA Times article states above, it is not clear whether TUSD will revive the program. Right now they have a new program known as Culturally Relevant classes, but there is no evidence that it is as successful as the MAS program. A thorough in-depth analysis known as the “Cabrera Report” found that MAS students did indeed score higher on standardized tests, and insiders say that if a similar analysis were to be done today on the CRC classes then it would not have nearly the success as MAS did.
So what’s next?
Now the district can no longer blame the state. The full responsibility for lack of MAS classes now falls on TUSD.
As is usually the case with civil rights, it is through the federal courts that change has to be instituted. TUSD is still under an over 40-year old Desegregation Order and a Special Master has been appointed to oversee the implementation of Unitary Status Plan. The Culturally Relevant Courses were created through the USP, and a previous Deseg Order is what protected and demanded the expansion of MAS courses.
It would be ideal if this school board tried to bring back MAS on its own. Perhaps Superintendent Trujillo could get Rachael Sedgwick to join with Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster in reviving MAS, but it is not certain that either Grijalva or Foster would want MAS to return now.
Thus it may only be through the Special Master and the Plaintiffs working through Federal Judge Bury to bring the innocent program out of death row and let it live again.
As an aside, the author of HB2281, a vendido by the name of Steve Montenegro, is now running for Congress.
His bill has been found to have been racist from day one, even before it was passed in its incarnation as previous bills that failed.
Arizona now has to pay the attorney fees which amounts to around $4 million, and that does not include all the fees it paid internally to defend this racist statute.
Racism and xenophobia are costing this state hundreds of millions, if not billions. From all the court battles over SB1070, HB2281, and all the wrongdoings done under Arpaio, to the lost business from people fleeing, leading to stagnation, and just an overall bad taste that companies have when they think of Arizona; a place that attacks education but builds more private prisons and hires posses to hunt Mexicans as if we were still in the Old West.
The TEA Party did indeed take back Arizona, but it took it back to the 50s. Now it is time to move forward and to embrace education and the truth about history, to embrace the increasing diversity and the re-browning of Arizona.