Oct 24, 2013 8:14 PM by John Patrick
TUCSON - Seven controversial books once used in the TUSD Mexican American Studies program will be back in classrooms once again.
The governing board has voted 3 to 2 to allow the books to be used as supplemental material. The books in question were removed when the MAS curriculum was suspended nearly two years ago after being found illegal according Arizona state legislature.
Teachers from several schools have requested the material to supply additional information in class. Now that the books are allowed back in middle and high school classrooms they can be used for courses such as English, American History and World History.
The district did not notify the Arizona Department of Education on its decision to put the books on the agenda, something TUSD board member Mark Stegeman says it didn't have to. However, Stegeman says not telling the Department of Education may raise some red flags.
"It just sends a bad signal because we're trying to show with these courses that we are presenting different view points and we are trying to do what the court has ordered us to do, so we must do it. We're trying to respect that but we are trying to do it in a different way," explains Stegeman.
The Arizona Department of Education gave News 4 Tucson this statement on the reintroduction of these books:
Given the prior misuse of the approved texts in TUSD classrooms, the Arizona Department of Education is concerned whether the governing board's actions indicate an attempt to return to practices found to have violated Arizona's statutes in 2011.
Department officials say they will monitor how the materials will be used but TUSD superintendent H.T. Sanchez says he is confident the books will be used appropriately.
The books in question:
"Critical Race Theory" by Richard Delgado
"500 years of Chicano History in Pictures" edited by Elizabeth Martinez
"Message to Aztlan" by Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales
"Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement" by Arturo Rosales
"Occupied America: A History of Chicanos" by Rodolfo Acuna
"Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire
"Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years" by Bill Bigelow