« ELL Trends Have Shifted, Believe it Or Not | Main | Author Says U.S. Immigration Levels Have Been Flat Since 2000 »

Debate Over Ethnic Studies in Tucson Heats Up

Update 11:20 p.m.: The school board of Tucson Unified School District voted 4 to 1 to appeal in a state administrative hearing a ruling by the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppental that the district's ethnic-studies program violates state law. See my story published by Education Week today.

Original post: The conclusion of a state audit of the Mexican-American studies program in the Tucson Unified School District contradicts the determination by Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal on whether the program complies with a state law.

Huppenthal announced Monday that Tucson Unified's Mexican-American studies program was out of compliance with the state law banning courses that are designed for a particular ethnic or racial group or promote ethnic solidarity. He gave the school district 60 days to comply or lose 10 percent of its state funding.

But the audit that the Arizona Department of Education commissioned to investigate the program's compliance drew the opposite conclusion, as the author of Blog for Arizona pointed out this week in the comment section of this blog.

Here's what the audit says: "During the curriculum audit period, no observable evidence was present to suggest that any classroom within the Tucson Unified School District is in direct violation of the law."

Huppenthal followed up yesterday with a press release saying that the audit was limited and "the majority of the information collected by the [Arizona Department of Education] was obtained from sources outside of the independent curriculum audit." He said he made his determination on "the totality of the information and facts gathered" during a monthlong investigation.

See coverage on the debate in The Arizona Republic and The Wall Street Journal.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Charles: ELLs in our state ARE required to take State standardized read more
  • Melissa: Maybe I'm just becoming jaded, but this feels to me read more
  • Anonymous: Are you kidding me....UNO is an organizaion that literally destroys read more
  • Meg Baker: Are any schools using ACCESS scores for purposes other than read more
  • Dr. Mendoza: This is great news i must say. Hopefully this DREAM read more