by David Safier
The Special Master in charge of putting together the new Unitary (desegregation) Plan for TUSD has requested oral and written comments on the current version of the plan before it's finalized. A group of students wrote a long, detailed document, Declaration of Intellectual Warriors. Now the former MAS teachers have added their thoughts as well. David Morales posted the document on Three Sonorans.
It's another long, detailed document. Boiling it down, the teachers want more teeth in the Unitary Plan so it can't be watered down. For instance, they object to the term "culturally relevant courses" because it has no specific legal meaning and can be satisfied by "safe" courses that don't offend anyone but aren't of much value to students. The letter says, if you think the Mexican Studies program should be reinstated, say so. It also asks for more specifics about changes to ELL classes.
The document contains some interesting legal analysis of what might happen when the plan is implemented, especially regarding how the State Superintendent of Education might react to the federally imposed guidelines.
UPDATE: Tom Horne has submitted comments as well, which can also be found on the Three Sonorans blog. Full disclosure: I only skimmed Horne's document. My takeaway: Horne says we don't need any "culturally relevant" core classes as the plan stipulates. Arizona schools bend over backwards to give multicultural perspectives in their coursework.