MAS teachers file a response to the Unitary (deseg) Plan

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.

0 responses to “MAS teachers file a response to the Unitary (deseg) Plan

  1. Another way to look at it is from the perspective of the MAS parents and students. Would these parents describe the positive transformation of their children and passionately plead for the program if their children were being turned into white-hating ideologues who are angry and have lost any ability to think for themselves and become successful, well-rounded adults? (And there are plenty of white parents with kids in MAS who do not see their kids as hating whites.) Is it possible that MAS foments hate and resentment in its students when they describe the program as teaching them to be accepting of all people and living by the words of “In Lak’ech” (You are my other me)? Why is there a disconnect here? Why does this juxtaposition makes no sense?

    Pam, I think you have a very good point about the middle. And I think that pondering what the middle looks like will go a long way to reconciling these two disparate views. These students have gone through a number of years in the program. If they and there parents are engaging in a conspiratorial coverup in order to continue indoctrinating students with hate, it’s a hell of an effort. Horne et al. have done such a good sales job casting MAS as fomenting hate, that some cannot hear the message from the people who have experienced no such thing.

    Reasonable parents embrace the program because of the positive results for their children and families. The reason you see such vehement defense of the program is obvious. Vehement defense is what it takes to preserve, and now try to get back, the kinds of results demonstrated by the Cabrera Report. And even a vehement defense may not be enough. This is what it looks like when people fight against a grave injustice. Instead of casting MAS advocates as on the opposite end of the spectrum, you might see that what MAS does fits in very well in the middle. It is the attacks by the full weight of the Arizona government that causes the push-back.

  2. Fascinating. So on the one side, we have UNIDOS et al and the former MAS teachers submitting statements calling for an iron clad clause sealing the fate of MAS, and on the extreme other side, we have Horne saying no culturally appropriate classes are needed, “Let them learn the white *man’s* history.”

    Seems to me that to strengthen their positions, one of these extremes would be courting moderates in the middle, but so far that hasn’t happened.