by David Safier
I would be wise to wait for more detailed information, but I'll go with what I have from the story in this morning's Star. It sounds like the TUSD Unitary Plan that was presented earlier has been adopted by the judge in charge, U.S. District Judge David Bury. That includes creating core classes that must be "culturally relevant courses of instruction designed to reflect the history, experiences and culture of African American and Latino communities." The key phrase here is "core classes," meaning that the courses would fulfill graduation requirements in history and literature as opposed to being elective courses. That phrase wasn't used in the Star article. So until I see the final version of the adopted plan or someone confirms the phrase "core classes" is still there, I can't be certain I've got this right.
Here's the money quote in the Star article:
[Bury] cited studies showing "strengthening pride in one's race and ethnicity, particularly for disadvantaged groups, is related to positive intergroup attitudes as well as to academic achievement."
Ethnic pride is a good thing? Who knew? Certainly not Horne and Huppenthal. Wait, let me rephrase that. They think there's nothing wrong with ethnic pride so long as the ethnicity is Anglo. That's the kind of ethnic pride that's taught to children of all ethnicities during most of their school careers — even if it means sugar-coating some of the seamier moments in Anglo-centric history.
Expect fights on a number of fronts. The first fight will be over the answer to the question, How will the newly reconstituted Board respond to the adopted plan? Will it create courses similar to the Mexican American Studies courses TUSD got rid of using the teachers who worked in the dismantled program, or will it take a different direction? The second is, how will Huppenthal, Horne and Republican legislators react to whatever TUSD creates? Expect things to heat up shortly. Potential 2012 candidates for office, start your engines.