Texas State Board of Education Sabotages Ethnic Studies Textbooks.by Tony Diaz - El Librotraficante www.tonydiaz.net on 07/17/14
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Tony Diaz (713) 867-8943 AztecMuse@aol.com www.MAStexas.org
Texas State Board of Education Sabotages Ethnic Studies Textbooks.
Mexican Americans Stand Up Against Institutionalized Racism.
Houston, TX (July 17, 2014) – It took The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) only 3 months to turn proclamation 2016 into 2017 and take Texas back to 1917.
Last April, the TX SBOE passed historic bi-partisan Proclamation 2016 which would lead to textbooks for Mexican American, African American, Asian American, and Native American Studies. Activists, professionals, students, writers, artists, and politicians supported the effort. This was landmark support for the governmental body that would not acknowledge even in writing “Mexican American Studies.”
Yesterday, the TX SBOE took it all back. The TX SBOE voted 12-1 to alter the language of Proclamation of 2016 to close the door to alternative courses such as Women Studies, and it also changed the year of the proclamation to further put off serving its predominantly Mexican American and African American student body.
In April, the 2 Republicans who opposed Proclamation 2016 called Mexican American Studies reverse racism and threatened to pull a “Cesar Chavez” during public testimony and “boycott” the proceedings. (If they had studied Mexican American History, they would realize their gesture amounted to simply playing “hookey” from work.)
This time Republican dissent against Ethnic Studies Textbook was not as direct. The Republican who proposed the amendments to sabotage Proclamation 2016 focused on rigged budget figures, implying that the policy would gut school districts of funding.
This was a more sophisticated approach to sabotage support of Ethnic Studies and make Texas State Board of Education policy conform to the Texas Republican 2014 Platform which, under the section marked “EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN,” advocates the “assimilation of different racial and ethnic groups.”
Tony Diaz, leader of the Librotraficante Movement and part of the MAS Texas statewide coalition, was on hand at the hearings Tuesday with fellow Librotraficante Georgina Perez, from El Paso. He said, “We now have a clear picture that the Texas State Board of Education has no desire to truly support Ethnic Studies. Hispanics comprise over 51% of all Texas Students. Mexican American Studies has led to a 98% graduation rate, according to the Cambium Report from Arizona. Our youth are being pushed out of school. Culturally relevant material keeps our youth in school and inspires them to graduate. We can’t put that off another year or another second.”
Texas Republicans are adapting more sophisticated Arizona Republican Style Tactics and Democrats are either in cahoots or gullible. All but one of the Democrats present (Representative Allen was not in attendance for the vote.) voted to push back the clock on Ethnic Studies. The lone dissenting vote was Democrat Ruben Cortez, who has been a strong proponent for Ethnic Studies.
The Final vote is Friday; however, the preliminary vote is typically indicative of the final vote. There will be more time for testimony Friday, July 18, at the Texas Education Agency Building in Austin, Texas.
Diaz added, “We will continue to work hard to bring the power of education into our community. Our statewide coalition links members of the community to award winning authors and professors and because of that MAS is quickly spreading. We will soon reach 50 schools in state pilot programs. This will increase graduation rates, more of our youth will go to college. We won’t go backwards. Friday, we will see which Texas State Board of Education members will walk with us into a mutli-cultural, multi-media era."