HOUSTON, TX (October 21, 2013) – The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is set to approve course requirements for the Foundation Graduation plan as well as what can be included for Arts and Humanities for Texas schools 9th–12th grade. This will shape Advanced Courses as well as Dual Credit Programs, in which high school students take college courses that count towards graduation.
Mexican American History and Mexican American Literature are not on the menu of courses for endorsement. This is a glaring and offensive omission that must be corrected at once.
Latino students are a majority population at high schools across Texas. There are entire pipelines from high schools to community colleges throughout the state. Some seniors are graduating with a diploma AND an Associate’s Degree from a junior college; however, MAS History or Literature is not offered in these programs. Our young must have access to their history and literature through MAS. They will also benefit from the Critical Thinking skills fostered by these classes.
According to current policies and laws, Mexican American History and Mexican American Literature among other Mexican American Studies (MAS) courses ARE eligible for SBOE endorsement. MAS is established as a field of study in Texas. Implementing culturally and historically relevant texts is already written into Texas standards via the TEKS-Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, leader of the Librotraficante Movement, said, “It’s alarming to see that Mexican American History, African American History, and Women’s Studies are not directly listed as courses for endorsement by the SBOE. On the other hand, British Literature is listed.”
Diaz added, “We hope this is not an attempt to shut down minority history. The Librotraficante Movement is giving the SBOE, and other elected officials the chance to remedy this oversight. They must add MAS History and Literature to the menu of classes for SBOE endorsement. We will also send them a questionnaire regarding this issue. They must reply within one week.”
“We will provide a report card of which SBOE reps, which candidates for Governor, and which other officials will vote for or against our history.”
You can help 3 ways:
1. Join us to testify in Austin this November.
•Register at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769804082 - Agenda item: HB5. (Nov.20th)
2. Before then, call your SBOE rep and tell him/her not to shut down Mexican American History.
•Who represents me: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
3. Have your school board rep. or local official answer our questionnaire. Every level of public official can help prevent any political party from shutting down our history. Send us the results.
In March of 2012 the Librotraficante Caravan smuggled the books banned in Tucson back into Arizona. www.Librotraficante.com They opened 4 Librotraficante Under Ground Libraries along the way and have opened several more since. Last year they organized the first Librotraficante 50 for Freedom of Speech. They have also stopped Anti-ethnic Studies legislation in Texas. www.StopTXhb1938.org
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante