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American Educational Research Association Responds to
Suspension of Mexican American Studies in Tucson
WASHINGTON, February 23, 2012—The Council of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) unanimously issued two resolutions at its February meeting in response to the suspension of the Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District No. 1 (TUSD). The resolutions addressed specifically the suspension of such courses and urged also the repeal of Arizona HB2281, which amended the Arizona Revised Statutes Relating to School Curriculum and led to the questioning of such courses.
The action to suspend courses and teaching activities related to Mexican American Studies was taken in January by the Governing Board of the Tucson Unified School District No. 1 when faced with a decision by the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction to withhold 10 percent of the School District’s monthly funds for violating HB2281.
In issuing these resolutions, the AERA Council noted extensive scientific research demonstrating the benefit of diverse educational experiences for minority and majority students.
The resolution addressed to the Governing Board of the Tucson Unified School District No. 1 specifies that nothing about the Arizona statute should preclude the TUSD Board or any other Arizona school board from offering an ethnic studies course with a Mexican immigrant and Mexican American focus. The resolution strongly urges the Governing Board of the Tucson Unified School District No. 1 to design and offer a Mexican American studies course that meets the important educational goals of the course it previously offered. The resolution further offers that AERA, if requested, could recommend scientific experts to provide advice on course design or evaluation.
In a parallel resolution addressed to the Arizona State Legislature, the AERA Council emphasizes the substantial body of research that reveals that such courses improve critical thinking and reduce stereotyping and bias among students. Characterizing the legislation as educationally indefensible, AERA urges the Arizona State Legislature to repeal HB2281.
In taking these actions, the AERA Council reaffirms taking into consideration the substantial body of scientific research that documents the benefits to minority and majority students of educational programming and exposure built on diverse materials and perspectives. The Council urges serving the public interest through fostering rather than retreating from such curriculum.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the national interdisciplinary research association for approximately 25,000 scholars who undertake research in education. Founded in 1916, AERA aims to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.
To reach AERA Communications and Outreach, call Lucy Cunningham at (202) 238-3234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Educational Research Association
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FAX: (202) 238-3250