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SwordoftheMorning

"Ethnic studies" banned in AZ

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Peterbound,

You do realize the U.S. was founded by a group of people rebeling against and withdrawing consent from the "legal" government in their territories? As such is it really so shocking that groups of people who have not necessarily benefited from the U.S.'s independence and Manifest Destiny should have a different view of American history and Triumphalism?

If we really believe in freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression we should allow these classes to be taught and these subjects be discussed. Heck, we should encourage these classes to be taught and the subjects be discussed.

No one i saying not to, again, this law is not banning the discussion of said activities and past grievances. And really, we were founded by rebels? Didn't know that, thanks for letting me in on that little piece of history :)

What this law is banning, is the use of those grievances as a platform to promote hate and as a place to discuss the overthrow of the United States government. Mormont asked if there were examples, yes, when i was in high school it was well know that one of the Ethnic Studies teachers would openly discuss the movement for rebellion and the hispanic students responsibility to rise up against the oppressive US government, and hell, that was in the 90's, i could only imagine how much worse it is now. Ethnic Studies was a required class in High School and most of the counselors worked very hard to keep the classes separated along racial lines.

This was always over looked and allowed due to the rampant PCing of our public education system. This teacher was allowed to basically teach and say whatever he wanted. No one ever called him out on it for fear of being called a racist.

As for the UKers and The Irish discussing this, i think that's great, but by comparing it to homosexual legislation in the past is misguided and i think they are failing to see the problems that people are having down here. The best comparison i can make is to look at it like the problems that the UK is having with the Islamic community not wanting to assimilate in their new home country (from what i remember when i lived in Cambridge this was a big deal for you cats). You wouldn't want any type of anti government rhetoric taught in private schools (I never understood why it was the other way around over there) in Milton Keynes, Dublin, or Edinburgh would you? I think we can all agree that American public schools should not be the home for extremist teachings. I'm really failing to see the beef that some of you have with this. Standardize the curriculum, don't gloss over the history (trail of tears, slavery, american revolution, western expansion, ect) Just don't drop a statement at the end advocating a revolt agains the united states government.

I know this was posted before, but i think this points out the agendas that some teachers have. It's from LA, but heck that's only a 5 hour drive from Phoenix: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koLX6-XtAnA

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I can see how this could be easily abused.

Gov. Jan Brewer approved the measure without public statement Tuesday, according to state legislative records. The new law forbids elementary or secondary schools to teach classes that are "designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group" and advocate "the overthrow of the United States government" or "resentment toward a race or class of people."

However, I do agree with it in some ways. I wouldn't want schools teaching an aryan supremecy class.

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I presume you mean me as "The Irish"? I'm not; that's just where I live.

If the US was not founded by rebels, then by whom was it? Not the people who were content to be colonists, surely. It also wasn't founded by those who'd been living on the land prior to the arrival of European expansionists, so then what group are you talking about?

As for what this law is about, that is exactly mormont's point. Whatever the language of the law, it is the application thereof that matters. Is support for this being drummed up by talking about the separationists in Vermont and Alaska? Or the various members of the milita movements and any influence they have on painting the Federal government as a "threat to their freedom"?

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Sword,

I agree this is a particularly stupid law to pass. Academic freedom to explore areas that are unexplored is important and shouldn't be denied. I hope this law is overturned quickly.

I don't think the concept of academic freedom should apply to what high school teachers teach in their taxpayer funded classrooms, while receiving taxpayer funded salaries. If they want the academic freedom to do that, then let them teach at a college, or write books and articles on their own time.

When it comes to the content of what is to be taught in public school, the public should decide through its elected representatives.

Otherwise, a high school biology teacher could refuse to teach evolution, go only with strict Creationism, and be completely entitled to do so under the concept of "academic freedom".

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No one i saying not to, again, this law is not banning the discussion of said activities and past grievances.

I understand that this is the fig leaf, yes.

Mormont asked if there were examples, yes, when i was in high school it was well know that one of the Ethnic Studies teachers would openly discuss the movement for rebellion and the hispanic students responsibility to rise up against the oppressive US government, and hell, that was in the 90's, i could only imagine how much worse it is now.

mormont is still waiting for an example. This is anecdotal evidence about what one teacher said, not about the curriculum.

As for the UKers and The Irish discussing this, i think that's great, but by comparing it to homosexual legislation in the past is misguided

Why?

I know this was posted before, but i think this points out the agendas that some teachers have. It's from LA, but heck that's only a 5 hour drive from Phoenix: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=koLX6-XtAnA

Funny looking classroom...

I think you'll find that's a private individual (who does happen to be a teacher, yes) speaking at a rally. Now, you might well argue that an individual with those views shouldn't express them even in his own time if his pupils are present. You might even want that guy sacked. But you can't claim he is teaching a curriculum that this law would prevent, because he's not teaching at all in the video. As I said, provide an example of a school deliberately teaching a curriculum of resentment against white people. If you can't, then this law is almost certainly not really aimed at preventing that. A law against something that isn't actually happening is almost certainly a law that is really about something else, something you could not actually get passed into law.

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What this law is banning, is the use of those grievances as a platform to promote hate and as a place to discuss the overthrow of the United States government.

I've got no problem with that law.

I would support a state mandate that the negative consequences on various ethnic groups of colonization and expansion of the U.S. be mandatory in standard history classes. And I wouldn't object to a "The Ethnic Experience" class that focused on different ethnicities and their experiences in the U.S., including African-Americans, hispanics, Asian-Americans, and the different white ethnicities as well. Few weeks on African-Americans, then hispanics, etc.

I do object to a high school course that focuses only on a single ethnicity, though. I think it would be far too easy for such courses to slip into political advocacy, promotion of ethnic identity or supremacy over national identity or tolerance, etc. Hispanic kids are going to learn plenty about their own culture in their daily lives, from parents, friends, and family, etc. Shouldn't the schools be focusing on exposing kids to cultures other than their own? Put a group of kids of different ethnicities in a class that teaches about all ethnicities, and you might actually accomplish some real learning, and promote tolerance and integration rather than group identification and segregation.

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I'll say it again, in response to the Former Lord of Winterfell. This law is designed to let parents, community members, pretty much anyone with a dislike for an "ethnic studies" course sue the school district to have the course banned. Because of the expense of defending such actions and the limited resources of most public school districts, the real world effect in AZ will be the elimination of any program centered on Black, Brown, Native, or Asian study. It's effectively MORE racist than the immigration law.

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I'll say it again, in response to the Former Lord of Winterfell. This law is designed to let parents, community members, pretty much anyone with a dislike for an "ethnic studies" course sue the school district to have the course banned. Because of the expense of defending such actions and the limited resources of most public school districts, the real world effect in AZ will be the elimination of any program centered on Black, Brown, Native, or Asian study. It's effectively MORE racist than the immigration law.

Sword, the law doesn't ban ethnic studies, and wouldn't even permit a challenge to a course unless that course focuses on a single ethnic group.

So the black kids all take black studies, the brown kids all take hispanic studies, etc., etc., etc. Everybody spends an entire class focusing on their own ethnicity without learning a damn thing about other ethnicities. A perfect recipe for acquiring and promoting ethnic tunnel vision.

Wouldn't it be a hell of a better idea to put all those kids in the same classroom to learn about the experience of each others' ethnic group, in addition to their own? You talk about all of it, but in a group, so we can see the commonalities we all share as well as the differences.

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it would be best if the American school curriculum included ALL that history in the same course, but right wingers fight that tooth and nail. Most ethnic study programs I know about don't exclude White kids, they just have little interest in taking them.

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From a letter to James Madison from Thomas Jefferson:

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

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it would be best if the American school curriculum included ALL that history in the same course, but right wingers fight that tooth and nail.

Well, if Arizona passes a law banning a course that studies multiple ethnicities, I'd be with you. But that's not what this law does.

Most ethnic study programs I know about don't exclude White kids, they just have little interest in taking them.

That's the problem with any ethnic studies course that focuses on only one ethnicity. I'd guess that not a lot of hispanics sign up for Black Studies, and not a lot of blacks sign up for "The Irish Experience."

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Gee, I am genuinely sad to hear that classes like this might not be allowed to be taught in public schools...

Whoever added this to the curriculum in the first place must have been a first-class race baiter. Nice job promoting ethnic superiority and supremely narrow vision among Hispanics, whoever that was.

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That's the problem with any ethnic studies course that focuses on only one ethnicity. I'd guess that not a lot of hispanics sign up for Black Studies, and not a lot of blacks sign up for "The Irish Experience."

While I'm not certain I agree with the idea of ethnic studies in high school (in my experience that's college coursework) I did take Black Politics in college and it was one of my favorite classes and I was not the only non-black student in the class.

However, I'm pretty dubious that ethnic studies courses promote hatred or overthrow of the government in the curriculum.

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While I'm not certain I agree with the idea of ethnic studies in high school (in my experience that's college coursework) I did take Black Politics in college and it was one of my favorite classes and I was not the only non-black student in the class.

College students pay to go to college, and the professors generally aren't public employees. They should be able to teach whatever they want.

However, I'm pretty dubious that ethnic studies courses promote hatred or overthrow of the government in the curriculum.

I'd agree, in general. One difficulty is that the way the curriculum may read doesn't always match how it is taught, and any particular teacher can bring his/her own stamp to the course. So unless you're going to have a camera in each classroom, there's not really a practical way to know exactly what is being taught inside the four walls of a particular classroom. That's obviously true of any subject, but not every subject is equally susceptible to political/social demagoguery, either.

Anyway, I think having a unified ethnic studies course in high school that teaches students of all ethnicities about the experiences of different ethnicities gets around all that. Because the classroom is going to be integrated, it is far less likely that a bombastic proponent of a particular kind of ethnic/racial solidarity, racism, etc., is going to be able to get away with it. And the kids will actually learn about different groups. To the extent some want to delve more deeply into a particular group, they're free to study that in college.

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That's obviously true of any subject, but not every subject is equally susceptible to political/social demagoguery, either.

History and literature are just as susceptible though. U.S. History was required in my high school and of course we learned about all kinds of stuff, including the Trail of Tears, the Spanish-American War, the Mexican-American War, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, etc. Then we had U.S. Government; I had a great teacher who refused to share her political beliefs but I doubt all teachers are created equal in this (and one class assignment was bringing in a news article a week for current events). In general, if someone wants to push something on their students ethnic studies won't make it any easier. My main objection to ethnic studies in high school is

Anyway, I think having a unified ethnic studies course in high school that teaches students of all ethnicities about the experiences of different ethnicities gets around all that. *snip* And the kids will actually learn about different groups. To the extent some want to delve more deeply into a particular group, they're free to study that in college.

This. ;)

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Wouldn't it be a hell of a better idea to put all those kids in the same classroom to learn about the experience of each others' ethnic group, in addition to their own? You talk about all of it, but in a group, so we can see the commonalities we all share as well as the differences.

This presumes that all of the students interested in learning about non-white ethnicities would fit in the same classroom.

And I wouldn't object to a "The Ethnic Experience" class that focused on different ethnicities and their experiences in the U.S., including African-Americans, hispanics, Asian-Americans, and the different white ethnicities as well. Few weeks on African-Americans, then hispanics, etc.

And wow, so you think that the totality of the influence and experiences of each ethnic group can be sufficiently summed up in just a few weeks? Meanwhile we get how many semesters of the default White American history and Social Studies courses?

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This presumes that all of the students interested in learning about non-white ethnicities would fit in the same classroom.

In my experience, most schools have more than one classroom, and more than one teacher. Your experience may differ.

And wow, so you think that the totality of the influence and experiences of each ethnic group can be sufficiently summed up in just a few weeks?

No. High schools don't teach the "totality" of anything. That's what Ph.D.'s are for.

Meanwhile we get how many semesters of the default White American history and Social Studies courses?

Schools shouldn't be teaching "White American History" period. They should teach the major events that shaped the country, regardless of the race of the historical figures involved.

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I don't understand why all of that stuff can't just be part of the regular history curriculum. American history is full of winners and losers, atrocities and victims. If it was all presented from a non-biased point of view, I'm not seeing the problem; especially if students are allowed (even encouraged) to participate in class discussions and complete projects and papers on aspects of history that they feel strongly about one way or the other.

What needs to avoided is having the educator or curriculum bias the discussion one way or the other. This particular aspect of the discussion is what I think this law is trying to address. It's a shame that recent events in Arizona have left little room for giving the benefit of the doubt to lawmakers there on what they think about minorities in their state.

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I don't understand why all of that stuff can't just be part of the regular history curriculum. American World history is full of winners and losers, atrocities and victims.

Fixed.

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FLOW, I think you're being painfully naive. In wonderful theory, you could write a curriculum than equally represents everyone in single course, but its incredibly difficult, and more to the point - do you see it happening? Becuase making the Arizona curriculum more multiculturally integrative is not something anyone is attempting to do - but they are trying to ban 'ethnic studies'. (I have no idea what that is, to be quite honest. No one here would imagine that its in any way natural not to teach jewish and arab kids different curricula, for example. You apparently want to deny even the option of learning something not tailored for everyone, and are really assuming that its not going to default into the majority again.)

College students pay to go to college, and the professors generally aren't public employees.

They are here, and I assume there are publicly funded colleges in Arizona too. Should they stick to what you find inoffensive too.

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