TUSD textbooks draw concern from state - Tucson News Now

TUSD textbooks draw concern from state

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Some middle and high school Chicano history textbooks are once again drawing concern from the Arizona Department of Education.

This week, the Tucson Unified School District Board approved culturally relevant books removed from classrooms last year. The issue has resurfaced because some teachers want to use the books in their english and history classes.

In a statement provided to Tucson News Now, the Arizona Department of education says, "Given the prior misuse of the approved texts in TUSD classrooms, the Arizona Department of Education is concerned whether the governing board's actions indicate an attempt to return to practices found to have violated Arizona's statutes in 2011.  It is the Department's intent to monitor how such materials are used as well as all classroom instruction and to take appropriate corrective action if the district is once again violating the law."

TUSD Board President, Adelita Grijalva, says the district has done nothing wrong, "teachers requested supplementary material, they were approved,  by an assistant superintendent and a superintendent, and brought forward to the board. There isn't anything more complicated than that."

The Arizona Department of Education says TUSD should have let them know that the books once taken out of classrooms were being put back in.

Despite the approval this week, not everyone is happy about the textbooks. Some say the Chicano history textbooks are anti-American and promote resentment towards a certain race.

Grijalva stands by her vote, "They're not anti-American...we want to encourage critical thinkers. The state didn't have any other issue with the other books that we passed most recently, so I just think it's a stigma that these books unfortunately have."

Here is a list of the books in question:

"500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures" editd by Elizabeth Martinez

"Occupied America: A History of Chicanos" by Rodolfo Acuna

"Message to Aztlán" by Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales

"Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement" by Arturo Rosales

"Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years" by Bill Bigelow

"Critical Race Theory" by Richard Delgado

"Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire

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