A Campaign to Save Our Stories
They say shut it down. We say spread it around!
As a network of Teacher Activist Groups (TAG), we believe that education is essential to the preservation of civil and human rights and is a tool for human liberation. In alignment with these beliefs, TAG is proud to coordinate No History is Illegal, a month of solidarity work in support of Tucson’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program. In January, 2011, state attorney general Tom Horne declared the Tucson Unified School District MAS program illegal. Over the past year, teachers, students and administrators have come together to challenge Horne’s ruling, but on January 10, 2012, the TUSD school board voted 4-1 to cease all MAS classes immediately for fear of losing state aid.
In the month of February we invite you to strike back against this attack on our history by teaching lessons from and about the banned MAS program. On this website you will find a guide that includes sample lesson plans from the MAS curriculum as well as creative ideas and resources for exploring this issue with students. Whatever happens in Arizona, we can keep the ideas and values of MAS alive by teaching about them in our classrooms, our community centers, our houses of worship, our homes.
February 1 is the first day on which TUSD must comply with this law. It is also the first day of African American History Month. And as Dr. King warned us, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” What is happening in Arizona is not only a threat to Mexican American Studies, it is a threat to our right to teach the experiences of all people of color, LGBT people, poor and working people, the undocumented, people with disabilities and all those who are least powerful in this country.
Our history is not illegal. Please join us by pledging to teach MAS.
In Rhode Island, charter schools are growing at an alarming rate. While the media continues comparing the population of "traditional public" schools to charters, anyone in education knows that this is a far cry from the truth! The BD, ESL, Special Needs students are extremely different. They also exit students back into public schools who do not meet their criteria. Also, charters have 100% parental involvement. Not to mention the mandates placed on public school teachers, where focus is taken from the students and placed on a lot of paper work. Because charters receive federal and state funding, they should also be included in these mandates. The lotteries should be open to "ALL" those in public schools, not just "those" whose parents have taken the time to enroll them. If chosen, then the parents should be able to have the choice of charter or traditional public.
The student leaders of South Puget Sound Community College, The Evergreen State College chapter of MEChA, and Evergreen State College students interested in labor issues hosted a Teach-in on the Ethnic Studies ban today in Olympia, WA. The college students planned the event for several months. We had 35 students from 2 different high schools attend. The teach-in featured a showing of "Precious Knowledge" and a follow-up discussion; afterwards, the college students taught lessons from the "No History is Illegal" campaign and offered our high school students the opportunity to host teach-ins of their own with our assistance. One of the high schools plans to start a chapter of MEChA and reinvigorate its Cultural Awareness club with special attention paid to family involvement. The other high school created an action plan to address racially insensitive comments in the hallways. We will continue to spread the word--No History is Illegal!