Mexican-American course in Texas matter of debate
Texas State Board of Education members are debating whether or not a Mexican-American elective social studies course has a place on the state’s official curriculum list. Over 50 organizations have urged the Board to include such a course in the elective list for high school students, that also includes classes like floral design and Web gaming.
Board Republicans are hesitant to approve such a move, saying that individual school districts already have the authority to teach such classes if they want. Some have even gone so far as to say that the move will inject “leftist ideals” into classrooms. Opponents also say that adding the course to the official state elective list could end up costing the state “millions,” according to Lady Theresa Thombs, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the Board.
In Texas, people of Hispanic descent make up 51 percent of the population. More than 30 people testified in favor of the course addition at a Board meeting on Tuesday, including Tony Diaz, a member of MAS Texas and director of intercultural initiatives at Lone Star College in Harris County. Diaz pointed out that the Board adding the class is about more than giving permission to school districts to teach the class — but is also about leading the way when it comes to saying that Mexican-American heritage is something worth putting on the official curriculum.
The Board was scheduled to vote on the measure on Wednesday, but managed to avoid the vote, so the answer as to whether or not it will end up on the official elective list remains in the air.
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It all comes to the money! They’ll put WEB GAMING on the official curriculum list, but deny a history course because it’ll cost more money! When over half the Texas population is hispanic, many with a Mexican heritage, this can very much be considered a crime of the utmost proportions! Why can’t education be more than just the money?
This is a sad commentary on the schools in Texas. Offering a course to students that would help them understand their heritage should be more important than letting them play games in web gaming or learn to design flowers. Mexican-American students have a right to learn, understand and be proud of their heritage and it’s sad that this proposed course is up for such debate.
Come on Texas–do the right thing–add the course to the curriculum! They need to really think of their constituency–>51% are of Mexican American descent and from my understanding the longer generations live away from their culture the less appreciation the next generations have.