TUSD's Ethnics Studies appeal district's defense 'define dramatically'

Assistant Superintendent Maria Menconi admitted that teachers could teach whatever they wanted as there was no established curriculum. She agreed in her deposition that that was inappropriate.


Testimony then turned to a discussion of Chicano Literature class materials. The state’s attorney read verbatim from a final exam, “All year long we have read stories where the Mexican American were discriminated against, take advantage of, oppressed, etc. We are destined to repeat history if we don’t do something to change it. Reflect on what we have read about this year and in an essay, write about what we can do as a group to change things, what would you do as an individual to change things? Select one of the pieces we have read this year that best reflects that point, the point you are trying to make in your essay.”

Menconi then listened as the state’s attorney read students’ work products. The attorney read these passages, “There are so many people that are racially profiling the Mexican American people,” and “Mexican Americans are the only ones being attacked by the government.” Menconi responded that IF they were being taught that the Mexican American population was the only ones being attacked by the state of Arizona she would be concerned. The way Dr. Menconi parsed this question is both disingenuous and illogical. As a long-term educator and curriculum expert she knows full well the fact that this statement was written by a student is absolute proof that this is what the student learned in the class.

The next reading included, “Why are ethnic programs being attacked by the Board of education? They refuse to teach us about our history but we must learn about the white man’s history.” Menconi responded that IF they were taught that she would be concerned. Again, as a long term educator she knows that this writing by a student is absolute proof that is what the student learned in class.

The state’s attorney read from another student’s work, “I think that as an Arizonan today, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has an impacted my life a lot.” “All the laws that have been occurring here in Arizona such as SB1070 not only makes us wonder what would have happened if the US had never bought the states from Mexico but makes us realize that step by step they want to get rid of Mexicans like they did back then.” Menconi stated that IF they were taught that, it could promote racial resentment. Again, Meconi knows these student responses are proof this is what was learned in the class.


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