They're banning books in Tuscon
After eliminating ethnic studies for Latinos only (the African-American and Pan-Asian programs remain), the Tuscon Unified School District is now banning books, including the book, Rethinking Columbus. There is no greater embarrassment to true American values than the state of Arizona.
It's been reported here already that Missouri is pushing a tough new anit-immigrant bill that would require schools to report the documentation status of its students. But also, from the Curious Ostrich, comes word that in New Mexico, "currently only one of three states in the nation that makes drivers licenses available to undocumented individuals, Governor Susana Martinez is again pushing the legislature to “just sit down and vote” to repeal this right." CO reports that both initiatives are unlikely to make their ways into law, but that the "the rhetoric being used to push them is quite troubling."
Immigration Impact reports on the contribution of undocumented immigrants on a state-by-state basis. Notable: "Legislators in Alabama passed one of the most extreme anti-immigrant laws (HB 56) last year in response to the state’s “immigration problem.” According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Alabama’s undocumented population was 2.5% of total population (or 120,000 people) in 2010—lower than in 22 other states. While Alabama’s undocumented may be smaller than other states, however, their economic contributions are not. Alabama’s undocumented contributed more than $130 million in state and local taxes in 2010."
Lots to think about with this article from the New York Times. Yes, there are probably more bilingual people in the U.S. than census data suggest via languages other than English spoken in the home, but does that change U.S. attitudes toward bilingualism as a matter of language and educational policy? I don't think so.
Interested op-ed from the New York Times. Dowell Myers argues that undocumented migration to the U.S is at all-time lows, the average Mexican birth rate is plunging, and that undocumented immigration is likely to remain a trickle in coming years. He makes a cogent argument that enforcement funds should be diverted to education. Less well-defined is what he means by assimilation in this piece.
Missouri lawmakers are trying to institute policy that would require schools to verify the immigration status of students, Ed Week reports. However, this is a provision, dating back to California's evil Proposition 187, that has consistently been struck down as unconstitutional. "The bill, which has not been scheduled for a hearing, would require reporting on the number of illegal immigrant students and how many of them are enrolled in programs to help them learn English. Cost information would be part of the report."
Ed Week reports that "Democratic Sen. Michael Johnston of Denver is introducing the legislation Wednesday. Five previous attempts have failed but lawmakers have made modifications over the years to make the proposal more appealing to Republicans. This time the bill would give colleges the option to opt-out of giving illegal immigrants in-state tuition." Maybe the sixth time's a charm?
A couple interesting articles on immigration in recent days from the New York Times. First, from Sunday, on the Haitian immigration to Brazil and how the booming Brazilian economy results in a welcoming atmosphere...for now. Second, an article on the cross-national political ties between Mexico and the U.S., particularly in Texas. Shows why those Texan politicians, irrespective of party affiliation, seem to be more cogent on immigration than most others.
From Leigh Patel Stevens: "The documentary features disenfranchised high school seniors who become academic warriors and community leaders in Tucson’s embattled Ethnic Studies classes while state lawmakers attempt to eliminate the program. The film has won many awards and captures in rich detail the investment and subsequent turmoil felt by Latino students in the Ethnic Studies program. Unfortunately, with xenophobic backlash spreading wildly throughout the country, this is not just an Arizona issue but one that we should all be knowledgeable about."
Watch the trailer.
Just brutal, from Ed Week: "Arizona's schools chief ordered that a portion of a Tucson school district's state money be cut off after he issued a decision Friday that the district's ethnic studies program violated state law. The decision by Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal mirrored his findings in June that the district's Mexican-American Studies program violated state law. It also carried out his earlier threat to withhold 10 percent of the district's monthly state aid until it follows the law.""