It’s an issue that's created passionate protests and heated debate. A judge ruled Tuesday that the Tucson Unified School District cannot continue with its Mexican American studies program, saying it violates state law.
Today, the man in charge of education in Arizona weighs in on the decision.
Video from last summer shows passionate students disagreeing with the state superintendent's claim that the Mexican American studies program in Tucson schools violates state law.
Tuesday, a judge agreed, saying the program is a violation of state law. Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal says the Mexican American studies program hinders some students
“In our determination, we found these classes are promoting ethnic resentment and ethnic solidarity in ways that are intolerable in an educational environment,” says Huppenthal.
School administrators say they investigated the program for several months before deciding what to do.
“This entire controversy was a distraction that should have been handled at a local level. The fact it came to state level is a symptom of more dramatic problems in the Tucson School District.”
The Tucson School District is the 2nd largest district in the state. They have 28 schools serving low income Hispanic Americans, according to Huppenthal.
Huppenthal says Tucson students' academic scoring is well below state average.
“We think that we have a school district that is dysfunctional on a lot of levels.”
Tucson Unified School District officials plan to hold a closed-door session next Tuesday to discuss the ruling that district's ethnic studies program violates state law.
The district said in a statement Wednesday that they are reviewing the ruling.