Cesar Chavez, Get out of my state!!!!!

Donnie Dicus Current Affairs, Education Policy, Social Issues

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 For those of you who haven't heard, there was big news in Tucson this week! A local school district was accused of teaching a class that promotes the overthrow of the U.S. government. (Seriously.)

A new law, HB 2281, went into effect last week.  The law, which went into effect Friday, prohibits courses that:

• Promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.

• Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.

• Are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group.

• Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of students as individuals.

 http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/article_287a29c1-50f8-5a9c-a5be-239ca4eca192.html 

http://www.truth-out.org/arizona-bans-ethnic-studies-and-along-with-it-reason-and-justice66340

 Last year, SB 1070 (the infamous immigration bill) was passed and tens of thousands of people fled Arizona.  My school lost about 70 students and several teacher positions were eliminated.  I wonder how many people will flee Arizona now.  "My child can't learn about our history and our culture! Why?! We pay taxes too! Well I'm out of here!"

Who is going to dictate to us educators what we can and cannot teach? Doesn't American History promote Americans as better than everyone else?  Will we have to stop teaching that? Will we ignore Martin Luther King Jr. because he makes white people look bad? Texas has tried to drop Thomas Jefferson from their curriculum. ( http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/12/texas-removes-thomas-jefferson-from-teaching-standard/ ) Who will Arizona try and "White-Out" of history? Will our new superintendant supply us with a curriculum that is fair to all ethnic groups? That will just fail like every other attempt to make a set of national history standards.  (Diane Ravitch was instrumental in one attempt at this.)  However, it has always been stopped because someone cried and felt that "their" interpretation of history was not represented in the matter.  History is full of differing points of view and that is the joy of it.  It can cause us to look at the matter from another perspective.  Isn't that what we want our students to be able to do?  To form an opinion based on several different perspectives?

We will see what happens over the next few weeks.  The Tucson district feels that they have violated no laws.  If you read about me being arrested in the papers, I swear, I was not trying to overthrow the U.S. government.  I was just reading a story about Cesar Chavez so my 16 Hispanic 2nd graders would learn about a popular civil rights activist.  Will you come and please bail me out? 

 

 

 

Donnie Dicus

Tucson, Arizona

My name is Donnie Dicus and I have been teaching in Arizona for 12 years. I came to Arizona from Southern Illinois to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson. I graduated in 2003 and began teaching second grade. I taught second grade in Tucson for 8 years before moving to Phoenix. I now teach third grade. I achieved National Board Certification in 2012 and I received my Master's Degree from Grand Canyon University in 2015. I achieved a National Board Certificate in Middle Childhood Generalist in 2012. I’ve been teaching mainstream and SEI 3rd grade classrooms in the Cartwright School District in Phoenix since 2013. I taught 2nd grade and was a math interventionist in Tucson in the Amphitheater School District. I’ve been a technology coach and have helped teachers apply technology to improve instruction. I facilitate coaching cohorts for teachers going through the National Board process and organize peer groups at my site to pair new teachers with experienced teachers. In 2010 I was nominated as a Rodel Semi-Finalist for Exemplary teaching in 2010 and featured as a Teacher Leader in February 2016 by the Arizona K12 Center. I have class pictures of every single student I have taught behind my desk on my wall. After 12 years, that is approximately 350 students. My students know that this is my Wall of Accomplishments. I am so proud of the difference I made in their lives. I became a teacher to make a difference and I strive to do so every day.

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