A federal court says the measure, which took aim at programs such as Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American Studies (MAS) program Arizona that state lawmakers said were “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” violates students’ constitutional rights.
The MAS program was a success, U.S. District Court Judge Wallace Tashima noted, writing that “one would expect that officials responsible for public education in Arizona would continue, not terminate, an academically successful program.”
However, the program drew negative attention from Arizona Department of Education officials. Tom Horne, the former superintendent of public instruction, said the program was “‘extremely anti-American” because it promotes “essentially revolution against the American government.”
According to court documents, Horne never attended a class from the program to see what was being taught there and yet recommended the program be canceled. When the Tucson Unified School District didn’t accept his recommendation, Horne “began lobbying for statewide legislation that would ban the program.” His third draft of a bill prohibiting ethnic courses passed the House.
Continue reading: Judge bans Arizona from enforcing “racist” education law