Native Village
Youth and Education news
 Volume 2, February 2011
GOP Attacks on Diversity Education, State By State
Read the entire article: http://www.care2.com/
Condensed by Native Village

Republicans now control 20 state legislatures. The Tea Party and the GOP have wasted no time in narrowing school curriculum and attacking diversity in education. To many, these attacks undermine the freedoms and rights earned through the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Here are some examples of what's going on:

Tennessee:

Tea Party activists have presented a list of demands to state representatives. One involves teaching the "truth" about the state's history. "Truth" is defined as: "No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership."

Hal Rounds, the groupís spokesman, said they want to address "an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another."

Many argue this would eliminate Native and African American contributions because one must prove it "actually occurred."  Instead, schools would teach a selective history of the Founding Fathers. For example, Thomas Jefferson wrote the famous words, "All men are created equal.  Yet the fact that he owned slaves could be struck from Tennessee classrooms.

Many claim such teachings are dishonest to the truths of how America's history unfolded. It also disrespects research by generations of scholars who established what we know.



 

 

 

 

Arizona

Arizona is 31% Mexican American and Native American, yet the state has banned ethnic studies. This has pit teachers who value multicultural education and academic freedom against a school board that won't defend them. Many teachers are willing to go to court to defend the freedom to teach accurate history.
 

North Carolina

North Carolina is 22% African American. Recently, right-wing activists in Wake County dissolved an integration program that had become a model for the nation. The program had created thriving schools in the poorest African-American areas of the school district. It also achieved diversity in schools located within wealthy white areas. The Tea Party efforts were funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch who worked with the party to change Wake Countyís school board.


Minnesota

The GOP has introduced a bill making English the official, and only, state language.  Translations would no longer be offered for non-English speakers.

"No law, ordinance, order, program, or policy of this state or any of its political subdivisions, shall require the use of any language other than English for any documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings, meetings, programs, or publications, except as provided in subdivision 3."  This includes motor vehicle paperwork, voter registration information, and legal paperwork. The bill would limit access and stigmatize people despite their legal right to use services and participate in democracy.

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