Tucson School District To Force Out Mexican American Studies Director
The Tucson Unified School District is expected not to renew the contract of the director of its Mexican-American Studies program at a meeting next Tuesday. The latest twist came just a day after The Daily Show aired its satirical look at the school board.
The show's Al Madrigal interviewed Michael Hicks, a TUSD governing board member:
"When you sat in in these classes – " Madrigal started, then was interrupted by Hicks.
"I chose not to go to any of their classes. Why even go. Why even go? I base my thoughts on hearsay from others. So I based it off this."
He said the Mexican-American Studies program was not educating but indoctrinating schoolchildren, using burritos to endear the students.
"They would, every week, go out and buy burritos and feed these kids."
Hicks has not responded to interview requests from the Fronteras Desk but he sent out a statement that he didn’t know The Daily Show, which airs on Comedy Central, was satire.
"With all due respect, The Daily Show is a money-making satirical show. It is not a news show. They do not present the complete remarks of their guests. They slice and dice footage to serve their need to entertain.
I went on this show to talk about the Mexican-American Studies (MAS) classes. I was mislead by the "reporter" and was told that they were interested in a real interview. It was nothing of the sort.
It is unfortunate that The Daily Show opted to amuse rather than inform.
And for the record, you can see where they spliced my comments in several areas during this segment. I can assure you that my statements were taken out of context. Many of my answers were altered to suit their agenda.
What I find more troubling is that there are those who will believe that what they saw on The Daily Show is accurate and complete news.
These individuals will then most likely base their judgments on inaccurate information designed specifically to support the view of The Daily Show producers.
Real children were being exploited, and the producers of the The Daily Show chose to ignore that."
Few think his appearance had anything to do with the expected decision not to renew the contract of Mexican-American Studies program director, Sean Arce. But the politics of the fight for ethnic studies in Tucson is far from over.
Arce’s lawyer is Richard Martinez. He calls Arce the sacrificial lamb of TUSD.
"I think that for those who are against MAS, that there’s a certain level of wanting someone held accountable. They want somebody's head. They want somebody fired," Martinez said.
The school board has not said why it will choose not to renew Arce’s contract. But the position of director of Mexican-American Studies will remain open. The school board voted in January to suspend its Mexican-American studies courses after the state of Arizona threatened to cut about 10 percent of its budget if it did not comply.