Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Arizona's Classroom Battleground

Arizona has become a key state in the often-acrimonious discussion over illegal immigration, particularly with respect to the controversial S.B. 1070 immigration law. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to render a verdict next month on the legality of the statute though that decision might do little to change other debates in Arizona related to race and ethnicity.

“Precious Knowledge” is a documentary that focuses on the contentious fight over Mexican American studies programs in Arizona public schools. Last January, for example, Tuscon education officials dropped Mexican-American Studies courses due to supposed promotion of ethnic resentment. As noted in this article from Fox News Latino, however, such actions have allegedly created “a web of censorship and confusion (that) has entangled the city’s public schools”.

The following trailer for “Precious Knowledge” includes portions of interviews with teachers, parents and lawmakers who are for and against the ethnic studies ban:

 The film by Tuscon-based filmmakers Ari Luis Palos and Eren Isabel McGinnis premieres on Thursday May 17 as part of PBS’ “Indepenedent Lens” series. (Check your local lisitings for airings in your area).

Video Source – Vimeo via Dos Vatos

Online Sources – Reuters, Fox News Latino

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