Jun 19, 2011

Nothing in life is to be feared.  It is only to be understood.  ~Marie Curie

 Maybe it's me, but it seems like people get real excited about some stupid stuff.

Our local school district, Hooterville Unified (HUSD), was in need of desegregation some years back.  Like most places, white kids attended white schools and other-than-white kids attended other-than-white schools.

This wasn't the official policy or anything, but housing patterns, the vestiges of long-ended official segregation and poverty made it so.  Add to that the natural inclination of parents to send their kids to schools with other kids who look like them (gasp!).

Anyway, HUSD, with help from the United States government, came up with a plan to fix the problem.   HUSD redrew school boundaries to rebalance  school populations  and set up magnet schools to entice people to voluntarily bus their kids.  

Lo, after all these years, white flight from the district, along with falling birthrates in the white population and the influx of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, have conspired to throw a wrench into the deseg effort. 

As of last Friday, the district was 61% Hispanic, 25% white, 6% African-American and 3% each, Native American and Asian-American.  We still have segregated schools, just more of them are predominately Hispanic. 

HUSD's problem is now less about ethnicity and more about how to educate children whose families are poorer and more transient than in the past. 

Sometime back HUSD started a Mexican-American studies program in the high schools. The idea is to make school more relevant to the majority student population.  

But, you would think they are teaching witchcraft or the overthrow of the government, based on the reaction of the still-majority white,  taxpaying public.

The State of Arizona recently declared this program illegal, after having crafted a law specifically designed to make it illegal.  The State is threatening to withhold money unless HUSD ceases and desists, asap.

My thinking is that if this program makes some kids want to attend school and to succeed, I'm in.  Lord knows HUSD has its full quota of kids who want neither. 

Either way, as my friend Woody and his voice, Randy Newman sang,

Not a bad way to live.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Barbara said...

It seems like most things in education go in cycles. This is just one more example.

Kurt said...

I attended predominantly Hispanic schools as a kid, and Hispanic culture was part of the curriculum, and unfortunately, it was just as boring as everything else in school.

The Bug said...

LOL at Kurt - it's true that trying to get high school kids to be interested in learning is a difficult thing. But seriously - why do we oppose things that might make us able to live more easily with each other? Because we like drama & fear change I guess.