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Volume 8, Number 1 (2013) Who Defines the Public in Public Education?

EDITOR’S PREVIEW

Continuing Our Coverage of the Controversy Over the Banning of Mexican-American Studies in Tucson, Arizona

In the Volume 6, Number 1 issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy, we published an article by the Director of Student Equity at the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona. In his article, “The Hypocrisy of Racism: Arizona's Movement towards State-Sanctioned Apartheid,” Director Augustine Romero provided an historical account of the state legislation (HB 2281) that banned Mexican American Studies. We continue that timely conversation with an account of events by teacher, Curtis Acosta, and a video excerpt from the documentary, Precious Knowledge. Following the video, we provide readers with a printed interview with the director of the film, Ari Palos.

VIDEO – Interview with Curtis Acosta on October 17, 2013 at Western Washington University

VIDEO – Forum Featuring Curtis Acosta on October 17, 2013 at Western Washington University


VIDEO – Excerpts From the Film, Precious Knowledge


Shown with permission of the film director, Ari Palos

INTERVIEW

See below for an interview with Ari Palos, Film Director of Precious Knowledge
Celina Meza
Editorial Staff
Journal of Educational Controversy

To follow updates on events described in these articles, see our news clips on "Arizona's Ban on Ethnic Studies" from the Blog of the Journal of Educational Controversy.

Read an interview on our blog with Curtis Acosta and JEC editorial assistant Nathaniel Barr.

Editorial

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Who Defines the Public in Public Education
Lorraine Kasprisin
Vol. 8, Iss. 1

Articles in Response to Controversy

Special Section

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Dangerous Minds In Tucson: The Banning of Mexican American Studies and Critical Thinking In Arizona
Curtis Acosta
Vol. 8, Iss. 1


Theme: IN THE NEWS: CONTINUING OUR COVERAGE OF THE CONTROVERSY OVER THE BANNING OF MEXICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES IN TUCSON, ARIZONA

Interview

Book Reviews

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Can Education Change Society? by Michael Apple
Kathryn Ross Wayne
Vol. 8, Iss. 1

About the Authors

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About the Authors

Vol. 8, Iss. 1

CONTROVERSY ADDRESSED IN THIS ISSUE:
Our journal published an article recently on the banning of the Mexican-American curriculum in Arizona’s Tucson Unified School District. The incident raises many larger questions about what knowledge is of most worth, whose perspective gains ascendency in the curriculum, and what public is represented in the public schools. Controversies have emerged not only over what should be included in specific areas like the literary canon, historical interpretations, science curriculum, etc., but also in the larger arena of ideological frameworks over what it means to be human, what it means to be an educated person, and what social values should frame a public education in a society that embeds a fundamental tension between its capitalist economic system and its democratic egalitarian ideals. Even the tension between the secular and the religious continues to defy easy answers in a society that values separation between church and state. As Warren Nord says about the typical study of economics, it assumes that “economics is a science, people are essentially self-interested utility-maximizers, the economic realm is one of competition for scarce resources, values are personal preferences and value judgments are matters of cost-benefit analysis.” (Warren A. Nord, “The Relevance of Religion to the Curriculum,” The School Administrator, January 1999.) In effect, the so-called secular study of economics makes a number of assumptions about human nature, society, and values. What are left out of this study of the economic domain of life is the theologian’s questions of social justice, stewardship, poverty and wealth, human dignity and the meaningfulness of work. To what degree do students understand or are even aware of these hidden assumptions in their study of economics and other subjects? To what degree should other perspectives be included? We invite authors to shed some light on these questions.