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The ethnic studies program in Tuscan Unified School District (TUSD) emerged in the 1990’s as a grassroots effort to reverse the disturbingly low trends in Latino academics. Nationally, the dropout rate for Latinos is consistently about 56%, and only 24% of Latino students continue onto college. As a solution to the low achievement, teachers in the TUSD designed ethnic studies classes to be culturally relevant so that students can see themselves and a purpose in the curriculum. The program has been successful; Latinos in the program drop out at a rate of 2.5%, much lower than the national average. In addition, students in the program outperform their peers in state standardized tests (Save Ethnic Studies, 2011).

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