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ERIC Number: EJ932772
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
"Greco-Roman Knowledge Only" in Arizona Schools: Indigenous Wisdom Outlawed Once Again
Rodriguez, Roberto Cintli
Rethinking Schools, v24 n4 p49-51 Sum 2010
Students at Tucson High School in Arizona, part of Tucson Unified School District's highly successful Mexican American Studies (MAS) K-12 program, the largest in the nation, are taught Indigenous concepts, including Panche Be (seek the root of the truth), and the Aztec and Maya calendars. The author speaks to the students about the relationship among In Lak Ech, Panche Be, and Hunab Ku. Hunab Ku is a beautiful Maya philosophy and human rights ethos based on maize. It affirms, contrary to what is taught in most schools, that the ancient peoples of this continent were not savage, that they clearly understood how the universe functions and what it means to be a human being. Not coincidentally, MAS students, many of whom were doing poorly in school prior to entering this program, consistently outperform their peers academically. The program claims a high rate of college-bound graduates. However, Arizona's State Superintendent of Schools Tom Horne has declared, via the passage of HB 2281, that Indigenous peoples and Indigenous knowledge are (still) not part of Western civilization. Horne engineered the passage of a state law that seeks to ban the teaching of ethnic studies by withdrawing its funding. This is the same state that just passed and signed into law SB 1070, racial profiling legislation that primarily targets those who appear to be Mexicans or Central Americans and are thus suspected of being "illegal aliens." Despite the success of the MAS program, Horne has long expressed the view that the only facts and ideas that should be taught in Arizona schools are those that originated in "Western or Greco-Roman" civilization. Although his bill affects the whole state, his actual target has long been Tucson's program. By targeting Mexican American studies, Horne also sets himself up as the chief arbiter of what is and is not Indigenous knowledge.
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Colorado; Mexico