Why Minnesota schools need an Ethnic Studies Curricula

This summer, a federal Judge struck down Arizona state law HB 2281 which had banned ethnic studies programs. Judge Tashima ruled that the law violated student’s U.S. Constitutional rights both under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and 1st Amendment rights to “receive information and ideas.” The judge determined the law was inherently racist in its enactment and enforcement and was “motivated by racial animus.”

The law was in response to the Tucson public school’s implementation of a Mexican-American studies program that independent audits found were successful in advancing the academic outcomes of Latino and other students and thereby helping to close racial disparities educational gaps. The law had even led to the censure and seizure of books by Mexican American and Native authors from classrooms.

MnEEP has advanced the call for a fuller development and implementation of Ethnic Studies in Minnesota as a way to address out state’s abysmal educational opportunity gaps (often wrongly referred to as the “achievement gap”) that produces some of the nation’s widest disparities in academic outcomes disaggregated by race. MnEEP has hosted national scholars and advocates to share their knowledge of why and how ethnic studies are critical to Minnesota’s efforts to provide equitable and quality learning opportunities for students of color and American Indian students.

With the legal milestone of the Arizona decision affirming ethnic studies – and with Oregon and California mandating curriculum – MnEEP is issuing a second edition of our policy brief “The Need for Ethnic Studies Curricula in MN Schools” as part of our effort to contribute to a movement for state and local action that can empower our students for success.

Download the full brief now and learn how we can work to address our state’s educational opportunity gaps. Ethnic Studies_AUGUSTe2.2017


Posted in Ethnic Studies, Our Voices, Race Equity

Jennifer Godinez View posts by Jennifer Godinez

Jennifer works in partnership with Minnesota communities to build Race Equity Plans and advance policies and practices that promote culturally responsive classrooms and encourage student success.
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