My pejorative headline notwithstanding, the recent ridiculousness of the now passed Arizona immigration monstrosity is trying to be outdone by a soon to be signed measure aimed at banning ethnic studies programs.

From Foxnews (I know, right):

the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

The bill, which passed 32-26 in the state House, had been approved by the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.

The new bill would make it illegal for a school district to teach any courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

The full bill is a quick read on the Arizona legislative website. While it can be argued that lawmakers are attempting to ride the xenophobic wave by carefully wording their bill, the real question is why.

Why does this even need to be put into law?

Nevermind the the hypocrisy of a Blue state over-regulating courses taught in schools, but they’re doing it in the shadow of fellow party members waxing poetic about the needs of smaller government. Even more, the gall to denounce ethnic studies is merely code language for minority children needing to assimilate into majority culture.

I mean, these two clauses in the bill sum this up perfectly.

Clause 1:

Prohibits a school district or charter school from including in its program of instruction any courses or classes that:
– Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

Clause 2:

States that this act cannot be construed to restrict or prohibit:
– Courses or classes that include the history of any ethnic group and that are open to all students, unless the course or class violates this act.

So, basically you can teach your history as long as no one starts getting proud about it.


[Updated at 12:58pm]

I apologize to the readers of my informal approach to these subjects, but DUDE, WTF.

The WSJ is reporting that the Arizona Department of Education is also pressuring principals to remove teachers who speak English with an accent to students who are learning English.

Arizona’s enforcement of fluency standards is based on an interpretation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. That law states that for a school to receive federal funds, students learning English must be instructed by teachers fluent in the language. Defining fluency is left to each state, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education said.

“The teacher obviously must be fluent in every aspect of the English language,” said Adela Santa Cruz, director of the Arizona education-department office charged with enforcing standards in classes for students with limited English.

You’ll notice that no one is providing ANY type of empirical evidence supporting the utter ignorance that believes accents or pronunciation has anything to do with learning ability.

But this is even worse:

That poses a dilemma for Ms. Agneessens, the principal. In kindergarten, three of four classes are for English-language learners. Two of those three classes are taught by immigrants whose English didn’t pass muster.

Ms. Agneessens said she was trying to find a way to retain those two teachers by shifting them into classrooms not designated for English-language learners, even if that meant teaching a different grade. Both teachers declined to comment for this article.

Recently, she informed one experienced kindergarten teacher that she would have to be reassigned to a mainstream class in a higher grade in the fall, if she wished to remain at the school.

“We both cried,” she said.

Arizona: Don’t come here if you’re not white.

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