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Apr 30, 2013 2:08 AM by Sean Mooney

TUSD pushing forward with new MAS replacement course

Tucson - A new course is coming soon to select schools in Tucson's largest system.

Tucson Unified School District is rolling out a replacement for the hot-button Mexican American Studies or MAS program. Problem is, it has all come as a bit of surprise to the TUSD Governing Board.

The board was first informed of the course's implementation last on April 23rd. With a federal court's desegregation order requiring the district to offer culturally focused courses and the district losing over 500 students a year, the TUSD administration is hoping the new course will satisfy federal requirements and stop the exodus.

The course is called "Ninth Grade Culture, Identity and Transformation: A Culturally Relevant Viewpoint". A mouthful and a class that will now supposedly be offered at Rincon, Saguaro and Santa Rita High School's.

Apparently students are already being registered for the course. All this was news to the TUSD Governing Board, including Cam Juarez, "The idea of requiring these courses without really a lot of presentation to the board beforehand was a little surprising", said Juarez, "as far as the curriculum goes we all kind of expected this to come about."

According to TUSD staff the curriculum is still being put together. It's focus is to teach the importance of sensitivity to other cultures, something TUSD parent, Frank Tupiken, believes will benefit students regardless of their ethnic back ground, "By all means if it's a multi-cultural curriculum that they are going to offer", he said, "I think that is going to be something that will be beneficial to all students."

TUSD administrators are expected to present an overview of the new freshman course to the TUSD Governing Board on May 7.

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