The Daily Show on Tucson’s Mexican-American Studies Ban

On April 2, the The Daily Show aired a segment on the ban on the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in Tucson. The Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal interviewed Tucson School Board member Michael Hicks and Mexican American Studies teacher Curtis Acosta. Jon Stewart introduced the show by saying: "Your children’s education… Nothing is more important! You want them to learn enough to do well in the world, but not so much that they can win arguments with you. "But, what are they really learning in school? Al Madrigal followed this eye-opening story."
Continue reading

The Lorax: Dr. Seuss Revisited and Revised

With the release of the Universal Pictures film, The Lorax, based on Dr. Seuss’s classic “environmental” book of the same name, we share an article by Bill Bigelow about the lessons children learn (and don’t learn) from the book and film about the causes of environmental ruin and how to organize for change.
Continue reading

Rethinking Columbus Banned in Tucson

By Bill Bigelow Imagine our surprise. Rethinking Schools learned today that for the first time in its more-than-20-year history, our book Rethinking Columbus was banned by a school district: Tucson, Arizona. According to journalist Jeff Biggers, officials with the Tucson Unified School District ordered that teachers pull the book from their classrooms, evidently as an outcome of the school board’s 4-1 vote this week to abolish the Mexican American Studies program.
Continue reading

J. Winter Nightwolf Radio Show on the Mexican American Studies Program

On Jan. 20, 2012, Jay Winter Nightwolf's weekly WPFW FM 89.3 program, "American Indian's Truths — Nightwolf — 'The Most Dangerous Show on Radio'” focused on the Arizona state ruling against the Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District and the confiscation of books from Tucson classrooms. Nightwolf hosted special guests:
  • Rudy Arredondo, President of the National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Association
  • Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriguez from the University of Arizona—Tucson
  • Dr. Rudolfo Anaya from the University of New Mexico Professor Emeritus Department of English
Continue reading

Civic Voices: Connecting Teachers and Youth to Local Activists through Oral Histories

By Jozi Zwerdling Quezada and Benson were two of 16 educators referred by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change’s Zinn Education Project along with colleagues across the nation for the Civic Voices’ International Democracy Memory Bank Project. Civic Voices, administered by the American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation (AFTEF), and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is an “international civic education exchange program that involves teachers and students from around the world in preserving the legacy of their countries’ democratic struggles.” The Zinn Education Project was thrilled to introduce this extraordinary opportunity to educators. The highlight for them was a three-day seminar in Birmingham, Ala., in the fall of 2011.
Continue reading

Highlights from 2011

In spring, we added 10 new teaching activities. These include a dramatic role play about the little-known Japanese Latin American internment during World War II; an article on working with Lewis Hine’s photos of child labor; activities on the first-ever Indigenous People’s Summit on Climate Change; and a role play that puts students in the position of being members of the American Anti-Slavery Society, who must choose the most effective ways to fight slavery.
Continue reading

History Steps Out of the Photograph: John Carlos Speaks to Students

More than 100 students and teachers at Capital City Public Charter School had the opportunity to hear from 1968 Olympic icon and political activist John Carlos and sportswriter Dave Zirin on Oct. 3, 2011. As part of the national book tour to launch The John Carlos Story, Carlos and Zirin spoke to the students about that moment in history, the limited explanations given in textbooks, and its continued significance.
Continue reading
Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (Teaching Guide) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Rethinking Columbus

One of the most popular teaching activities on the Zinn Education Project website is The People vs. Columbus, et al. which challenges student to critically examine the motivations for and impact of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in Hispaniola.
Continue reading