Texas OKs Mexican-American Studies Curriculum Under New Name

Each district will decide whether to offer the elective course to students

A four-year fight over education came to a head back in April at the state capitol, where the Texas Board of Education approved a new course on Mexican-American studies designed for high school students.

The Texas Board of Education has approved creating statewide academic standards for a Mexican-American studies high school course, but some board members wanted it called "ethnic studies."

"I think that's the way our country developed, that we were a melting pot," David Bradley, one of the board members said. "I find hyphenated Americanism divisive."

An amendment changing the name “Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent" was passed.

Erica Beltran is one member who voted against it.

“Our country is made up of so many diverse individuals, and part of being inclusive is being able to respect and acknowledge our differences,” said Beltran.

Now, groups are fighting back.

Texans who are upset about the name change gathered in several cities Wednesday, including Fort Worth, to announce their opposition to the change.

They will also make an official statement of opposition at the Texas State Board of Education meeting in Austin.

Alberto Govea, a Council President for LULAC district 21 attended the event.

He is against the name change.

“Ethnic studies what does that say to me, it does not say a lot. But if I see Mexican-American studies then I’ll certainly be more apt to try to find out more at least, if not participate,” said Govea.

According to our media partner, The Dallas Morning News, the curriculum will be based on a Mexican-American Studies course already being offered in Houston.

An assistant superintendent for Dallas ISD tells NBC 5 that the name change does not really impact them a great deal in terms of curriculum they will provide.

“We want our students to come in and have a culturally relevant, valuable experience that shows that the heritage of Mexican-American students is very important to us,” said Dallas ISD Assistant Superintendent for Language, Literacy and Social Studies.

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