The Texas State Board of Education is expected to vote Friday on the requirement for Algebra II to graduate high school. But the board might also consider adding Mexican-American studies as a course option.
There are five million students in Texas, and 51 percent are Hispanic. But there has never been an official Mexican-American studies course in Texas public schools.
Activist Tony Diaz wants to change that.
“Because they shouldn’t deny the history that Tejanos have made in shaping the state as well as the country," Diaz said.
Diaz said a version of the successful Mexican-American studies program that was forged in Tucson could be brought to Texas.
“The powerful impact of Mexican-American studies was quantified in the Tucson Unified School District, where of course their dropout rate, like most urban centers, was in the double digits," Diaz said. "Once the Tucson Unified School District implemented Mexican-American Studies the graduation rate rose to 93 percent."
The Texas State Board of Education has 15 members elected from districts from around the state — ten are Republican and five are Democrats. One of the Democrats who represents South Texas, Ruben Cortez, placed Mexican-American studies on a "wish list" with 22 new possible courses to be developed. Five of those courses will be moved into the “to do” list with a Friday vote.