On its face, it's a simple question: Should Mexican-American studies be part of the Texas high school curriculum? A group out of Houston, however, has made the question anything but simple.
Members of MAS Texas have published a list of demands on their website. Those demands include asking that a course in Mexican-American history be added and count toward the history requirement, as well as calling for a Mexican-American studies course that would fulfill any of several requirements.
Miguel Levario, an associate history professor at Texas Tech, said he agrees Mexican-American history should have been taught all along because it is important that students understand its complexity.
"By adding Mexican-American history, or other types of narratives, we are encouraging our students to understand that the historical narrative is multi-perspective," Levario said. "It is very complicated. It is not simply knowing that Sam Houston was in Texas, or the Alamo was fought in 1836. There are far more complex narratives that really bring out the story in a more comprehensive manner."
"This is a great opportunity to really stem the dropout rate, get these students motivated and teach them the critical thinking that they're going to get from Mexican_American studies courses," Tony Diaz, a member of MAS Texas, said.
The State Board of Education will hold a hearing later this month on what should be included, and excluded, in state graduation standards. Final decisions will come in January.
To look at the demands that MAS Texas has imposed on the board, click here