The movie “Precious Knowledge” shows the treatment of minority students in public schools in the Tucson Unified School District. The film is about four students and their peers struggling against the banning of Mexican American studies in TUSD. The movie focuses explicitly on the Mexican American/Raza studies class. The students learned honest truths about America along with their culture. Politicians in Arizona pass laws to disband the program because they feel it must be eliminated. Precious Knowledge has many viewpoints from opposing sides, and most of those viewpoints are radical.
The Mexican American studies were meant to give students a chance to have better education. Students, teachers, and parents are against political officials in Tucson. Students, teachers, and parents want the program taught in Tucson because students can become thriving adults by learning about their cultures. They believe minority students will thrive by learning about multiculturism. They argue that the program is based on the love for humanity and not hate for the oppressor. They want to learn identity development to have a better understanding of collective struggle. They believe learners should appreciate themselves in educational material for their growth and self-esteem. Parents and teachers supported this program because the test scores for students improved, and many of them joined college after learning the program.
On the other hand, politicians are against this program as they feel it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. Politicians argue that the program should be disbanded because it’s unethical for students to be taught about ethnic backgrounds. Teaching students about ethnic backgrounds doesn’t make them united individuals but treats them as a group of Chicanos. Tom Home was determined to see the program disbanded because he believed the program taught “destructive ethnic chauvinism” (Dos Vatos, 015). He was Arizona’s educational superintendent. Politicians believed that the students were taught to be disrespectful to America. one of the classrooms didn’t have a picture of Benjamin Franklin. This was seen as a disrespect to the founding fathers, translating to anti-Americanism. The politicians were against the program because it taught students to be radical and act rebelliously. Politicians argued that it was wrong to teach the Mexican culture in America, and if students wanted to learn about their culture, they should consider going back to Mexico.
I argue in favor of the government’s position. The government spends a lot of money to fund public education, and if people want to learn something different from the curriculum, they should do it at their own cost. The studies would train the students to be radical and against the government funding their education. If the parents and teachers feel students should learn the Mexican American studies, they should engage the relevant stakeholders to ensure the studies are included in the curriculum. The program teaches students to hate America instead of teaching the teaching students to transcend their tribal roots and live together as one people. The program is against the fore founding fathers of America, who agreed that children should be indoctrinated into socialism.
Dos Vatos. (2015). Precious Knowledge. In Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/preciousknowledge/75043626