Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Historic Victory! The Texas State Board of Education Supports Community's Struggle for Mexican American Studies

This is the #SomosMAS students and faculty from Palo Alto College, San Antonio
Victory always feels so sweet, especially the hard-earned battles.  If you've followed this blog, you're aware of the lengthy struggle we've had at the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) for respectful and substantive inclusion in our state's K-12 public education curriculum.

The course will be called "Ethnic Studies: Mexican American Studies," with all of the other Ethnic Studies courses preceded by this heading, as well.  Not exactly what we wanted or asked for, but close enough.  This was a compromise that all of us can live with.

We're not just a name or identity, as so many of us underscored in our testimony yesterday: We are a respected field of study at the university level and have been in existence for at least 50 years.  Someday soon though, all of this is just going to get called "a good education."  

Congratulations to the NACCS Tejas Foco K-12 committee, students, faculty, elders, allies, and supporters from throughout the state of Texas!  Yesterday alone, folks emanated from all parts of the state to come and testify, including Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, and South Texas.

Many thanks to our champions on the state board, especially Ruben Cortez, who spearheaded this from the beginning.  Marisa Perez and Erika Beltran were right there with him. Board Member Lawrence Allen was also in solidarity with us all the way.

Thanks go, as well, to the Texas Center for Education Policy, the Texas Freedom Network, the REST Coalition, the Mexican American School Board Association, LULAC, MALDEF, teachers, children, parents, undergraduate and graduate students who have testified over the years, and the many legislators from the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, and the Senate Hispanic Caucus that have supported us strongly, as well, over the years.

It takes a village to carry forward even the worthiest of agendas—and I feel so very proud of us all!

In short, we can now comfortably say that our committee and community have won Ethnic Studies for the state of Texas!

Now to move on to the TEKS agenda and frankly, to continue to be a presence and involved in SBOE politics.

Felicidades, everybody!  And see y'all at the June 30 Mexican American Studies Summit on at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio.

Angela Valenzuela



  1. It is a good thing, and unexpected. I had already written a blog post addressing the board's refusal to change the name. I am glad I will not have to post it.

  2. I know. I felt beat up yesterday afternoon. Couldn't sleep and couldn't get up. Just felt tired and exhausted about the whole thing. I hoped though, that the SBOE was as tired of us as us of them and that's my sense of what happened. Still processing. This is major, Greg! :-)