Praise to Texas State Rep. Christina Morales (D-Houston) for leading on Ethnic Studies for the state of Texas. Her own personal story published by the Houston Chronicle that she shares below is compelling. We should all know our history and experience pride in forming part of the grand American story.
Ample qualitative and quantitative evidence exists that demonstrates strong positive, and consistent academic benefits of Ethnic Studies for all children and students to succeed in school, regardless of ethnicity. If our students succeed academically, increasing achievement and graduation rates as credible data have shown, our children's futures hold enormous promise.
Since Fall 2020 and Fall 2021, Mexican American Studies and African American Studies, respectively, were being taught in Texas schools as elective courses. In 2018 and 2019, respectively, Mexican American Studies and African American Studies additionally met unanimous approval by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) as TEKS-aligned courses.
By this, we mean that the process of standard-setting has taken place and these are already full-fledged courses in state curricula. Two additional Ethnic Studies courses, namely, Native American and Asian American Studies, are in the process of getting TEKS-aligned.
Now it's time to make Ethnic Studies count toward high school graduation. Join us for a conversation this PM on Facebook Live to get additional details pertinent to the bill and how to support this truly historic effort.
A detail of new mural titled "Mexican-American History & Culture in 20th Century Houston" by artists Jesse Sifuentes and Laura Lopez Cano in Sam Houston Park on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 in Houston. The mural features contributions and significant figures in Houston's Mexican-American history.
Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer
I am blessed to know my history.
My grandfather attended a segregated school. My grandmother remembers a park in San Antonio with a sign that read “no dogs or Mexicans allowed.” We have come a long way since then, but there is still so much work to be done. Knowledge of my heritage helped me become a leader and play a role in making Texas a better place.
That is why I am introducing a bill in the Texas Legislature to award full credit to high school students for ethnic studies courses and count them towards their graduation requirements. Texas youth deserve to know their history.