Independent Lens | Precious Knowledge
Preview Ethnic Chauvinism or Modern Civil Rights Struggle?
Watch Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 7pm on WORLD.
While 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High’s Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 100 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. Precious Knowledge interweaves the stories of students in this innovative social-justice curriculum, documenting the transformative impact on students who become engaged, informed, and active in their communities.
As the nation turns its focus toward a wave of anti-immigration legislation in Arizona, the issue of ethnic chauvinism has become a double-edged weapon in a simmering battle (Arizona lawmakers passed a bill giving unilateral power to the State Superintendent to abolish ethnic studies classes). The film provides an insider’s perspective student leaders fight to save their classes; the students are able to mobilize rapidly with texts, Facebook, optimism, and a megaphone.