Three years after it was banned by the state of Arizona, the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) is resurrecting its Mexican-American studies program due to a federal court order. The courses are now known as culturally-relevant classes and are set to begin in a couple of weeks, when the school year begins. And they hold the same potential for controversy.
The TUSD board's decision to bring back the ethnic studies program was a whole lot less contentious than its decision to end the Mexican-American studies classes three years ago.
The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up the issue of domestic spying. Lawmakers are expected to vote today on an amendment that would reign in the National Security Agency program that collects the phone records of millions of Americans. This would be the first vote on the matter since the scope of the NSA program was made public in a series of leaks. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, at issue is an amendment to the defense appropriations bill.
Ryan Strickland takes a practice swing. Even though most players are legally blind, batters, basemen and outfielders all wear blindfolds in Beep Baseball so that people who can see shadows, for example, don't have an advantage.
Credit Jessica Robinson for NPR
Kelsie Weir is the pitcher for the Spokane Pride, one of the positions in Beep Baseball that requires some vision. The balls contain an electronic beeping device so blind players can listen for it.
The air smells like cut grass and barbecue at Friendship Park in north Spokane, Wash. And Bee Yang is up to bat. The outfielders get ready. Yang is known as a power hitter.
But this is not your usual baseball game. There's a twist: most of the athletes on the field are visually impaired. Players know where the ball is by listening for it. It's called Beep Baseball, named for the beeping sound the balls make.