Weakened SPI Diane Douglas cedes power

Elected Superintendent of Public Instruction relinquishes authority to unelected state board

The Arizona Daily Independent does a fine job of explaining the current bizarre state of affairs involving recently elected Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, her Chief of Staff Michael Bradley, and their willing acquiescence in allowing the Senate Education Committee to eviscerate her authority in overseeing the State Board of Education’s staff.

Among other things, HB 2184 would remove any oversight of the unelected board and staff by changing the language defining her role with the board from “executive officer of the State Board of Education” to “executive officer responsible for the execution of policies of the State Board of Education.”

Attempting to put the best face on this abdication of duties in the wake of her public battles with Gov. Doug Ducey, in which Seeing Red AZ championed her effortsDouglas now claims she supports the restraining measure in order to save legal expenses for the taxpayers.

Don’t skip over the concerns expressed by leading conservative and former Senate Majority leader Thayer Verschoor. He is quoted in the news report as referring to Douglas’ actions as an “abdication of power” and the revision of duties as  “VERY BAD POLICY.”

13 Responses to Weakened SPI Diane Douglas cedes power

  1. Clair Van Steenwyk says:

    Everyone really needs to take the time to watch & listen to this. It’s the hearing on HB 2184, to me the hearing wasn’t really necessary as the decisions had already been made to vote for it, however believe Smith did change on Amendment and voted No, but then voted yes on the Bill, so compromise is alive and well.
    I hope you’ll all listen to the first 10 to 15 min. and then again to discussion from about 43 min. to 57 min., I believe this shows what is really happening and how they even admit they’re handing over power to the Appointed Board and how the Chief of Staff Bradley is really the one who’s moving this forward, this once again is what I believe has happened and I’m posting it so hopefully all those who say this didn’t happen or the Political Spin being put on this is available for all to see the truth of it.
    Clair Van Steenwyk
    http://azleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=22&clip_id=15311

  2. Arizona Conservative Guy says:

    Diane Douglas was, I thought, the lone conservative among the Republicans elected in the November sweep. Who would have thought she’s fold like a wet suit? Very disappointing.

  3. SmallGovt says:

    Diane was fawned over here on SRAZ but refused to answer questions. Turned out to be a loose cannon and needs to understand she is accountable to the Admin and the people of Arizona.

  4. American Dad says:

    Diane Douglas is over her head. She’s beginning to resemble a dog who chases cars. When he finally catches one, he doesn’t know what to do with it. I voted for her, but now have to admit she is clearly not up to the task. She knows it, her chief of staff knows it, I wish I had known it.

  5. East Valley Conservative says:

    Huppenthal showed himself to be unstable and David Garcia is an unacceptable leftist educrat. What were our choices? I was definitely swayed by Michelle Malkin’s endorsement, but I doubt she would give it today. It was based on Diane Douglas’ campaign promise to fight Common Core. That will never happen now with the pro-Common Core State Board of Education calling the shots. Diane Douglas is impotent.

    • Overtaxed1 says:

      Huppenthal may have been unstable but he was right about Diane Douglas when he said we did not know her. She is like a rat who runs into a hole every time she is confronted with questions. There is no excuse for what she has done. She has sold out her base and more importantly she has sold out the children of our state. The lesser of three evils is still evil.

  6. Clair Van Steenwyk says:

    I personally believe it’s time for all against Common Core / AZ Career & College Readiness Standards to entertaining the idea of amending the AZ Constitution. This I believe can be done to take back the system from the board and legislature as well and return to Local Boards with Parent / Citizen overview, hoping others will see the need, and as far as the legislature overseeing all of this, well history there hasn’t been so hot, we’re going deeper into debt, expanded medicaid, need I say more about their ability to oversee the Appointed Board, remember they voted to do this and several of us spoke in committee against it, only to lose to the Supt.,Chief of Staff Bradley and Sen. Ward promoting it, this isn’t a good thing. God Bless You All; Van

    • azgary says:

      and it was kelli wards committee that sent it through, so much for a “conservative” challenger to john McCain.

      we need a third party, republicans are dead

  7. Parker Jeff says:

    This post sadly misrepresents the matter. What you say is disrespectful of Ms. Douglas. Her support to clarify roles is honoring of the office to which she was elected.

    Her web site, reflecting the ARS, is reflective of the fact that she did not run for a policymaking office.

    It is already the mission of the board “To aggressively set policies that foster excellence in public education.”

    The site goes on to say that her office is charged, under ARS 15-251, to “execute, under the direction of the state board of education, the policies which have been decided upon by the state board.”

    Where is the big change here?

    Of course, the elephant in the room under her campaign is opposing Common Core. To the extent she is successful at that, it will be operating under “regular order.” Her best tool, is the bully pulpit, if she will learn to use soft words to make strong arguments. Her venting at the governor suggests she is still on the rhetorical learning curve.

    • Hometown Guy says:

      You are far out on a limb to make the accusation that this post “misrepresents” the matter and is “disrespectful of Ms. Douglas.” What are you, her hired flak? In fact, it is Mzz Douglas who misrepresented herself and her goals and in doing so has shown great disrespect to those of us who fell for her anti-Common Core pitch. I feel scammed by her, not by anything I read here or in the linked report in the Arizona Daily Independent.

      After watching as she hid from the media and by extension, the public, and then engaged in the odd behavior of gathering up the microphones on the table before her during a meeting where the press was present, I agree with those who say she is over her head. I want my misplaced vote back!!

  8. Seeing Red AZ says:

    Memo to “Kevin Brown,”
    You have attempted to post here using numerous names, substantiating your previous comments. That tactic doesn’t fly here. See ‘ya.

  9. MacBeth says:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the promises to rid Arizona of Common Core were the Diane Douglas equivalent of McCain’s walk along the border with Sheriff Babeu when he promised to build the “dang fence.” Last I saw, there was no fence and John McCain and Jeff Flake are still pushing amnesty. Douglas has given over any power she had to an unelected board, which allows her to hide out even more than she has. She’s weak as water. Common Core will remain despite her pre-election promises. Very disheartening.