Tucson Unified School District and AZ SPI Diane Douglas form odd alliance
The Arizona Daily Independent recently ran this cogent report, “Douglas finds TUSD Ethnic Studies class in compliance.” Posted midweek, it began with this well-turned phrase, acknowledging waning support and unusual alliances:
“Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas found Tucson Unified School District’s Ethnics Studies Culturally Relevant classes to be in compliance of Arizona law. The Superintendent, who is trying to avoid a recall, hastily called a press conference to announce her decision.”
Diane Douglas ran for state Superintendent of Public Instruction and was elected as a grassroots conservative candidate based on her unwavering opposition to the federal mandates under- girding the Common Core curriculum and support for local control of public schools. Now those issues have fallen by the wayside as she works hand-in-glove with TUSD Superintendent Heliodoro Torres “H.T.” Sanchez to implement the anti-American, La Raza–endorsed ethnic-studies programs.
The ADI report concludes:
“After several missteps, it is widely believed that Superintendent Douglas is making strictly politically motivated decisions to avoid a possible recall effort.”
In January, after barely two weeks in office, Douglas disappointingly exhibited a startling new position on the separatist studies. In a statement released following her initial meeting with Sanchez she indicated she is not, in fact, opposed to ethnic studies. Douglas hit a low note with this conclusion, “It is important to correct the misunderstanding that the Arizona Department of Education is opposed to ethnic studies. If any child educated in Arizona is not exposed to the suffering, trials and triumphs of all ethnic groups who have contributed to our state’s rich cultural mix, then we are failing to teach accurate history.”
Seeing Red AZ has been following the TUSD’s ethnic studies program since 2008. A sampling of the reports can be found following this post, “Diane Douglas disappointingly parses ethnic studies.”
In January 2011 even the leftist AZ Republic editorially lambasted the TUSD’s ethnic studies duplicity as “bogus.” The editorial rightfully referred to the data used to buttress the claims “repeated constantly by [the program’s] defenders that students perform better academically as a result of taking ethnic studies classes and that they go on to college more often” –— “academically unsupportable.” Further the newspaper states that officials who make such claims “are acting irresponsibly in doing so.” The editorial goes so far as to say the results “appear rigged.”
In the intervening years, the only thing that has changed is we now have an irresolute superintendent fearful of being ousted and eager to make any concessions to avoid that embarrassment.