Ducey-Douglas rift stoked by Lisa Graham Keegan

February 17, 2015

Arizonans need score card to keep track of AZ Republic’s schizophrenic coverage

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts appears to applaud state Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, saying she “Scored Direct hit on Gov. Doug Ducey.’ The claque of Mary Jo Pitzl and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez go off in a pro-Lisa Graham Keegan direction.  E. J. Montini, the dutiful leftist follows the editorial board’s anti-Douglas instructions as he hopes to hang on just another few years until his social security kicks in and before the newspaper kicks off. Robert Robb, the more cerebral of the pack, gives points to Diane Douglas, saying Gov. Doug Ducey lacks the authority to reinstate the two state Board of Education staff members fired by Douglas. Columnist Doug MacEachern?  He weighs in using the take-no-prisoners prerogative, “maniacal” to describe Douglas. These are merely iceberg tips, but readers get the drift.

In nearly every report the name Lisa Graham Keegan appears. This past weekend, she was Brahm Resnik’s haughty guest on “Sunday Square Off.” (linked video follows ad.)

And who is the seemingly ubiquitous Lisa Graham Keegan, suddenly grabbing headlines?

Keegan, a RINO-turned-Independent who supported Douglas’ radical leftwing educrat opponent, oddly seems to be regarded by Ducey as the state school superintendent. And why not? Like Ducey, Keegan is a McCain ally. She served as McCain’s education advisor during his doomed presidential bid.  Keegan formerly held the top school position before ditching it back in 2001 with a year-and-a-half of her term remaining. The heady aura of Washington, D.C. was too compelling to keep her in Arizona to fulfill her commitment to the voters who put her in office. She also left rudderless the controversial Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test which she had championed as a high school graduation requirement. AIMS was a hotly debated precursor of Common Core.

When Keegan boogied in 2001, then-Gov. Jane Hull appointed lobbyist Jaime Molera to replace her. When the term expired, Molera ran for the position losing to conservative Tom Horne, who was then elected to two consecutive terms.

This past November, grassroots candidate Diane Douglas ran and was elected on an unambiguous anti-Common Core platform. Keegan not only supports the federal overreach into local education, but derides Douglas as “erratic,” even as she tap dances around the issue of fewer dollars for public schools while Ducey slices $13 million from the state education budget.

Conservatives who have ample reasons to distrust the GOP establishment are banking on Diane Douglas holding firm to her campaign pledges. As Robert Robb noted, “she is intensively disliked by all the right people.”


Wising up: Ivy League students reject socialism

February 16, 2015

University President says health fee is “for the common good”

Cornell University students are obviously smart enough to know they shouldn’t have to pay a penalty for not buying the school’s health insurance if they already have coverage, but that’s exactly what a new policy at the Ivy League school requires.

The $350 “health fee” for opting out of the school’s insurance plan was announced in a memo from school President David Skorton, who is also a medical doctor. It was posted Feb. 5, on Cornell’s website, according to higher education blog The College Fix. But the implications are just beginning to sink in with the student body, and many attending the Ithaca, N.Y., school are now staging protests. Under Obama’s Affordable Care Act, students must have insurance, but making those already covered pay an extra fee to skip the school’s plan is rightly getting them riled.

According to Skorton, the fee will affect approximately 70% of undergrads, 10% of graduate students, and 30% of professional students. Given the number of students in each of these categories, it is expected to raise about $3.9 million. Additionally, students will have a $10 co-pay for visits to the campus’ health center.

In his statement Skorton noted that Cornell’s health services funding has been “strained” in light of “rising health insurance costs.” His email cites “inequitable access to care” as the reason for introducing this student health fee.

Students who do not opt in to the $2,352 plan will get hit with the $350 fee, which “most likely” won’t be covered by financial aid, according to The Cornell Review. The newspaper said the university plan is run through Aetna, whose CEO is a Cornell MBA grad.

This gut-punch is Skorton’s parting gift to Cornell’s students. The Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents named him to lead the world’s largest museum and research complex. He will assume his new post July 2015.

“David Skorton has demonstrated keen vision and skilled leadership as the president of two great American universities,” Supreme Court Chief Justice and Smithsonian Chancellor John Roberts lauded in a statement. “His character, experience and talents are an ideal match for the Smithsonian’s broad and dynamic range of interests, endeavors and aspirations.”

Justice Roberts, it will long be remembered, was the deciding vote on Obamacare. The Republican appointee stunned the nation as he sided with the liberals on the court.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of these now protesting Ivy Leaguers voted for Barack Obama —- and if those who did would do so again.


Dad protests Islamic indoctrination in school, files lawsuit

February 11, 2015

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) refers to itself as the Christian response to the ACLU, as it defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values —-  including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life.  It provides its services pro bono.

Among the key issues and numerous cases TMLC has taken on is this one that needs to stay in the spotlight. It falls under the heading of Common Core, a topic Seeing Red AZ has covered extensively and one which TMLC has devoted considerable effort in exposing.

The Michigan-based group is representing firefighter and former Marine John Kevin Wood, and his wife, Melissa, in their battle with La Plata High School in Maryland over the Islamic indoctrination of their 11th-grade daughter in her World History class. Their daughter was required to complete assignments in which she had to affirm that “There is no God but Allah” and the other Five Pillars of Islam. Wood defended freedom in both Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. When he protested the curriculum, he was banned from the school property. 

Late in 2014, TMLC reported, “Marine Dad Banned from School Property; Daughter Gets Failing Grade for Refusing Islamic Indoctrination,” as it announced its representation of the Wood family in a lawsuit. We urge you to read the post. This study program could be coming to a school near you.


Diane Douglas disappointingly parses ethnic studies

January 13, 2015

The conservative support that brought Diane Douglas to the Nov. 6, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction victory was based on her steadfast opposition to the Common Core curriculum. Her base also counted on Douglas following in the footsteps of an earlier two-term predecessor, Tom Horne, who successfully fought the divisive ethnic studies program in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). A lawyer, he personally argued the case in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

Instead, using slippery language, Douglas has taken a startling new position on the separatist studies. After a meeting with TUSD Superintendent Heliodoro Torres “H.T.” Sanchez, Douglas concluded that “elements” of the district’s program, including a section on hip-hop music, went too far. But she is not actually opposed to ethnic studies. In a statement released following her meeting with Sanchez, 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.”

Douglas’ immediate former predecessor John Huppenthal addressed this issue in a Jan. 2, 2015 press release as he was leaving the superintendent’s post.

“During my tenure as Superintendent, I have been closely monitoring the status of the Tucson Unified School District’s culturally relevant curricula to ensure that all TUSD students, regardless of their race or ethnic background, have access to a high quality education,” Huppenthal wrote. “After a thorough review of materials from TUSD’s culturally relevant courses, I find that the district has failed to meet several provisions of the 2012 Settlement Agreement settlement and is once again in clear violation of A.R.S. §15-112Furthermore, I am deeply concerned by the fact that the noncompliance appears to extend beyond classes taught from the Mexican American perspective and now also includes classes taught from the African-American perspective.”

Huppenthal nailed it.

Tom Horne also got it right when he previously said, “Traditionally, the American public school system has brought together students from different backgrounds and taught them to be Americans and to treat each other as individuals, and not on the basis of their ethnic backgrounds. This is consistent with the fundamental American value that we are all individuals, not exemplars of whatever ethnic groups we were born into. Ethnic studies programs teach the opposite, and are designed to promote ethnic chauvinism.”

There is palpable disappointment at Douglas’ apparent willingness to expand and breathe new life into the discredited program. How does the establishment of statewide minority programs that focus on victim status and characterize the United States as an oppressor nation benefit students? Shouldn’t the emphasis be on an inclusive American history rather than one that separates, blames and embraces victimhood in this country of unparalleled opportunity?

As an advertised conservative who appeared to possess quality credentials from her years on the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board, great hope was placed in her election triumph over a dedicated leftist educrat.

After just days in office, her supporters must already be wondering if Diane Douglas has forgotten who ‘brung her to the dance?’

Seeing Red AZ has covered the anti-American, La Raza-endorsed ethnic-studies programs since 2008. Here is a sampling:

March 12, 2013: AZ AG Horne victory: Judge upholds ethnic studies ban

Dec. 28, 2011: TUSD Mexican anti-American studies violates law

May 4, 2011: Tucson Unified School District: Inmates running the asylum

April 22, 2011: Chaos erupts over TUSD’s review of ethnic studies program

Jan. 4, 2011: AZ Republic lambastes TUSD’s ethnic studies duplicity as “bogus”

April 30, 2010: Bill to ban separatist studies sent to Gov. Brewer

Sept. 24, 2009: It’s still too hot to be taken in by TUSD’s snow job

Sept. 22, 2009: Bizarre race-based system of discipline for Tucson Schools

July 29, 2009: The Washington Times discovers AZ’s Superintendent of Public Instruction

June 28, 2009: Anti-Americanism passing as education in Tucson

June 11, 2008: Travesty in Tucson

 

 


Psst…“Don’t tell anybody I said that”

December 11, 2014

These ignoramuses with titles teach our kids

Illustrating the topic “How they came to power,” Dr. Blake Armstrong, a psychology professor at South Texas College in Weslaco, Texas was recorded (video under link) as he likened the rise of the tea party to the rise of the Nazi party. The school is a public community college supported by taxpayers.

Armstrong began his lecture saying, “In 1931, which was really interesting, the Nazis —- people were kind of tired of them. They’ve been around since 1920, 11 years now. They’ve won seats —- they’re like the tea party. That’s such a good example,” Armstrong smugly noted. “Don’t tell anybody I said that, though.”

“But in the sense of how they politically came to power, there’s a good analogy there. That eventually people realized, ‘Oh, these Nazis are a bunch of nuts,’ ‘These tea party people are a bunch of nuts.’ I mean, the analogy really is a good analogy,” he concluded.

No, Professor Armstrong.  The analogy really is a vile one, based in leftwing deceit and moral relativism.

The tea party rose up out of citizen frustration. It is not actually a party, but a gathering of Americans united in their desire to return our United States to its constitutionally based roots. Last we heard they did not have forced labor death camps or gas chambers and ovens such as those in which the Nazis systematically murdered millions of those they deemed “undesirables.”

In another video, Armstrong says “civil disobedience just doesn’t work anymore.  All these people are joining ISIL, because they feel like the rest of the world is abandoning them —- which we are.”

Let’s hope so. Armstrong might have missed the numerous reports depicting these fanatics beheading innocent Westerners.

South Texas College needs to reassess its association with Blake Armstrong. He is unworthy of holding a position of trust and the ability to influence captive audiences in his classroom.


GI files lawsuit against ousted AZ Ed Sup’t Huppenthal

December 3, 2014

Teacher opposed to Common Core gets legal assistance

The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brad McQueen, a fifth grade teacher in Tucson’s Tanque Verde School District, and an outspoken opponent of Common Core. The civil suit McQueen v. Huppenthal was filed on McQueen’s behalf under the free-speech provisions of the Arizona Constitution and the First Amendment.

The lawsuit names John Huppenthal in his official capacity as Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Bureaucrats at the Arizona Department of Education oppose any criticism of their plans for implementation of the federally mandated Common Core scheme —- deceptively re-christened  Arizona College and Career Ready Standards in an attempt to dupe anxious parents. After he spoke out against the federal program, McQueen was the subject of a deluge of ostracism, intimidation, and a vicious email campaign. He was removed from the Department of Education’s standardized-testing committees.

The lawsuit asks that the state retaliation against him cease and he be reinstated to non-Common Core committees.

McQueen is the author of “The Cult of Common Core: Obama’s Final Solution for Your Child’s Mind and Our Country’s Exceptionalism.”  Read excerpts here by clicking the “look inside” arrow, provided courtesy of Amazon.

The Arizona Daily Independent carries the foul email exchanges in this June 30, 2014 article by Brad McQueen. The article follows the stream of emails between Angela Escobar, Program Project Specialist at the AZ Dept of Education, and other department employees during the workday. Escobar used her office computer to email associates, referring to Brad McQueen as “What a f*cktard!”

With the recent election of conservative Diane Douglas taking over the helm of this rudderless ship, sanity will return to the Arizona Department of Education.  It can’t happen soon enough. 

Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, an early Diane Douglas endorser, has devoted the past two years to exposing the ‘Big Government and Big Business’ forces that have colluded on this boondoggle and have been partners on expanding the federal role in education —- which she calls ‘Rotten to the Core.’ Her numerous articles can be seen here.


Breitbart exposes farce campaign against AZ Ed Sup’t

December 1, 2014

A bizarre effort to overturn the recent election of conservative Diane Douglas as Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction has made the national news via Breitbart News’ Big Government. Douglas swept through the Primary Election trouncing the Common Core supporting incumbent in a landslide 58 to 41 victory that was one of the first races called on election night.

In an unparalleled show of grassroots support, Douglas garnered the highest number of votes of any contested election, beating all unopposed Democrats and securing 16½ percent more votes than Dem gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal.

She also beat liberal educrat David Garcia in the General Election.

Diane Douglas won her grassroots campaign due to her unwavering opposition to the fed’s heavy handedness in promoting the increasingly unpopular Common Core. That fact doesn’t sit well with the far-left Arizona Republic newspaper, which supported both Garcia and the imposition of federal mandates that cede control of every facet of our education system to federal bureaucrats and undermine local authority.

Though Diane Douglas will not be sworn into office until January, a recall has already been launched by the disgruntled losers and cheered on by the Arizona Republic newspaper which runs negative editorials, contrived reports and has regularly turned loose its radical attack dog columnists against her since the votes were tabulated.

It’s difficult to imagine that the accomplished winner of a statewide race could elicit such negatively, but the leftist Arizona Republic is flinging all of the venomous bullying tactics it can muster in Douglas’ direction. Newly elected as state schools chief, the Rutgers University business/marketing grad and former President of the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board brings a wealth of knowledge and fresh vision to the job. The newspaper views her as problematic since she proudly brandishes her conservative credentials and she is not David Garcia.

Breitbart’s Big Government sources the Arizona Daily Independent in exposing the suspect actions of newly elected [though not yet sworn in] Republican Gov. Doug Ducey who is forming an education subcommittee which includes Common Core proponent Lisa Graham Keegan, a RINO who endorsed Douglas’ challenger. During the campaign, Keegan attacked Douglas, stating she was “promoting a sort of a paranoia” by opposing the federal education scheme. Keegan, who was John McCain’s education advisor during his failed presidential bid, referred to Douglas’ opposition to the Common Core as “destructive.”

In announcing the education subcommittee, Ducey reportedly claimed he was looking “forward to working with the education professionals on this committee to identify the best policies to improve our schools, find the most talented people to assume key positions in my administration and ensure we are putting Arizona students, teachers and parents first.”

He neglects to mention that Common Core is so unpopular in Arizona that outgoing Gov. Jan Brewer and ousted Superintendent John Huppenthal rebranded the pariah program, calling it “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards,” in an unsuccessful effort to conceal the scheme from savvy Arizona parents. 

This earlier Breitbart article provided an overview of the states that have repealed the controversial fed-ed scheme.

H/T SRAZ Commenter Saguaro Sam for the head’s up on the Breitbart post.


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