Save Ethnic Studies Defense Fund condemns choice of Steve Gallon to audit Mexican American Studies program

by David Safier

Last night I wrote about Dr. Steve Gallon, the man who has been assigned to audit the Mexican American Studies program to determine if it complies with A.R.S. § 15-112. Today, the Save Ethnic Studies Defense Fund put out a Media Release about Gallon which has more information about him than my post:

Gallon had been charged with providing false documents to show that the children of two women who worked for him actually lived with him so that those children could attend South Plainfield public schools. In addition Gallon faced allegations that he had demoted district employees for opposing him, that he had violated board policy by failing to post employment opportunities and position vacancies, and that he breached union contracts without board authorization, among others. Gallon resigned shortly before Christmas, 2010 after receiving a $100,000 settlement from the school board which said it did so because it would be too costly and time consuming to go to trial against Gallon.

The Defense Fund is "calling upon the TUSD school board to call an emergency meeting Friday to evaluate the decision and provide public input, stating that Gallon likely couldn’t even obtain the fingerprint clearance teachers and volunteers must obtain to work in the classroom."

[UPDATE: Here is a copy of the letter Save Ethnic Studies hand delivered to the TUSD school board office.]

I hope the media will pick this up. It shows an incredible lack of judgement and common sense that Huppenthal would consider this man to have the judgement to evaluate an educational program's legality.

Read the entire Media Release after the jump.

 

 

For immediate release: March 17, 2011 

Huppenthal names man banned from public education in New Jersey to head Mexican American Studies audit in Tucson 

Mexican American Studies litigants request emergency TUSD school board meeting

A former Plainfield, N.J. superintendent arrested in 2010 on charges of conspiring to commit theft of more than $10,000 of educational services will head the consultant team chosen by superintendent of public education John Huppenthal to audit Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) program, starting Monday.

In January, Steve Gallon III and two high-ranking Plainfield School District employees entered pretrial intervention program agreements to avoid jail time on 11 criminal charges, according to dailrecord.com. The agreement barred all three from ever working in New Jersey public school service in the future.

Gallon had been charged with providing false documents to show that the children of two women who worked for him actually lived with him so that those children could attend South Plainfield public schools. In addition Gallon faced allegations that he had demoted district employees for opposing him, that he had violated board policy by failing to post employment opportunities and position vacancies, and that he breached union contracts without board authorization, among others. Gallon resigned shortly before Christmas, 2010 after receiving a $100,000 settlement from the school board which said it did so because it would be too costly and time consuming to go to trial against Gallon.

Litigants in the Tucson ethnic studies case are calling upon the TUSD school board to call an emergency meeting Friday to evaluate the decision and provide public input, stating that Gallon likely couldn’t even obtain the fingerprint clearance teachers and volunteers must obtain to work in the classroom. Yet this is the man state superintendent Huppenthal wants to tell him if MAS is following the law.

Gallon’s company – Cambium Learning Group – won the contract from the Arizona Department of Education to conduct the 4-6 week curriculum audit of the MAS program to evaluate whether it complies with the law as defined in A.R.S 15-111. According to the bid request for the job, Cambium is charged with making unannounced classroom observations to observe teaching, conduct interviews with key stakeholders, and evaluate curricula and educational materials relative to state standards.

For further information contact Deyanira Nevarez at 520-975-1485 (email info@ethnicstudies.org) or go to http://www.saveethnicstudies.org/index.shtml

Please follow links attached

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/ex-plainfield_schools_official.html

http://plainfield.injersey.com/2011/01/31/former-plainfield-schools-chief-two-co-defendants-enter-pti-in-criminal-case/

http://njconservative.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/dr-steven-gallon-iii-two-assistants-in-court-on-fraud-charges/

http://plainfield.injersey.com/tag/steve-gallon-iii/

Deyanira Nevarez
2281 Project Director
Save Ethnic Studies
Defense Fund
Cell: (520) 975-1485
Email: info@saveethnicstudies.org

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