Tag Archives: Diane Douglas

McCarthyism in Arizona Department of Education

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas

Both Democratic Candidates for Superintendent for Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira have reported that the agenda for the June 25 State Board for Education meeting includes an item that calls for a “presentation, discussion and possible action regarding the Board’s authority to take disciplinary action against certified educators.” Both candidates fear this is an opening for reprisals against teachers who took part in and organized the Red for Ed movement and walkout in April.

This agenda item should be stricken from the agenda if its intent is to pursue an avenue to discipline educators who actively participated and are active participants in the Red for Ed movement. It was inappropriate and unbecoming for Superintendent Douglas to make this suggestion just before the walkout in a televised interview (see link below) and it is wrong to entertain, if this is an attempt at reprisals against the instructors that participated and led the movement in April and may lead others if necessary, these McCarthyite and vindictive vendetta measures now against people exercising their constitutional rights and fighting to make education better for all stakeholders.

https://www.facebook.com/electkathyhoffman/

https://www.facebook.com/davidforaz/

https://azsbe.az.gov/public-meetings

http://blogforarizona.net/back-to-the-mccarthy-era-for-arizona-superintendent-of-public-instruction-diane-douglas/

 

 

 

 

Democratic Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction Blast Ducey, Douglas

Kathy Hoffman is An advocate for special needs children, mainstreaming ELL students in order to achieve immersion, and protecting the safety and rights of students in the LGBTQ community.

Kathy Hoffman, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

United on the issues, Democratic candidates for Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira relayed why they would be the best nominee to face four Republican challengers, including current Superintendent Diane Douglas.

Meeting at a special Clean Elections-sponsored edition of the PBS news show Horizon, both Hoffman and Schapira blasted Governor Ducey, Superintendent Douglas, and the Republican-led state legislature for failing Arizona’s children and schools. Hoffman also added the elevation of Betsy Devos to Secretary of Education as a cause for concern for Arizona’s educational community. Both candidates want to make sure every child in the state receives a “first-rate education.”

The future starts in school

David Schapira, Progressive Candidate For Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

David Schapira, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Saying, “Arizona’s future starts in our schools,” Hoffman relayed that she is running primarily to ensure that all children, including English-language learners (ELL) and special education students, are well educated. The woman’s movement following the election of President Trump and DeVos in the Education Department also motivated her run.

Schapira, a fourth generation Arizonan, commented that, of the two candidates, he is the most experienced having been a teacher, school administrator, school board member, and legislator to become the “first educator in 24 years” to become Superintendent.

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Evolution, Climate Change, and The Big Bang Theory to be Eliminated From Arizona K-12

Superintendent Diane Douglas

Superintendent Diane Douglas

Later this year, the Arizona State Board of Education will consider adopting new K-12 standards in both Science and History/Social Studies.

The consideration of standards for these core subjects has nearly always met increased scrutiny and controversial consideration from segments of the population with different perspectives because these disciplines touch on topics that can potentially challenge a person’s or group’s belief system.

This year is no exception as the new proposed Arizona K-12 Science Standards have invited negative reactions from members of the mainstream education and science community because of the terms and concepts it has attempted to strike away and the closed-door process Superintendent Diane Douglas’s unknown internal reviewers adopted after being presented with the original draft version of the standards.

Forbidden terms, reworded behind closed doors.

Evolution is the most prominent term altered in the proposed new Arizona K-12 Science Standards. Stricken mostly wherever it is mentioned and redefined as the Theory of Evolution, the word is not even included among the many key terms the reviewers added. Several standards and terms pertaining to the process do remain in a more openly worded form. (Changes in green writing can be found on pages 4, 20, 27, 30, 32, 42, 44, 46, 64, 69, and 72 of the Proposed Science Standards)

The term Climate Change is nowhere to be found. There is a sentence that includes the phrase change of climate and there are standards that allude to it and some concepts/terms. However, discussion of alternative energy options, depending on the grade level is nonexistent, stricken, or reworded. (Changes in green writing can be found on pages 21, 25, 40, and 60 of the Proposed Science Standards)

The Big Bang Theory: Stricken entirely and the more ambiguous consideration of all theories of the universe has been substituted in a probable attempt to appeal to the proponents of Intelligent Design. (Page 62 of the Proposed Science Standards)

One saving grace in these standards is at least we have progressed since the time of the Scopes Trial that the geological ages of the planet and continental drift are included and do not seem to be in question.

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Back to the McCarthy Era for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas

If teachers walk off the job on Thursday, April 26, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas warned that “there may be investigations” if complaints come into the Department of Education. Furthermore, if the courts deem the walkout a “strike,” Douglas cautioned that teacher certifications may be revoked and censure notices placed on an instructor’s permanent record.

In an interview with Channel Three Arizona Family News (link below), Superintendent Douglas relayed that she is in favor of more money for education and increased salaries for instructors and support staff. She appeared receptive to ideas ranging from local governing boards setting local district salaries to education budget increases being placed as ballot initiatives.http://www.azfamily.com/clip/14295201/raw-video-diane-douglas-discusses-planned-teacher-walkout

However, Douglas urged teachers not to walk out on Thursday and suggested that they continue negotiations with the Governor and legislature, especially because there are proposals to bargain over. Furthermore, she pointed out that students with free and reduced lunch and special needs may suffer if a walkout occurs. Finally, Douglas intimated that instructors may themselves be blacklisted, have their certificates revoked, or be ostracized from future employment if complaints from the community to the department were processed.

That portion of the interview with Superintendent Douglas threatening potential reprisals against instructors shows an attitude that this country has not seen publicly since the McCarthy Era when many were blacklisted for their real or imagined beliefs. That attitude should not be ingrained in the public servants of our state or country in the year 2018. Fortunately, there are two Progressive Democrats (Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira)  just waiting for a chance, after one of them earns their party’s nomination, to replace her after the November elections.

Teachers do not want to walk out. Teachers want to educate and shape children’s hearts and minds. However, they cannot do it effectively when their salaries rank near the bottom of the country. They cannot do it passionately when they sometimes have to work a second job to put food on their table. They cannot do it competently when they are not provided the modern resources to do the job well.

This is about what is right for the children. It is a step in the right direction to make sure that the people who are responsible for them eight hours a day or longer are properly provided for. Making sure our schools are safe and provide all the features of Twenty-First Century culture and technology is another. The Superintendent and Governor are not going to get there by making idle threats or catering to the conservative whims of their alt right-reactionary sponsors who feel the McCarthy Era was “The Good Ole Days.” It is time to properly fund our schools, compensate our instructors and support staff, and prepare our children for tomorrow.

David Schapira, a Progressive Candidate For Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

David Schapira, Progressive Candidate For Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

David Schapira, Progressive Candidate For Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

In his new campaign headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, former Senate Democratic Leader and current Tempe City Council Member David Schapira passionately articulated the reasons he would be the best choice to lead our public schools as Superintendent of Public Instruction after the November election.

Schapira sports an impressive resume of public service that has prepared him to run for the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction. As a public school high school instructor, a professor at Arizona State University, and administrator at the East Valley Institute of Technology, Schapira has totally familiarized himself with both the academic and non-academic spheres of school operations.

As a public office holder, Schapira is well-versed in the mechanics of both the local and state planning and administering of public policy. In our discussion (and on his website), Schapira relayed that the achievement he takes the most pride in and would like to see as a model for the state: the “Tempe Pre” initiative he created as a councilmember in Tempe, which provides 360 low-income children access to free, high-quality preschool.

Toxic Diane Douglas

Schapira believes that current Superintendent Diane Douglas has failed in her position because she has fostered a “toxic” work environment at the Department of Education and proven herself inept at being a voice for public education and shaping public policy. His experience in seeing the public education system “from every perspective from which it can be seen” prepares him to lead the agency that will prepare the next generation of children and provide the opportunities that will ensure their success. Continue reading

Schapira to Fight Right-Wing Conspiracy to Destroy Public Schools

David Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

David Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

At first, David Schapira thought that Republican state legislators didn’t get it. He thought they didn’t realize the damage caused by taking $1.1 billion out of our public school system.

But after six years in the state legislature, he realized he was wrong.

“They do get it,” he said. “They are intentionally working to dismantle the public school system in Arizona.”

Speaking at the Tanque Verde Valley Democrats meeting, Schapira warned ominously, “Our public schools are on life support. If Diane Douglas is re-elected, she will let our schools die,” he says.”

A mountain of a man at 6-foot-5, he vowed to fight back. Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, which oversees the state of Arizona’s public school system and directs the state’s Department of Education.

Schapira, age 37, knows how to get elected. He’s a Tempe city councilman, a former state representative and senator. As the leader of the Senate Democrats, he served on the Education Committee for six years.

Importantly, he’s a teacher. He has taught school high school, worked as a school administrator and has been at East Valley Institute of Technology for the last four years.

His proudest achievement is the Tempe Free Preschool program for low-income families, launched in April 2017.  “I’ve seen education from every perspective it can be seen from,” he says.

Douglas not qualified Continue reading