by David Safier
If I read this correctly, the AZ Dept of Ed gave a thumbs up to TUSD's Culturally Relevant Curriculum. Actually, it was more of a thumbs-to-the-side. But it certainly doesn't sound like a thumbs down. The important takeaway: the ADE doesn't plan to bring the SB2281 hammer down on the district or the program — "at this time," anyway.
Here's a copy of the letter the ADE sent to TUSD Superintendent Sanchez following a visit to CRC classes at Cholla and Pueblo High. It evaluates the classes, listing some specific criticisms, but its conclusion is:
At this time we do not find any specific teaching practice or instructional material that would cause the Department to take further action to enforce 15-112.
15-112 is the part of the law changed by SB2281 which allowed Huppenthal to dismantle the Mexican American Studies program.
There are plenty of caveats here. "At this time" means the ADE reserves the right to "take further action to enforce 15-112" at some later time. And the letter ends by stating,
We look forward to observing the progress of the pilot culturally relevant courses when we visit the campuses again and would like the opportunity to review lesion [sic] plans and interview your teachers regarding the curriculumn development process.
Translation: TUSD isn't out of the woods with CRC.
Ed Supe John Huppenthal said — I believe it was on the Bill Buckmaster show — that he wasn't making any decisions about CRC until his people had a chance to observe the program, and he implied he planned to abide by their decision. It will be interesting to see if he makes a statement or allows the letter to speak for the department.