Did TUSD’s Culturally Relevant Curriculum get a “Go” from the ADE?

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.

3 responses to “Did TUSD’s Culturally Relevant Curriculum get a “Go” from the ADE?

  1. Agree completely. Those of us who are professional educators need to work hard to unelect Huppenthal and replace him with David Garcia.

  2. movingazforward

    We are calling it ‘College and Career Ready Standards’ now. Don’t tell the baggers that it’s just Common Core with a new, fabulous name.

  3. The difference between Hupp’s position vis a vis CRC and vis a vis MAS is night and day. With MAS he used evidence of classroom events that were 10 years old and cast aside current positive observations. He quoted historical texts from the genesis of the Chicano movement without identifying them as historical statements. Rather, he presented them as if they were exhortations to students. Entirely misleading.

    Now he has nothing but the curriculum, which never was a problem, and a book list that does not include the past “offenders” (no doubt to the detriment of students). So he has nothing to complain about.

    It is also interesting that he called his earlier audit illegitimate because the auditors only sat in on classes for 30 minutes. That is exactly what his staff did last week. I guess it’s OK now.

    Huppenthal, leave TUSD alone. If you are dead set on wasting your time, then spin your wheels trying to convince your tea bagger buddies that Arizona is not implementing the Common Core. (Ignore that man behind the curtain!) Good luck with that.