by David Safier
No surprise here. Hupp and his DOE don't like the "culturally relevant" lit classes the TUSD board approved for the beginning of the school year. Let me rephrase that. It's not that Hupp, et al, don't like the courses. The problem is, it's not clear the courses will dot every i and cross every t of the state standards.
Yep, that's the problem. Because no doubt every other course at TUSD and across the state has been thoroughly updated to meet DOE's rigorous state standards. The Common Core curriculum will make those standards obsolete soon, but that doesn't enter into Hupp's thinking — not yet, anyway.
TUSD is standing by its decision to begin the course — for now, anyway. We'll see what happens in the few weeks before school starts, whether TUSD decides it doesn't have time to implement the courses and says it needs to wait another year or it sticks by its decision to implement the courses. This will be an interesting test for the new TUSD Supe. Will he show backbone, or will he hem, haw and go along to get along with Hupp?
Here's how I expect the DOE objections to the new TUSD courses will roll out. Start with a non-controversial, procedural objection using the same grounds it would supposedly use with all courses: they don't conform to state standards. If that works and TUSD relents, great. If not, say the courses don't conform to Common Core standards. If TUSD still decides to plow forward with its plans, it's time for Hupp and his supporters to haul out the big guns and say the new courses violate the law that was used to dismantle MAS. Start by selectively quoting from the curriculum to show how it's promoting revolution and racial division (Mark Stegeman has already compiled a hot list of sentences from the curriculum, so Hupp won't even have to do the work himself). If TUSD reinstates some of the books that were shelved post-MAS dismantling, expect howls of horror to echo through the conservo-sphere. Rinse and repeat until the Hupp neuters the new courses — or he and others successfully use the battle to bolster their political stature with their supporters.
This whole thing won't end quickly or easily. The district is standing between a Hupp and a hard place. It has to bend to the irresistable force of the court-ordered Unitary Plan, which is on schedule to run into the immovable object of the conservative's anti-brown, anti-TUSD, anti-"government school" campaign. Something's gotta give.
We have a newly constituted, more progressive TUSD board, and there's a new Sheriff Superintendent in town. Will they make good on their promises to change the district for the better?