John Huppenthal flip-flopping his way to a defeat

flip-flopsOur sock-puppet blog troll “Thucky,” aka John Huppenthal, is in trouble again, this time for flip flopping on his support for the Common Core education standards.

Actually this isn’t something new for Thucky, he has been doing this for some time now. He changes his stance on Common Core depending upon the audience to whom he is speaking. Here is a report from the Mohave Daily News (April 10, 2014), State superintendent defends Common Core:

Arizona Supt. of Public Instruction John Huppenthal spoke to Mohave County Republicans Wednesday night discussing the Arizona Common Core Standards. The new standards, adopted in Arizona in 2010 and in 46 other states, will better prepare K-12 students for college in math and English language arts.

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[Huppenthal] claimed that the tougher standards for math and English are a conservative victory and the culture of self-esteem or just passing students through the system has to change.

Calling himself a John Adams Republican, Huppenthal said the focus should be on teachers, principals and their students not academics and blasted President Barack Obama as a deconstructionist out to control power.

Huppenthal also criticized the theory of global warming by claiming that of the 7.2 million cubic miles of ice at the South Pole, none of it is melting. He also accused an ethnic studies textbook of claiming that Benjamin Franklin was a racist. Throughout his speech, Huppenthal spoke of peeling the layers of the federal government off education little by little.

Several speakers asked about liberal bias found in textbooks including science and history books. Huppenthal called for more of a balance in textbooks and said that textbooks and school curriculum are decided by local school boards.

And here is a report from the Kingman Daily Miner (June 13, 2014), Common Core ‘indoctrinating’ rapped:

The Arizona Common Core standards are based on the national standards and were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010 without input from the Arizona Legislature. In September, Gov. Jan Brewer attempted to calm protests against it by renaming it “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards” and reaffirming that Arizona is acting independently from the federal government.

At the forum, Huppenthal said that while he unequivocally supports the English/language arts and math standards of Common Core, he has problems with its history and science standards because of their questionable definition of America’s founding fathers and the Constitution and their unbalanced debate on climate change.

“I do not support indoctrinating people into automatically believing that man causes global warming,” said Huppenthal. “I believe that climate change is an incredible opportunity to teach our students robust science – how to dig into both sides of that debate and understand how bias gets injected into scientific inquiry, how bias is being injected into the climate change inquiry and how to separate fact from fiction in the climate change debate.”

Also, he does not support the Common Core mandates given to teachers that tell them how to guide students to reach the English/language arts and math standards.

Thucky was deep into the school of conservative revisionist history and climate science denialism for those of you not familiar with his trolling at Blog for Arizona.

The most recent flip-flop controversy stems from his debate last week with his single-issue (“Kill Common Core!“) Tea Party primary opponent, Diane Douglas. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reported, Huppenthal joins the ‘barbarians,’ flip-flops on Common Core:

Huppenthal flip-flopped Tuesday on his position on Common Core, saying he “never” supported the learning standards. His new stance comes just two months after he spoke at an Arizona Capitol Times Morning Scoop forum on K-12 education issues, during which he implored education and business leaders to do a better job selling the virtues of the standards to voters.

“Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, the barbarians are at the gate,” Huppenthal said, referring to critics of Common Core who want to repeal the standards and have been successful in other states.

“We have people who are cleverly undermining what we’ve done. This is not a small thing… We need everybody at the gate to say, ‘No.’ And this is important for our Republican Party, too. If you want to show that Republicans can’t govern, let the barbarians in,” he said later in the forum.

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“I have put my career on the line to stave off the barbarians, I very likely could lose this election,” Huppenthal said. “But I’m okay with that, because I feel like I did the right thing.”

But at an Aug. 5 debate with Republican opponent Diane Douglas, whose campaign is centered on repealing Common Core, Huppenthal proclaimed that he had fought tirelessly against the new education standards.

“I have never supported the Common Core standards,” he said.

Huppenthal said that he “blocked” the Common Core literature standards because they included books like “The Bluest Eye” and “Dreaming in Cuban,” which he said are “absolute pornography.”

“I stripped those out of our standards – any kind of recommended book list. I blocked Common Core literature,” he said at the debate, which was hosted and moderated by conservative talk show host and activist Shane Krauser.

Huppenthal said he also “blocked” new science standards – which are not part of Common Core, which deals only with math and English – because they are “indoctrination standards” that teach man-made global warming.

Huppenthal’s answer left Douglas nearly speechless.

“I’m kind of thunderstruck, quite frankly,” Douglas said, before responding that Huppenthal barnstormed the state to convince conservative voters to support the standards.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports today, Huppenthal changes position again, now favors Common Core standards:

Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal says his newfound opposition to the Common Core educational guidelines has been misrepresented and he now thinks they are “sound standards.”

Huppenthal’s latest stance came in a video and email sent to the “education community” today, a week after he said in a political debate that he “never” supported the learning standards. That came after years of championing Common Core, known here as Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.

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In Huppenthal’s email, which contained a link to a 90-second video, he said he wanted to reassure people dedicated to Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards he “wholly” supports their work.

“Recently my support for Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards has been misrepresented. Therefore, I have released the following video in the hope that I can better clarify my stance on AZCCRS,” Huppenthal wrote.

Huppenthal said he opposes standards that present an unbalanced debate on scientific topics like climate change, and he will always oppose any standard aimed at denigrating the Founding Fathers and U.S. Constitution.

The Arizona Republic clarifies that Huppenthal misused resources of the Education Department in support of his campaign (Hatch Act violation), Huppenthal posts video after ‘flip-flopping’ accusations:

The 90-second video was posted to YouTube and e-mailed to the state’s teachers on Arizona Department of Education letterhead Tuesday. In the e-mail message, Huppenthal said he posted the video because his message “has been misrepresented.”

In the video, he says he supports “standards that prepare our students for success in college and career and life.”

He goes on to address points often brought up by conservatives: “I will always oppose any standard that presents an unbalanced bait on science topics like climate change,” and “I will always oppose any standard aimed at denigrating our founding fathers and the U.S. Constitution.”

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Huppenthal said it was appropriate to send the message using his office.

“In my view, it was necessary because to a certain extent, the political environment is destabilizing the education environment,” he told The Republic. “My first priority is to stabilize the educational environment, and that was my motivation to send it out.”

Yes, the All Great and Powerful Oz has a history of casting himself as the decider of what is legal and appropriate. If someone files a Hatch Act complaint, Thucky is going to find out it is the courts that decide what is legal and appropriate (although the courts have given him an undeserved pass in the past).

Just vote this corrupt politician out of office and let’s be done with him.

2 responses to “John Huppenthal flip-flopping his way to a defeat

  1. AZ BlueMeanie

    Good catch!

  2. You missed the other flip flop in Hupp’s 90-second campaign/educational video.

    With a straight face he said, “I will also oppose any law that removes responsibility of curriculum choices from local school districts and boards and charter schools.”

    Whew, that’s a relief. That should be comforting to H.T. Sanchez and the TUSD Board to know that Hupp has changed his mind on ethnic studies.