by David Safier
I wrote a post yesterday about a proposal that will be brought up at Tuesday's TUSD board meeting which suggests a high school should be closed down and University High should be moved to that location. The post led to a long comment string on Facebook which included some information I didn't know. I want to add it here for the sake of completeness.
The resolution which will be brought up Tuesday was first raised at the December 20, 2012, board meeting. According to the minutes (item 15), the proposal was raised by Mark Stegeman, and its purpose was to have the Superintendent "work with UHS staff and site council to develop" the plan in the proposal and bring it to the board no later than November, 2013 — in other words, this month. The board voted for the proposal 4-1 with Adelita Grijalva the only no vote. (Two of the people voting yes are no longer on the board.) That's why the proposal is on the agenda.
That additional information doesn't change anything in my earlier post. It's still true Stegeman proposed the change in December, 2012, and I still disagree with it.
One of the contributors to the Facebook discussion was Ann-Eve Pedersen, who knows more about TUSD insider baseball than I do and, in my experience working with her on our cable access show, "Education: The Rest of the Story," does her research and knows what she's talking about. She wrote a number of comments directed at what she considers Stegeman's destructive role on the board. Stegeman left the impression in some comments that he wasn't really responsible for the proposal — after all, the board voted for it. Here is Ann-Eve's response.
Mark: To act like you are not behind the proposed UHS move is disingenuous at best. You have been holding meetings and helping orchestrate support for this – all outside of the realm of the TUSD superintendent, administration and other board members. Now, unfortunately, because of those actions, many at UHS think this is a done deal. When it doesn't end up happening, they are going to blame TUSD — so more bad press guaranteed. While UHS teachers may want this move, not all UHS parents are in agreement, nor are all potential parents or future middle school parents. You do not have a mandate and even if you did, you are not a solo player – you are part of five-member board. You are going about this in a divisive way – and I have to ask why you would be doing that. Your goal does not seem to be to create constructive dialogue or to look at the UHS/Rincon/middle school issue as part of a larger district plan.