How will the new TUSD superintendent affect ethnic studies? (VIDEO)

The 5 members of the TUSD board were unanimous on their decision this week.

Yesterday we explored why the TUSD school board is making a really bad decision to rush their selection of a new superintendent.

In a nutshell we recalled that the last superintendent left after not even two years to a more affluent district in Colorado. Now the TUSD board wants to determine her successor will be in the next month, the same month that the general election is taking place with ever state office up for grabs, Brewer vs. Goddard, Kotterman vs. Huppenthal, Rotellini vs. Horne, and a US Senate seat, ever US Congress seat, etc.

The citizens of Tucson barely have enough time to learn about these candidates, which is why the TUSD board, or rather Adelita Grijalva and Bruce Burke, have chosen this exact time to make their last power plays since their terms are up this year.

They certainly cannot make the case the they will have maximal input from the community. Heck they won’t even get maximal input from Grijalva since she is running for re-election.

Just to be clear, I am not saying that Adelita should not be re-elected, but many in the community, HER community, think this decision by the TUSD board is a horrible decision and it is our duty to be critical of our elected officials, even if we support them overall.

Yesterday the ethnic studies team kicked off their legal defense fundraiser. Unlike the case with Jan Brewer, there are no millionaires in Wyoming giving millions to her anti-immigration fund, and thus the money to defeat HB2281 must come from the community.

Find out how to get involved and how to donate here.

Richard Martinez, the lawyer fighting HB2281 on behalf of the ethnic studies teachers, spoke yesterday about the legal case and was asked about the impact of the new TUSD superintendent on ethnic studies at the University of Arizona.

A major help for the cause would be a superintendent who sees the value of diversity in the district and in the curriculum. Unfortunately, the front-runner, John Pedicone, vice-president of the conservative Southern Arizona Leadership Council, has a “horrible record when he was at Flowing Wells and certainly represents the inverse relationship” of supporting ethnic studies, according the Martinez.

Impact of new Superintendent on Ethnic Studies

15 comments on “How will the new TUSD superintendent affect ethnic studies? (VIDEO)
    • Cite one sensible reason why Ethnic Studies shouldn’t, since it’s taxes that fund schools, be paid for by taxpayer money. Should taxpayer money not be used for computer studies? Reading? Spelling? Algebra? History? Geography? Sports? The arts? Do you have a problem, being a member of an ethnic group, with ethnic studies? And if so, why? Doesn’t it make sense to learn about who one is, where one comes from, what one’s people have done? Isn’t there value in learning how one’s ethnic group has been treated and how they reacted to the cards they were dealt so changes can be made to improve one’s lot to better contribute to a society, knowing that you come from a long line of ancestors, no matter what your ethnicity, who’ve left their struggles in your generation’s hands. Could there be a better expenditure of taxpayer money than providing an education that’s relevant to a learner’s life?

      • Can’t you learn who you are and where youu came from from your mother and dad? And why should I as a taxpayer have to pay for that?

        • Then why should a taxpayer have to pay for any class? And there are some moms and dads on this website who obviously have no clue where they came from, no sense of history at all, especially when it comes to the relationship between our history and Mexico’s history.

  1. Doesn’t it make sense to learn about who one is, where one comes from, what one’s people have done?

    A germane question would be: “Who doesn’t want you to know these things, and why don’t they want you to know these things”? 

    • Right on, leftfield. It’s amazing how we as a society allow ourselves to be jerked around by the powers that be and then take our anger out on each other, on gays, on “illegals,” on the homeless, on anything not European in thought. We don’t see how vital we are to each other, how we’re all we’ve got. And, sadly, it doesn’t seem, as I look at SB1070 and “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and such, like I’m going to live to see that shift in our makeup in my lifetime – I sense that we’ll always look around for somebody to be “less than.”

  2. TUSD does indeed face many complex problems today and in the future and that is why they would be blessed to have such an experienced and knowledgeable Superintendent such as John Pedicone. The most disturbing part of your article is your lack of facts.  You say he has a horrible record and doesn’t support ethnic studies, but supply NO FACTS. John Pedicone is loyal to Tucson and has been for many years.  He also sees and values the diversity in the district and curriculum.  Instead of informing the public of what he can offer with his experience, you choose to instill fear among the ethnic community.  I believe that J. Pedicone would leave any current employment only because ethically and morally he feels he could help solve the many problems facing TUSD.  At the very least the people involved with TUSD should hear all the facts and not distorted statements.  MY conjecture is that Dr. John Pedicone has enough votes to win right now, because he is the most qualified for the job.  I believe all this to be true because I was a hispanic student  who was involved with Flowing Wells School District and flourished under the care and direction of Dr. Pedicone.

  3. I’ve known Dr. John Pedicone both personally and professionally for 27 years. I am also closely acquainted with the Flowing Wells School District, having attended there from grades K-12.  Furthermore,I  served for 14 years as a teacher and principal in FW. It is stated that the Tucson Unified School District needs a leader who values diversity. Then, it is conveyed that Dr. John Pedicone “had a horrible record when he was in Flowing Wells…” I take respectful exception to that  statement and suggest that there is plenty of evidence to support the opposite point.  For example, as Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Dr. Pedicone led an active teacher recruiting initiative to identify highly qualified professional educators; it included an overt effort to identify highly qualified educators from minority groups who represented the demographic makeup of the students. Second, Dr. Pedicone actively identified resources to provide students with extended learning opportunities, including programs that showed sensitivity and respect for diverse cultures that are represented in the school community. An example of this was the mariachi program, which was started at the elementary school where I served as Principal. Finally, Dr. Pedicone’s vision and strong support led to the establishment of a highly successful and meaningful cultural exchange, through the Hands Across the Border Program, between FW High School, where he served as Principal at the time, and a partner high school in Huepac, Mexico. Dr. Pedicone’s professional qualifications and record speak for themselves.

    • Are you confident that Pedicone will be a strong advocate for Raza studies and will continue to fight any attacks on it so that it will survive?
      And that he will fully fund it unlike the current interim who is not providing the sufficient number of teachers to fill all the classes?

  4. For a lawyer, I’m surprised Mr. Martinez doesn’t have his facts in order.  He really did a disservice to Dr. Pedicone by making such an accusation.  I also have known Dr. Pedicone for a some time and feel that Mr. Martinez’ statement regarding his “history in Flowing Wells” is absolutely false.  I also attended the Superintendent’s forum for Dr. Pedicone on Monday evening and he was directly asked how he felt about the Raza studies program and if he would continue to support it.  He absolutely said that he would defend this program and support its remaining a part of the curriculum in many TUSD schools.

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