Huppenthal names man banned from public education in New Jersey to head Mexican American Studies audit in Tucson
Mexican American Studies litigants request emergency TUSD school board meeting
A former Plainfield, N.J. superintendent arrested in 2010 on charges of conspiring to commit theft of more than $10,000 of educational services will head the consultant team chosen by superintendent of public education John Huppenthal to audit Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) program, starting Monday.
In January, Steve Gallon III and two high-ranking Plainfield School District employees entered pretrial intervention program agreements to avoid jail time on 11 criminal charges, according to dailyrecord.com.
The agreement barred all three from ever working in New Jersey public school service in the future.
Gallon had been charged with providing false documents to show that the children of two women who worked for him actually lived with him so that those children could attend South Plainfield public schools.
In addition Gallon faced allegations that he had demoted district employees for opposing him, that he had violated board policy by failing to post employment opportunities and position vacancies, and that he breached union contracts without board authorization, among others.
Gallon resigned shortly before Christmas, 2010 after receiving a $100,000 settlement from the school board which said it did so because it would be too costly and time consuming to go to trial against Gallon.
Litigants in the Tucson ethnic studies case are calling upon the TUSD school board to call an emergency meeting Friday to evaluate the decision and provide public input, stating that Gallon likely couldn’t even obtain the fingerprint clearance teachers and volunteers must obtain to work in the classroom.
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Yet this is the man state superintendent Huppenthal wants to tell him if MAS is following the law.
Gallon’s company – Cambium Learning Group – won the contract from the Arizona Department of Education to conduct the 4-6 week curriculum audit of the MAS program to evaluate whether it complies with the law as defined in A.R.S 15-111. According to the bid request for the job, Cambium is charged with making unannounced classroom observations to observe teaching, conduct interviews with key stakeholders, and evaluate curricula and educational materials relative to state standards.
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