Whistleblowers: Response to HT’s staged state of TUSD, SALC’s Mean Girl Kristel Foster re-emerges

To: The Tucson Community- 23rd Open Letter
From:  Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, and Parents

Subject: Response to Sanchez’ STAGED STATE OF TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT & Kristal Foster is Once Again Surfacing Her “Mean Girl” Tendency


 HT Sanchez’ STAGED STATE OF TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Our 22nd letter hit on Monday morning February 22nd, the same day of TUSD’s fear-filling and lying leader HT Sanchez’ State of the District performance. The letter caused a stir with HT Sanchez and his leaderless team, who met Monday morning to plot out a strategy of support for his performance which would somehow counter our letter. HT and his team became more frantic than is usually the case and decided that they had to fill the Tucson High Auditorium with “their” people to STAGE support and success. By early afternoon, each site administrator had received an email from Abel (really- unable) Morado mandating site administrators to attend the meeting. Site administrators were going to be used like stage props, except in the audience.  Department heads also spread the word to their staffs to attend the meeting.

Everyone knows how rude it is to be mandated to attend an after 5:00 p.m. meeting on the same day. Rudeness has become an everyday occurrence in TUSD. In this case, there was no regard for what any of us, who were mandated to attend, had planned in terms of child care, family obligations, classes, or other commitments. There are more “emergency” meetings called within TUSD than ever before. It is knee-jerk management at its optimum. The only real emergency is the lack of leadership and professionalism demonstrated by HT and his inept team.

Meanwhile, as HTs top level administrators consumed their time in ordering people to attend the meeting, HT modified his speech to deflect as much criticism as possible. The only problem with this approach is that lying is second nature to HT so his deflection turned into embellishment, omission and flat out lies. It is actually what he does best and what makes him the worst. He is a pathological liar and his Staged State of District was filled with more deceit.

By 6:00 pm the Tucson High Auditorium was filled with about 150 people; 120 of whom were obviously TUSD employees, many of whom resented the hell out of having to attend the mandated meeting. The remaining 30 people were community members, media and students (most of the students were also mandated to attend).

Michelle Simon, the School Community Partnership Council Moderator introduced HT and indicated that he would be presenting the State of the District, including plans for TUSD’s future. Within his presentation there  was little talk about TUSD’s future and there was near to nothing about what the District, under the (un)leadership of HT Sanchez, has done or is doing to address student retention or retrieval of students who have left TUSD; teacher recruitment and retention;compliance with the USPreal transparencya vigorous human resources plan which outlines recruitment, retention and the development of excellent employees,a user friendly budgetand finance practices which gain trust (instead of erode it), academic achievement, drop-out rate, discipline and what he is actually going to do to support our schools.

It was obvious that there was a set plan for certain people to begin applauding and cheering at times, which prompted additional applauding. All STAGED! It was disgustingly bogus.

As principals grimaced back and forth, our wide-spread distain was obvious. Of course, we had to grimace without being caught by HT’s snitches. We know who they are, inclusive of some Board members.

HT began his theatrics by telling us that he was going to conduct his State of the District in the same format as a program he watches on the Discovery Channel; Myth Busters. In our follow-up and in preparation for this letter, as we discussed his approach and the psychology of it, we determined that HT does know that he is in deep trouble since his Staged State of the District address was totally defensive. It was empty of any data, any impressive progress, any identified problems, and any visionary plans. The entire presentation was defensive. This is probably the best sign we have seen in actually determining that HT is aware that he is drowning and that despite all the cheering and clapping by his dutiful team, no one can rescue him. This fact has become obvious.

The program, Myth Busters, actually “busts” myths through scientific, mathematical or other hard evidence. The hosts have to convince the audience, through facts, that the issue at hand is a myth; not because they say so, but because there is evidence to prove it. As HT took on each of the so-called myths about TUSD, he would claim that certain statements about TUSD were “busted,” presenting no substantive evidence. It was a horrible parody of the program and an insult to the intelligence of the audience.

HT was noticeably nervous during the Staged presentation. He is not as cool as he was when the wool was over almost everyone’s eyes.

His first so-called myth was: ‘Tucson Unified School District never does anything good.”  He then said, “this myth is busted,” as though his declaration would dispel the statement. (We believe the statement refers to 1010 bureaucrats and not the schools!) He then listed a number of awards that the District has applied and lobbied forand has been awarded. The awards have been issued based on what the District has put on paper; not through verifiable evidence. It is basically a bunch of awards for counterfeit applications.  HT’s shallowness in dealing with the real issues within TUSD are shadowed by his and Stefanie Boe’s (Public Relations Director) constant public relations spin. Their chase and capture of framed awards does not improve achievement; increase enrollment; place teachers in every classroom; provide desperately needed resources for every teacher; support compliance with the USP; etc. The framed awards which were gained by applying and lying to the award giver just is more of the same. It is hype; hype, and more hype; spin, spin and more spin.

Take one of these awards, for example; the College Board placed TUSD on their AP honor roll because of TUSD’s alleged increase in AP courses and students. The award is based on a myth. The increase in the number of AP courses and students is attributed to one single school. Yes; University High. We have borrowed the analysis by one of Tucson’s best; Lillian Fox. A friend of a friend of a friend provided us with her research on the issue, which has now been widely shared. Lillian is a retired teacher who began examining why teachers did not have sufficient textbooks to teach. She has never really been told or shown why this is the case. What she has discovered is a bottomless pit of unanswered questions about why the budget does not better support teachers and schools which has motivated her to seek out information on issues beyond the appropriate allocation of text books. We are grateful!

This is what she has had to say about the increase in AP courses and students.

·       To get recognized for the AP honor roll, 3 years of test results are required.

·       TUSD’s increase in the number of AP students was entirely due to University High.

·       All the high schools, except Pueblo and University High, had fewer students taking AP classes.

·       Without the huge increase at University High, the small increase at Pueblo would have been entirely swamped out by the decreases in all the rest of the high schools. School districts also have to have substantial numbers of students scoring well on the tests.

·       By decreasing the number of students in all the other high schools, with a massive increase in tests at UHS and a small increase at Pueblo, TUSD was guaranteed to achieve high test scores. 

·       UHS increased by 399 tests.

·       Pueblo by only 28 tests.

·       UHS and Pueblo’s increase totaled 427.

·       The other schools lost 217 tests

·       TUSD still ended up with a net increase of 210.

The 399 additional tests from UHS plus a reduction of 217 tests from TUSD’s other high schools was enough to guarantee a sustained increase in test scores plus enough tests to compensate for the reductions in the other district high schools!

These are the AP Tests over 3 years used to get TUSD’s AP National Recognition. The results show that all of TUSD’s high schools, except Pueblo and UHS had fewer students taking the AP test. Almost 400 more UHS students took the test.

This chart is copied from AzDI

 

School

School Year:2015

School Year: 2014

School Year: 2013

Gain/Loss

Pueblo

135

72

107

+28

THMS

307

424

331

-24

Rincon

196

267

269

-73

UHS

2192

1871

1793

+399

Palo Verde

95

   53

104

-9

Sahuaro

242

242

245

-3


(Article continued below)

Sabino

348

259

363

-15

Santa Rita

49

57

71

-22

Catalina

20

48

52

-32

Cholla

  0

0

0

NC

Project More

  0

15

17

-17

      Total

3584

3313

3374

+210

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it. The facts.

While HT rambled off his list of one chased award after another, some teachers were whispering, “What does this have to do with my classroom; I still do not have teaching supplies?” One student said, “This meeting is sorry! I cannot wait to get out AFAP.” (As fast as possible.)

Sanchez mentioned Blue Ribbon Schools and A+ schools but forgot to mention that nothing he had done had gotten them to such recognition, although our Sabino peer would say that the sun did not rise until HT showed up. Blue Ribbon and A+ schools have worked very hard to obtain their status, despite the obstruction by the 1010 walking dead, who impose more work, and provide no support.

HT then went into the salary increases for teachers as if this were one of his biggest achievements. What he did not mention is the difference between the 25% increase he received and the % increase (pittance) that teachers received. Too bad he did not chase and receive an award for the greediest superintendent in the country.

He talked about decreasing the number of teacher vacancies from the time he arrived up through this year. The claim is that this year TUSD had only 90 vacancies. Isn’t the State of the District supposed to report on the previous year; not the current year?  Either way, he is wrong! He is dead wrong! He is a liar! In tallying up the vacancies among schools that we informally surveyed from one principal buddy to another, we quickly exceeded the alleged 90 mark. What exactly is he counting?

Another myth he said he was busting: ‘TUSD wastes money and does not want to implement the desegregation court order.’ This was almost comical because we all know that he has trashed the court order and everyone associated with it. He has told us that the schools could never reach the integration requirements. We knows that several of the magnet schools have not been able to meet the requirements in the stipulation due to the lack of support from Sanchez and his staff.  TUSD central will pretend to have done all possible while actually leaving the schools to fend for themselves. One glaring example: Holladay has, just days ago, finally received a magnet coordinator at the school. (Hire date and “show-up” date are not always the same.) Every magnet school has multiple examples just like this one. Every magnet school has been directed to toe the mark and not complain. (We at the magnet schools know that rest of the sentence is, “or else!) And, of course, we all know that he convinced some magnet administrators to lie about the support they have received, which is unforgivable!

 

Sanchez said that another myth is that ‘TUSD remains under the desegregation court order just for the funding’. Once again, he said, “busted” and explained that in 2016-17 the District “will apply for unitary status” and that the District has shown good faith effort. Really? We must have missed this good faith effort while at the schools; especially the magnet schools. We are not receiving the support which has been indicated to the Court. Is it a crime to lie to the court? HT having his inept staff going through meaningless motions to show “good faith effort” is another sham. He will be busted!

HT actually had the audacity to say that the District is working collaboratively with the plaintiffs and Special Master. This is not the impression the Court has and the Court has based its opinion on the facts presented by the plaintiffs and Special Master. Who do you believe?

It sure did not look like collaboration when HT stood up in front of us at Safford, Ochoa, Utterback, etc. when he insulted the Special Master’s knowledge because he is from the eastern part of the country or insisted that that the Latino plaintiffs’ representatives be booted out of her role or when he  said to a few in the audience that one of the Fisher Representatives should have been a student advocate but that she only has a high school diploma and has no business making educational recommendations, or…..well, you get the drift. He has attacked many of the individuals involved in the case on a personal level. And, everyone knows that HT has buried the Magnet Programs Director for doing her job and attempting to support magnet schools and their students and has been punitive to anyone who supports the USP in a public way. Plainly put, HT saying that he/the District are working collaboratively is BSL; Big Sanchez Lie.

We are all convinced that the Court will deny the District’s application for unitary status since it is so severely out of compliance in so many areas. But, hypothetically, let’s say that the Court grants the District its application. How will TUSD fund the programs that are tied to the desegregation court order because whether he knows it or not, HT cannot just halt the USP programs without legal repercussions? We have been doing lots and lots of research.) He seems not to care that about the ${DATA}lt;strong>63,000,000 which he has placed at risk for future use, totally based on the sloppy job he has done with the court order. Many legislatures have no trust in him. There is currently a legislative bill that is being proposed which would cut off desegregation once a school district is declared unitary and TUSD is the reason behind the legislation.

As desegregation funding was raised in his STAGED presentation, HT defensively explained that the District’s desegregation funding is scrutinized by the Special Master, the Court, the Fisher and Mendoza Plaintiffs, the auditor, the Board and that the Special Master had written in a letter that TUSD is probably more scrutinized than any other District.

The self-assumed myth-buster explained that another myth that he was busting is that the District’s educational offering are status quo. It is beyond ironic that a myth-maker has the guts to assume the role of a myth-buster. Here is the bigger irony: if it weren’t for the desegregation court order mandating the infusion of programs and the inclusion of minorities in all programs, the District would be dead in their stagnation. Most of the programs he proudly listed are tied to the court order. 

Sanchez reported that he has shifted more than 100 administrative jobs to the schools. We would like to know which schools received the positions and exactly when each of the positions showed up at each of the schools. Is this more fantasy and fast talk?

In an article that appeared on February 22nd in the Arizona Daily Star about Sanchez’ presentation, the reporter articulately pointed out the following weaknesses: “Sanchez said he continues to seek a better graduation rate, which currently exceeds the state rate, and to improve TUSD’s diversity.

Sanchez did not directly discuss strategies to bring students back to TUSD. The district has lost more than 10 percent of its enrollment — about 5,400 students — since 2010.Nearly 1,400 of those students who have left TUSD have done so under Sanchez’s leadership. The TUSD leader also did not mention the performance of Southern Arizona’s largest school district on the state mandated test, AzMERIT. In it, 28 percent of students passed English Language Arts and 25 percent passed math — lower than both the state and county averages.” This of course means that 72% failed English Language Arts and 75% failed math. HT stayed away from the topic of student achievement, which is one of the most important issues in leading a school district. He has no shame.

In another article in World Now/Tucson News Now, Stefanie Boe, the head of “PR spin” for the District is quoted as saying:

“I think one of the biggest myths is TUSD is not a good place to work.”  “And so we want people in the community to understand that we’re trying to transform our system so that it is a place where people love to work.”  She went on to say, “We’re the fifth largest employer in Pima County, so we’re just we’re making sure our employees feel valued, respected and they want to be here,” Boe said. Shout out to Stefanie Boe: The transformation of which you speak will not take place while the current (un) leadership is in place. HT has created fear and great unhappiness. Both teachers and administrators are leaving the District as fast as they can; unlike has taken place under any other administration. In large part the Board majority is to blame. Spin this fact, Stefanie!

We are disappointed by SCPC and the way that the meeting was allowed to be hijacked by the Superintendent.  SCPC had an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership and influence and instead turned the whole meeting into a STAGED sham. The level of questions that were asked were pathetic and likely screened.

Overall, our assessment of the STAGED STATE of the DISTRICT is that it was all smokes and mirrors, mistruths and hype.

 

Too Much within Two Days

 

On Monday many of us attended the STAGED State of the District meeting and then on Tuesday attended or streamed the Board meeting. It was too much! While we may write more about the meeting of 2/23/16 in a future letter, we felt it important to describe the unprofessional conduct of one very rude and malicious Board member; Kristal Ann Foster (KAF). During presentations to the Board it is standard practice to have Board members dialogue with the presenter (unless Board members are asked to hold their questions until the end of the presentation), allowing Board members to ask questions or ask for clarification. Mark Stegeman and Mike Hicks did just that during one of the agenda items being discussed during the Board meeting. At times KAF, herself has done this very same thing. But this nasty and mean girl, KAF, could not suppress her offensive, vile streak and actually apologized to the presenters for the interruptions made by her peers; Stegeman and Hicks. She has never said a word about Cam Juarez when he goes on ad nauseam about issues.  

KAF behaves like the middle school girl who pretends to be sweet in front of the teacher but when alone with her peers, to gain favor with the popular kids, she humiliates and bullies those outside of the popular group. Who the hell does this woman think she is? Does she not know that everyone notices? It was disgusting. She continues to be an embarrassment to the District, the Board, the Democratic Party, the teaching profession, women, and society in general. Let us take it upon ourselves to apologize to the community for her mean and nasty behavior. Krystal Ann Foster- KAF- is a Kinda Angry Female who needs to grow up and act professionally.

 

All of our letters may be found at: http://threesonorans.com/tusd-whistleblower-archives/

 

We continue to be grateful to Three Sonorans for publishing every single one of our letters. We appreciate greatly that the Arizona Daily Independent publishes many of our letters and references them within their own posts from time to time.

 

 

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