Three Sonorans has been writing about MAS-TUSD almost daily since 2010, when HB2281 was passed which racially profiled Mexican American Studies in Tucson only, and which led to the official killing of the highly successful program for Latinos in 2012. Now it is time to admit the truth which was finally realized last week, on Columbus Day of all days; MAS-TUSD is dead and is not coming back anytime soon, by which I mean not under the current board or superintendent.
Last week was also when it was realized that HT Sanchez does not really understand the history of the issue and just wants political compromise so he can build up his resume and get the hell out of Tucson in three years when his own creation, the five-year plan, is not even half-way done. This either implies that he does not care about the fulfillment of His Plan, or that TUSD will be better off under new leadership, and thus His Plan requires someone other than He to run the district. Why leave midway?
All of HT Sanchez’s talk about being a “data-driven” leader is complete nonsense. There are two HUGE facts that have years of data that he either wishes to ignore or lacks the courage to stand up for the Truth.
- The most successful educational program for Latinos in the nation was MAS-TUSD. That is the only program where data exists to validate it. MAS is proven to work and had graduation rates of 97% and thus HT should be driven by that data. Instead he is implementing a new CRC curriculum for which no data exists.
- One of the most damaging programs for Latinos continues to thrive under the HT Sanchez Era and that is the living ELL TUSD puts thousands of Latinos in every day, literally segregating them from classmates for 4 hours each and every day into “Mexican Rooms.” Data shows that ELL students have a graduation rate of near 30%, much lower than the allow low nationwide average of 50%
If HT really was data-driven, MAS would be brought back today and ELL would be banned, but exactly the opposite is taking place under his leadership!
The former TUSD superintendent John Pedicone was going to ban MAS in TUSD on Cinco de Mayo, 2011 by having a strange board meeting on a Thursday instead of the almost-always Tuesday. After being called out on the symbology of that day, the date was changed to May 3rd and Pedicone unleashed an ass-whooping on the community, arrested our elders, and somehow had command of the police in the board room which video clearly shows. But at least all this did not take place on Cinco de Mayo.
Contrast that with the current TUSD board, which canceled the second-Tuesday-of-the-month regular board meeting, which has not been done in recent history, and then called a rush special board meeting to officially admit defeat, losing all fight they had left in them and any hope of a return of MAS-TUSD.
This took place on Columbus Day. Perhaps a book can be written about this symbology and significance, but we will skip that for now.
In a nutshell this is what led to the death of MAS in TUSD.
- Tom Horne launched the attack in 2006 as state superintendent.
- John Huppenthal took over and used this issue, promising to “Stop La Raza,” and succeeded Tom Horne and carried out his personal anti-Latino desires.
- John Pedicone was only too willing to do this did, especially after he won Superintendent of the Year in Arizona for his work with implementing the new Bilingual Education ban passed in 2000 while he was in charge of Flowing Wells school district.
- TUSD board member Mark Stegeman offered a resolution that would have dismantled MAS in April 2011, much earlier than necessary and before Huppenthal’s official and independent audit of the program was complete.
- Special Master Willis Hawley gets appointed to the TUSD Desegregation case and wants to use Tucson Latino children as his guinea pigs. He admits that he does not really want MAS courses around anymore since that would directly compete with his own experiment of culturally relevant courses.
- TUSD board member Michael Hicks presents his resolution in January 2012 to immediately kill the MAS program in TUSD.
- Candidate for school board Kristel Foster, while running for the office, admits that she would have also voted YES on the Hicks resolution to kill MAS. She ends up getting the most votes in the election.
You can see a pattern in the people bolded above and make your own conclusions. These are the people with power over this issue, so as history shows, it is only a matter of time before House Mexicans appear only too eager to sell out their community to appease White Supremacy.
The most disappointing Latino group to sell out MAS-TUSD was MALDEF. They were proud of compromising with the Special Massa and proclaimed via press releases the return of these watered-down and white-washed courses. The Latino Plaintiff on the Deseg case was telling everyone that the new CRC classes would be better than MAS ever was.
Augustine Romero made his deal with the devil a whole year before in April 2012 when board member Miguel Cuevas let it slip that Pedicone would be firing MAS co-founder and director Sean Arce in exchange for a High-spanic who would not protest and work obediently to start stripping away what the Tucson Chicano community created to appease White Supremacists.
New board member Cam Juarez also started telling people that he would not be bringing back MAS because he was playing a high-level game of chess, and after the sacrificing of many pawns to protect his King and Queen (Grijalva), he was also telling people that the CRC being created by Romero would be better than MAS also.
But what was being created was not a constructive process but a destructive process; starting with the MAS curriculum and taking things out that White Supremacists did not approve of, things such as any talk of “race, class or oppression” or teaching students about their indigenous heritage. It was as if Auggie were tasked to “create” a Calculus course, but instead he started with a Calculus course and took out all contributions by Leibniz because he on Isaac Newton’s side, and taking out derivatives because it might be too hard for the Latinos in TUSD.
There was always still a glimmer of hope, however. One thought was that even after stripping these courses down, Huppenthal would not approve and then TUSD could fight back legally. But just the opposite happened; Auggie did such a GREAT JOB appeasing all these white folks from the Massa to Huppenthal that even Huppenthal signed off on these new classes.
These new classes are NOT MAS. MAS is banned in Arizona. Anything even resembling MAS is illegal.
On Columbus Day, 2013 the TUSD board and HT Sanchez finally gave in and accepted this compromise. Did the board even realize the significance of this day as Pedicone did with Cinco de Mayo?
Anyways, here are my conclusions and predictions:
- MAS-TUSD is dead and not coming back under HT Sanchez.
- Even if the Ninth Circuit overturns HB2281, the new school board will still not bring back MAS. They think CRC is better despite lack of data.
- It is time for this blogger to move on from this topic. It is over. There is no more hope of MAS-TUSD returning, so time to accept defeat and move on.
- This does not mean coverage of TUSD is done. They are about to de-magnetize some schools, also too successful in educating Latinos, because HT Sanchez is not data-driven but advancing-his-career-driven.
- This does not mean that MAS is dead. It is just not coming back to TUSD. In fact, it cannot even be called MAS as it is in colleges all across the country. Right across the street you can get a Ph.D. in MAS, and at Tucson High School the topic is illegal.
And that is my analysis. My personal hope of any return of MAS in TUSD officially died on Columbus Day 2013. The knowledge still exists in the community, and other places such as Prescott College are now allowing the banned knowledge and banned books to be used on their campus, but it is a shame that Tucson’s largest school district is regressing under HT Sanchez’s watch to the days of censorship and book bans.
This is why God sent HT Sanchez to Tucson?