"is probably a waste of time"
Sorry, copy & paste error.
Mr. Safier writing this is pro time since you clearly can not see the facts. We parents are not "vocal critics." TUSD is not a "typical" low-performing urban district. TUSD has the potential to be amazing partnering with the UofA and PCC and Raytheon and bringing in parents and community instead of treating us like we are the problem because we expect better for our children. Many of us are highly educated and do more than observe casually like you do. We spend time with principals and teachers asking how to help and they tell us the same stories at every school. We need more resources, supplies, support, monitors, custodians, we have asked for help but the 12 at the top making $3million discourage complaints..........You sir, are a disgrace the any progressive agenda you claim. You sir are asking the community to vote greedy politicians to take, take, take away from our children.
You are like the social worker who tells the battered wife that "it's not so bad" "you shouldn't have made him hit you" "you shouldn't expect so much" "you don't deserve better" "try to understand he didn't mean it" "he's trying his best." You, Mr. Safier ignore the facts just like Mr. Trump. It is sad.
Sorry your restaurant had to close - such a difficult business. Have you thought of doing a cooking school? Market it to those of us 55+ who have lost the cooking spouse. We need to learn how to cook all over again. Women who don't know how to grill a salmon. Men who don't know how to make gravy. There's nothing like this in Tucson - there are a bunch of us women looking for classes all over the city. Retirees are free during weekdays... Just a thought
While this is a letter from the Whistleblowers, it is written from the eyes of a few of our members who are all TUSD principals, however, it is written in the first person point of view.
I received a call from Kristel Foster’s campaign asking that I vote for her. I explained that no one in our home would vote for her, nor would relatives, friends or neighbors. I thanked the campaign worked and hung up. The call alerted me to the fact that Foster is running a pretty good ground game and that more people need to become aware of just how inept she really is as a governing board member. More than inept, I believe Foster is dangerous. For four years Foster has woven herself into the Democratic Party befriending and convincing elected officials that she is near the savior of TUSD students. She is patronizing in her stand but few recognize it. What she has done is save Sanchez—over and over again.
The kids who attend TUSD are not even in Foster’s equation of serving on the Board. Although I remain a staunch Democrat, I have distanced myself from the Party’s leadership for its lack of vetting candidates, such as Foster and Cam Juarez, and its constant concessions to the Grijalvas. Many of the Party’s endorsements are dictated by Raul Grijalva. Insiders have shared this fact with many and are questioning the wisdom in giving him such power. His consistent drunken state of functioning, it seems, has reached a very high level of attention in “D.C.” politics and even those in his own Hispanic Caucus have begun to chant, “enough is enough!” Pima County politics will change greatly over the next two years but for now Foster is enjoying the endorsements of many who do not really give a damn about TUSD, its students, its instructional leaders, its teachers or its community.
What we ask of you is that you begin the change NOW by eradicating the TUSD Board of Foster, not for one or two valid reasons but for many, many reasons.
Foster brags about her first bid for the Board and says that it was inspired out of the MAS issues that faced the District four years ago. She does this only while in front of a Latino audiences while she attempts to convince the group that she is one of them. This is just more of her privileged patronage. It is obnoxiously offensive. Most of the political ploys she has learned have been from imitating HT Sanchez’ behavior. As she has supported his every move, she has learned his style of politics which is to demean and punish any who stand in his way while at the same time deflecting any responsibility for his own actions. The Sanchez administration, along with his bloc of 3 (Juarez, Foster and Grijalva), have become best known for blaming, deflecting, and retaliating. Aside from the obvious problem that this type of leadership accomplishes little, this style of non-leadership also has cost tax payers millions of dollars in wasteful legal battles against the desegregation parties; in changing desegregation legal counsel three times in the course of three years; and in the extremely high turn-over rates at the top level of Sanchez’ cabinet and at the principal and teacher level. Millions of dollars in training has virtually walked out of the door due to the incompetent manner in which TUSD is managed. People leave due to the work environment. There is no central support for school principals and teachers. The environment is permeated with fear and everyone, including parents, are scared to expose problems or offer remedies due to the obvious overt or/and covert Sanchez retaliation. Foster and her cohorts gave Sanchez a 25% salary increase which has put him at about half a million dollars per year. This is a ridiculous amount of our tax money to pay for someone who walked into this District with about 3 months of interim superintendent experience.
Anyone who has watched the Board since HT Sanchez was hired has likely seen Foster develop into a rude, mean, sarcastic, underhanded Board member. Many of her comments are “jabs” at Mike Hicks or Mark Stegeman, although her jabs have been directed to many. Stegeman has particularly been the subject of one nasty jab after another at the various candidate forums. She even took jabs at him during the NAACP dinner last weekend. Foster and Grijalava whisper incessantly during Board meetings forgetting that they can be heard by those tuned in via video stream. This is just more of Foster’s privileged mind-set being acted out. It is though she is saying, “I can say and do anything I please…and then convince you that it is good for you.”
Communication from the District is all “spin” and there is a Sanchez regime-code that no one is to say a word that would make TUSD look bad in the media. This results in gagging most of us or punishing us when the truth is exposed. Foster fosters this behavior. Look at what happened to Chuck Bermudez. Look at what happened to Ms. Aho.
Principals suffer from discipline-policy whip lash. Principals have been given one contradictory Sanchez directive after another and then are blamed for the end-result, which is a District that has failed in keeping our schools safe based on its top leader telling principals to essentially cheat for the sake of getting out of the court order. In response to the crisis that Sanchez has created, he is now going to the other extreme and we are being told to suspend for the first fight and long-term suspend for the second fight. The inconsistent policy has confused everyone!
Foster condones all Sanchez does, even if it means the total destruction of magnet schools, especially magnet schools on the south and west side. Many of these schools had their budgets cut by the administration last year (reinstated only due to the court order), have been riddled with substitutes and long-term substitutes, and this year Ochoa and Utterback Magnet Schools have both been impacted by the absence of a site administrator. Each school has had interim principals since the beginning of the school year. Foster has a hell of a lot of nerve in trying to sell stability as the key reason for wanting to re-seat herself on the Board. There is no stability in TUSD right now and this must change. Getting rid of those who have created havoc is essential.
And the budget. Well, it is all a mystery. Principals do not build their own budgets. Our budgets are drawn up by Karla Soto who is a Sanchez loyalist and a non-educator. Each allocated teacher is budgeted at a pretty high level inclusive of benefits ($55-65,000). But when schools have numerous substitutes the unspent portion of the padded budget winds up in back in the 1010 budget. I would like to know what this adds up to at the end of the fiscal year. The money that should have been spent on the schools is not what it appears in the budget. Schools are getting cheated (again).
It is a mistake to mix either Foster and/or Juarez in with anyone else who is running for the Board through your vote. If either of these incumbents are elected, they will assume the role of continuing to protect Sanchez and every action they have taken over their first depressing term. There will be constant tension on the Board. Foster has professed to be the only educator on the Board but as a so-called educator, she has ignored the support that is needed directly at our schools, the support that teachers must have (not TEA) and critical curriculum issues.
One example of her neglect or ignorance is the horrific audit results on dual language programs within the District. Let me remind you that at Sunnyside Foster is a language acquisition specialist which implies that she should know that dual language teachers should be assessing their students in both English and Spanish as well as using research based strategies in their instruction. Wrong! What has actually happened is that the dual language audit which was issued last spring was immediately buried. (I got a bootlegged copy from someone within the Language Acquisition Department and had to swear never to disclose who gave it to me because s/he would lose their job. It is a public document for God’s sake!) The audit was never provided to the Board to discuss during a public meeting and the recommendations provided in the audit have been ignored. At a recent forum, Foster said that the recommendations in the audit could not be implemented based on state law. She is wrong. Again. Any school that has a dual language program could implement most of the recommendations. The article that appeared in the Arizona Daily Star on June 6th elaborates more on the audit.
How could a so-called specialist in the area of dual language not have known that TUSD dual language programs are so very weak? And after she officially found out about the program’s weaknesses, why has she done NOTHING to remedy the situation? Why hasn’t the audit been discussed during a public meeting? These are all, of course, rhetorical questions. We know that the audit has been hidden (at least until after the election) because TUSD suppresses anything that is “bad news.” We also know that Foster put herself before the needs of students by helping to suppress the audit. And finally, it is obvious that Foster is not an expert in the area of dual language instruction. If she were, she would have red-flagged the problems long before the audit was issued.
You have three votes to seat those seeking to serve us on the TUSD Board. Foster has been irresponsible. She has been a rubber stamp. She has been an elitist. A vote for Foster is a vote for more confusion; more submerging of the facts; less support to school principals and teachers; less support for the implementation of the court order; more retaliation; more fear; and a sure way for TUSD to crumble before our eyes. Your three votes are critical in beginning to change the culture of TUSD. Do you really want more of the same? The Whistleblowers have endorsed three candidates which you can read about at:
However, it is important for every voter to realize the importance of NOT voting for Kristel Foster. She has been a toxic, self-serving Board member.
David Safier, a blogger with the Tucson Weekly recently endorsed her and Cam Juarez arguing that they each have done a great job. His rationale for his support has to do with stability of the District, his support for his friend HT Sanchez, along with stating that TUSD is no better or worse than most large inner city school districts. All of his rationale is despicable, insulting and racist.
Do not let Safier, TEA, or elected officials that do not live the TUSD life and who have freely given their endorsement to Foster away, fool you. It is time to drain this TUSD Board swamp; dry it up and bring in those who will actually serve our students!
Thanks 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/or references them within their own posts, from time to time. Additionally, continue to acknowledge an organization that is also working very hard to expose the facts about TUSD: TUSDKidsFirst, which also has made reference to our letters, which we appreciate. Check the organization out at: http://tusdkidsfirst.org/
Kristel Foster is not able to stand up to the current superintendent, who may "know what he's up against," but is not "good" in any meaningful sense of the term. Sanchez "has some experience," but it is not the right kind. His experience is with lying to the public and manipulating and mis-managing a troubled public institution, exploiting it for his own benefit and the benefit of his fat-cat cronies in central administration.
Look at two of the main "achievements" Ms. Foster advertises to the public: Strategic Plan fulfillment and the award the district won from the College Board. The Strategic Plan has NOT been fulfilled: the Board knew the reports of 100% fulfillment in 2015 were false and they went ahead and accepted the report of 100% fulfillment and granted the Superintendent a 100% bonus on that basis. In 2016 they again accepted reports of 100% fulfillment in one of the areas, finance, where they had had every opportunity to know 100% fulfillment could not have been possible. Foster voted for both instances of granting a bonus based on false reports in one of the many typical 3-2 block votes this Board has cast during the past 3 and 1/2 years. As for the College Board award, it was achieved by mercilessly exploiting the gifted kids enrolled at UHS and overloading a curriculum that already had too many corporate-produced courses and tests in it with yet more rigid AP requirements and fewer opportunities for flexibility, writing, research, and fine arts.
So-called "supporters of public education" who deal in lies and misrepresentations of what is actually going on in our schools all need to go, from the Board to the CEO to the political operatives who justify and excuse their ongoing malfeasance.
As for Stegeman, he has his own agenda and when he was part of the board majority rather than the minority he proved no more able to act in support of fiscal responsibility or of the common good of all enrolled students and teachers than any of the current majority. The district dropped off of the edge of an easily predictable $17 million fiscal cliff in 2013 for which no proper advance planning or effective damage control was done while Stegeman was preoccupied with advancing the good of factions within the district with particular agendas, like the anti-MAS group and the UHS-separate site crowd. It is stunning the degree to which some people -- even so-called progressives -- seem to have forgotten this and seem to be ready to contemplate casting votes that will have the effect of putting the district back in his hands.
A vote for any of the incumbents is a vote that will produce more dysfunction and more mismanagement.
Come on bslap. Hillary and Bill have taken millions from Saudi and Qatar while they also funded ISIS. Would you really do that to our country?
I stand with our military. Not against them.
I am for keeping K Foster and adding R Sedgwick and Putnam Hidalgo. All three have teaching backgrounds which I think is most important in sorting things out from where they are now, especially with educational climate. Adding new people should help and I hope the current board gets behind them. I think replacing one voting block with another is a mistake since their views are potentially less bipartisan. As Safire said, we have a good superintendent who knows what he is up against and has some experience - now we need to add to board expertise.
The fact is, they are both filthy liars.
But one of them has been accused of several sexual assaults on children and he also must love the taste of his shoe because he just can't seem to keep it out of his mouth.
Sorry, but the scuzzball you want elected is already admitting defeat.
Thanks again Wrong, Again for polluting the comment section with your lack of sense.
Even a whiff of corruption is too much in law enforcement. Using RICO funds (unconstitutional in the first place) extracted from drug dealers to pay for a fancy banquet crosses a few lines. I'm a Democrat and I'll vote for Hillary, but not Nanos. His opponent will be the first Republican I've voted for in years.
Best wishes Mr Napier to get this ship righted. Why does everything have to become partisan? It eliminates solutions. You have our support.
The Pima County Sheriff's office has a history of corruption. Way back, a Sheriff Martin was accused of participating in the operation of whore houses. Not so long ago, Sheriff Burr's management nearly led to a shoot out among deputies. Now this. Sounds like it's still the wild west with a bad sheriff in charge today. Given Dr. Carmona's information, it's clear that Mr. Napier is the choice for voters.
I would ask that people not allow partisanship to taint their view of this in one direction or the other. The fact is that there is an FBI investigation into corruption at the highest levels of our Sheriffs Department. Dr. Carmona felt compelled to speak out on the corruption and mistreat of PCSD personnel before the indictment of Chief Deputy Radtke. The Deputy Sheriff Association and Correction Officer Association have conducted a vote of a lack of confidence in the current appointed Sheriff. This is not about Carmona or a single group of politically motivated people picking on Mr. Nanos. There are some systemic problems at our Sheriffs Department which should be concerning to all citizens of the County. Public safety should not know partisanship. It is not a partisan issue. It is a community issue, a quality of life issue, an issue we are all stakeholders in. I would hope that you might look at my candidacy and believe as I do that it is time for a change. Mark Napier (www.markdnapier.info)
Sanchez is chronically dishonest, ignorant, arrogant, and self-serving and those are not characteristics that will serve TUSD (or any other school district) well. He's the Svengali here, not the supposedly "progressive" board majority which has been led astray by his reactionary agenda and his manipulations and lies.
A commenter going by "another TUSD principal" nailed it in Tucson Weekly comment streams in March of 2015: ""The tail is wagging the dog, which benefits ONLY the tail, has the dog in disarray and provides no accountability to the public."
Keeping a Superintendent in place is NOT more important that ensuring the district has COMPETENT management. Most savvy board watchers and district watchers in my acquaintance understand that the district could benefit from a complete reboot, dumping all three incumbent Board members and the sadly under-qualified, under-performing Superintendent the current majority selected through an improper process three years ago.
Another thing that would benefit Southern Arizona: no more bad advice from Ann-Eve Pedersen about what our education system needs and how best to defend our public schools. She doesn't know what the HELL she's talking about: not on what is best for TUSD, not on what kinds of funding propositions should be put forward in the legislature, not on how Ducey can best be countered, and not on any other topic where she tries to steer opinion in the local Democratic party. When it comes to implementing a constructive progressive agenda in education, she has done much, MUCH more harm than good.
Wise counsel on backing Betts as she is clearly the most savvy and prepared of all the candidates. She is also very engaged with the community and knows many of the campus sites well due to her outreach and voluntarism. I like that she described herself in one of the candidate forums as someone who asks questions, Her inquisitiveness and knowledge of TUSD will be an asset to a Board that too often seems to not do its homework.
I have also been impressed with Rustand and Sedgwick. Given that they are first time candidates, they already offer ample evidence that they know the appropriate roles of Board members and that they will do what it takes to learn as much as possible about this very large and amazingly diverse school district. They would be healthy skeptics like Betts, but not micromanaging bomb-throwers like Stegeman has been on so many occasions, especially during the Fagen and Pedicone years. It also appears that they wouldn't be rubber stamps who unquestioningly endorse everything Sanchez says or does, like the members currently in the majority have done.
You have Stegeman pegged well and I would toss in the fact that he has been on the Board longer than anyone except Grijalva. To me, the two of them bear most of the blame for the dysfunction and infighting that has gone on for far too long. The voters made a poor choice two years ago returning Grijalva (and Hicks!) to the dais, but they can partly redeem themselves by sending Stegeman packing, along with the other two incumbents. You note that you backed him eight years ago and so did many of the other Democratic officials who are now asking us to support Foster and Juarez. Let's hope the Democrats and other voters in TUSD don't listen to you or them this time!
Sanchez can prove himself worthy of your accolades if he can show he is able and willing to work under the direction of a Board that is not a collection of either bobbleheads or Svengalis. If he can deal honestly and openly with independent and discerning members who will put him on notice that school safety, student achievement and working to comply with the deseg order need to be the priorities in TUSD, he might be able to demonstrate that he is truly up to this job. His arrogance, paranoia and pettiness are traits he will have to overcome, but it is doubtful that a new Board will want to start over with a new superintendent right away, so he has a true chance to show that he is worthy of the trust of both the Board and the community.
However, I do agree with you on one point: Betts would make a fine board member.
David, your indictment of me would be more convincing if you ever spoke to me or went to a board meeting. You have provided absolutely no specific evidence for any of your broad allegations and basically cut and pasted what you wrote four years ago. And, by the way, game theory is the foundation for most modern theoretical economics but not my primary specialization.
This article is ridiculous in so many ways. First, Brett Rustand is a man of principle a person who flew combat missions and put his life on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is everything that is good about our country, a humble, kind, smart and generous person, a family man and an all around good guy. Brett is pragmatic, he would be excellent on the board, a person who can bring all groups together. I don't consider myself Brett's boss but his peer, if he serves on the school board that is one more person that i serve with that would be a proud public servant who is giving his vast experiences and wealth of knowledge as a service to the community .
As far as my giving I have never met the author of this article in my life but let me tell you a little about myself, I am a person who has never bid on ANY contracts, TUSD, city , county etc, my business is old fashioned we are givers, yes, we outfitted Pueblo High Schools football team a couple of years ago with brand new shoes, have given money to, Tucson, Rincon, Sahuaro, Sabino and other schools in TUSD. We gave $7500 for Sunnysde little league to go to the world series, paid for parents to see their hurt us military children at Walter Reed hospital, give to every charity imaginable in Tucson. We sponsor San Miguel High School which allows kids from lower economic backgrounds to get a college level education, heck this summer their was a basketball camp at Pueblo high School that was not funded and at the last minute a democratic city council member asked for our help to pay TUSD kids scholarship funds. Every single day we get asked for help, I am proud to say that it is done with "No quid pro Quo".
You see we do things because we are community oriented, take a drive down Tucson Boulevard and see the nice medians, we Crest paid $80,000 to help make the gateway to Tucson look nicer so we can attract companies with good paying jobs.
My two boys went to TUSD schools and I saw year by year the level of the schools falling, I live on the Eastside and will drive by Santa Rita and see a school in terrible decline. I live in TUSD and my home value has not improved on par with the surrounding districts. SO why did I get involved with this election? it is because I CARE..
I can promise you this, there is absolutely no financial incentive for me to be involved in this election. I find it so hypocritical that we get lumped in as business people with an innuendo that something is up when two of the current board members so obviously took a donation from a company in Scottsdale that does business with TUSD.
BTW, yeas I gave money to Trump (and Bush and Rubio), he wasn't my first, or second choice, however when you have worked as hard as I have my whole life and you give so much back to society and the alternative is even paying higher taxes than I already do then I/we cannot hire more people, offer excellent benefits, and give to so many needy charities, you see the narrative that all business people are bad is so patently false it get's old. Also, I have given plenty to some local democrats who I feel like are not so opposed to small business owners.
You see, like a an earlier comment said a lot of the people who can get involved in helping make our city better have moved to the suburbs, not me , I choose to try and help. My political contributions pale in comparison to our contributions to many non profits that help children, single moms, people of all races colors and creeds. It is easy to paint a broad brush on people but in this case it simply isn't the case.....
Carmona is arrogant, uses his resume every time he makes a news statement, mis-represents his credentials, is malicious as are his statements :
"allegedly been blacklisted, threatened, harassed, had their wives harassed and who have been improperly reassigned and demoted by Sheriff Chris Nanos and his cronies"
Where is the proof, where is the paper trail for this alleged harassment?
If he knew about all this mis spending why is Carmona just now going public with it? He was there for many of Awards ceremonies and spending meetings, he is not innocent.
These people are hiding behind a crooked man.
David Safier's recommendation is to screw the kids and intimidate the teachers. Make our schools political workshops and jumping pads for our political allies.
Rather than TUSD Kids First, David says TUSD Kids...Who Cares.
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