Monday, June 20, 2011

Baldenegro Sr.: 'A Lie will Endure Only Until the Truth Arrives'

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Salomón Baldenegro Sr. offers The Range his own perspective on John Huppenthal's recent declaration that Tucson Unified School District's ethnic studies classes violate state law:

Estimadas/os: John Huppenthal, Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction, looked right in the cameras on Wednesday, June 15, and lied when he declared that the findings of the $110,000, 120-page audit of Tucson Unified School District's Mexican American Studies Department (MASD) that he commissioned led him to find that the MASD violates state law, viz., HB 2281.

The reality—aka the truth—is that the audit report VINDICATES in every respect the TUSD MASD curriculum and REFUTES in every respect Huppenthal's contentions and criticisms regarding the MASD.

Before I go on, lest anyone accuse me of being uncharitable by calling Huppenthal a liar, let me note that:

1. I am using the definition of "lie" given, at Page 827, by "The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (Unabridged Edition)." The NOUN definition is: "A false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood." The VERB definition is: "To express what is false, or convey a false impression." [I'm sure your dictionaries give similar meanings.]

2. In this posting I am not relying on news reports or other secondary sources. I have a copy of the Huppenthal Audit Report (HAR) and the quotes I cite are taken directly—and in context[!]—from the HAR.

It cannot be overemphasized that not only does the HAR overwhelmingly vindicate TUSD's MAS department and its curriculum, it praises the MASD lavishly. Virtually every page of the audit report that contains summative narrative contradicts Huppenthal and his fellow liar and political mentor Tom Horne. If I were to quote every instance where the HAR does that, I'd be reproducing the entire report.

Thus, in this posting I will only cite some key findings of the HAR—but keep in mind that the findings I cite are representative of what the entire report contains. I encourage you to obtain and read the HAR report.

3. Arizona's Republican-led Mexican-hating crusade is based on lies. Major pillars of that culture of hate and lies are:

A. In 2005, Russell Pearce promoted Prop 200 (mis-named "Protect Arizona Now") on the back of a lie, viz.: that there were thousands of illegal immigrants registering to vote in Arizona and actually voting and influencing elections.

Every single County Recorder in the state went on record as saying that there was not a single instance that any of them knew of of undocumented persons registering to vote.

But Pearce did not let that Fact Check and the truth get in his way. He continued purveying his lie—so convincingly that the voters passed Prop 200.

B. In her campaign to whip up hate against Mexicans, Arizona Governor Brewer lied when she stood before God and the world and said that law-enforcement officials had discovered "headless and dismembered bodies" (ostensibly put in that disgusting condition by Mexicans) in the Arizona desert.

As we all know now, every law-enforcement agency and coroner in the state stated categorically that there were no instances of headless and dismembered bodies found in the desert.

Brewer, under pressure from the public and the media, eventually admitted she lied.

C. On December 30, 2010, then-Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne lied when he said that he had personal knowledge that led him to declare that the TUSD MAS Department violated the state law (HB 2281) that he and Russell Pearce fashioned because the MAS Department

1. Promotes the overthrow of the United States Government;
2. Promotes resentment toward a race or clas of people;
3. Is designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group;
4. Advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

As we now know, Horne eventually admitted that he had never visited any MAS classroom nor had he interacted in any way with the MAS department in TUSD and therefore had absolutely no direct knowledge about TUSD's MAS department, courses, etc.

In other words, he lied.

So, from an historical perspective, it should not surprise us that Horne's hand-picked successor, John Huppenthal, whose major campaign platform was "to stop La Raza," would continue the culture of lies that is driving Arizona's Mexican-hating crusade.

For more on the audit findings and Baldenegro's conclusion, read more after the jump.

THE AUDIT FINDINGS:

First, the basic facts about the audit:

The HAR audit was conducted during the period of March 7, 2011 to May 2, 2011. (HAR, P. 4)

The audit consisted of (1) visiting classrooms (unannounced) while MAS courses were being taught, (2) reviewing reading and other instructional materials used in MAS courses, and (3) interviewing students, parents, teachers, site administrators, school-board members, community members and other "stakeholders." (HAR, P. 4)

The purpose of the audit was to determine if the MASD curriculum

1. Promotes the overthrow of the United States Government;

2. Promotes resentment toward a race or class of people;

3. Is designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group;

4. Advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals. (HAR, pp. 4-5)

Two other aspects of the audit focused on student achievement measures and data and data sources used to determine student achievement.

While the Student Achievement aspect of the audit was almost peripheral, I have no doubt that Huppenthal and Horne and their lackeys visibly cringed when they read what the audit found regarding the student achievement aspect:

"MASD programs are designed to improve student achievement based on the audit team's finding of valuable course descriptions aligned with state standards, commendable curricular unit and lesson plan design, engaging instruction practices, and collective inquiry strategies through Approved State Standards." (HAR, P. 31)

And, the audit continued:

"It is apparent that students enrolled in MASD courses in high school graduate in the very least at a rate of 5 percent more than their counterparts in 2005, and at the most, a rate of 11 percent more in 2010. Students who complete a MASD course during their senior year of high school are more likely to graduate than compared to non-MASD counterparts." (HAR, P. 47)

With respect to Huppenthal's (and Horne's) major contentions, re: that MASD courses violate HB 2281, here's what the audit found that unequivocally reject Huppenthal's and Horne's contentions:

Huppenthal/Horne Contention: MASD Courses Promote the Overthrow of The U.S. Government

What the Audit Found:

"No observable evidence exists that instruction promotes the overthrow of the US Government." (HAR, P. 51)

This finding, and the verbatim wording above, was repeated by the audit team for every grade level—elementary to high school—of MASD courses. And with respect to the "High School -American History/Social Justice clas observation," the audit team noted that:

"At no time was any conversation even remotely relevant to the overthrow of the US Government." (HAR, P. 51)

Huppenthal/Horne Contention: MASD Courses Are Designed for A Particular Ethnic Group

What the Audit Found:

"A majority of evidence demonstrates that the Mexican American Studies Department's instruction is NOT designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group. As previously indicated, every current course syllabus states: 'At the core of this course is the idea that ALL people should not be required to give up their ethnic and cultural traditions in order to become part of mainstream society.' " (HAR, P. 59)

Huppenthal/Horne Contention: MASD Courses Promote Ethnic Solidarity Rather Than Treat Students As Individuals

What the Audit Found:

"No evidence as seen by the auditors exists to indicate that instruction within Mexican American Studies Department program classes advocates ethnic solidarity; rather it has been proven to treat student as individuals. (HAR, P. 63)

Huppenthal/Horne Contention: MASD Courses Teach And Promote Ethnic Resentment

What the Audit Found:

"No observable evidence exists that instruction within Mexican American Studies Department promotes resentment toward a race or class of people. The auditors observed the opposite, as students are taught to be accepting of multiple ethnicities of people. (HAR, P. 55)

Horne/Huppenthal Contention: Certain passages from Rudy Acuna's (tilde on the "n") book "Occupied America" "prove" that MASD students are being brainwashed to hate/resent white people.

What the Audit Found:

" 'Occupied America: A History of Chicanos' is an unbiased, factual textbook designed to accommodate the growing number of Mexican-American or Chicano History courses. It is the most comprehensive text in this market according to Amazon." (HAR, P. 39)

AND

"The curriculum auditing team refutes the following allegations made by other individuals and organizations. Quotes have been taken out of context." (HAR, P. 39)

AND

"Based upon observations, the auditors saw no evidence of previous questionable MASD materials, nor any damaging language that could incite resentment in children." (HAR, P. 38)

Huppenthal/Horne Contention: MASD Courses Violate State Law

What the Audit Found:

"During the curriculum audit period, no observable evidence was present to suggest that any classroom within Tucson Unified School District is in direct violation of the law A.R.S. 15-112. In most cases, quite the opposite is true." (HAR, P. 50)

AND

"No evidence exists in any format that Arizona Revised Statue 15-112 (A) is being violated in any of the six American History from Mexican American Perspective courses visited." (HAR, P. 89)

[The same conclusion was reached and posited by the audit regarding the five Latino Literature courses, the four American Government/Social Justice courses, and the Chicano art courses.]

So, after two months of investigation by educational experts who were paid $110,00 (although some news reports say the amount was $170,000), what do Huppenthal's auditors recommend?

"Maintain Mexican American Studies courses as part of core curriculum for high school course: US History, American Government and Literature." (HAR, P. 66)

So, we wind up where we started: John Huppenthal outright lied when he asserted that the audit he commissioned leads him to declare that the TUSD Mexican American Studies Department and its curriculum violate state law and the other related racist nonsense he had the unmitigated gall—the total lack of shame[!!!]—to utter at his press conference on Wednesday.

There's an old Mexican adage that says a lie will endure only until the truth arrives ("la mentira dura hasta que la verdad llega"). Well, when the MASD audit report was issued, the truth arrived at Huppenthal's doorstep and smacked the pendejo upside his lying head, but as in the case of Russell Pearce, Tom Horne, Jan Brewer, Joe Arpaio and their miserable band of Mexican haters, the truth had no effect. The lying continues.

Salomon

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