Wednesday, July 20, 2011
A press release went out tonight from Lisa Ruth, identified as a spokesperson for TUSD governing board member Michael Hicks. No quote from Hicks, but Ruth explains how Hicks supposedly feels that he and other school board members were "misinformed and misled by district officials":
TUSD Governing Board member Michael Hicks regrets and rescinds his support for TUSD’s appeal of Arizona ’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Huppenthal’s finding that the district is in violation of multiple state laws.
Mr. Hicks feels that district officials misrepresented the intent of the district’s appeal. Board members were told that the appeal was intended to lead to a better understanding of Huppenthal’s finding, when in fact the appeal challenged not only the constitutionality of the finding, but denied those parts of the finding that the district knew to be true.
Lisa Ruth stated, "Michael Hicks was led to believe that by voting in favor of the appeal, Huppenthal's findings would be explored further. Had he known the outcome, he would have voted against the appeal and regrets his original position. Through the course of the last month, Mr. Hicks has met with more parents, children and educators regarding the Ethnic Studies program. These individuals have come forward to express their continued concerns about the course and curriculum. This information also leaves Mr. Hicks with concern for the children who have been exposed to the program and the implications for the community."
Michael Hicks believes that in light of revelations by staff and statements made by parents and children involved in the program, and the entire investigation conducted by Superintendent Huppenthal that the entire program must come to an immediate end. Electives are not an acceptable alternative in current form, and staff and curriculum must be reevaluated in their entirety.
Michel Hicks is disappointed that Superintendent Pedicone has elevated the formerly unassociated and unofficial Mexican American Advisory Board to a Superintendent Committee. Members of that organization may not have put the interest of the district’s students ahead of their own political and economic interests.