When TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez met up with Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas to discuss the notice of noncompliance
the district received in January, Douglas invited Sanchez to be a member of her Latino Education Advisory Committee—their job would be to infuse the state's schools' content with studies on the contributions Latinos have made in Arizona and the country.
Today, Douglas announced the other people she invited to that committee:
Ben Barcon, President of the ADM Group
Dr. H.T. Sanchez, Superintendent, Tucson Unified School District
Dr. Jose Leyba, retired K-12 and Community College Administrator, education consultant
Dr. Lupita Hightower, Superintendent, Tolleson Elementary School District (served on previous Advisory Council)
Dr. David Camacho, Professor of History and Special Assistant to the President, Northern Arizona University
Dr. Albert Siqueiros, retired Superintendent, Baboquivari Unified School District, (Sells, Ariz.), former Yuma Unified School District teacher
Dr. Lorraine Morales, President, Pima Community College Community Campus
Lourdes Jeong, parent, Nogales Unified School District, Program Director, Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office
Dr. Manny Valenzuela, Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified School District
Dr. Evie Pletenik, Director, English Language Acquisition Programs, former administrator and teacher, Phoenix Union High School District
Norma Munoz, Roosevelt School District Governing Board President
Christofer Pereyra, Hispanic Ministry Director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix
Dr. Maria Harper Marinick, Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges
Victor Contreras, Realtor, Board Member Arizona Ivy League Project
Eva Nunez, Pastor, New Life Covenant Church
Also invited to participate in the committe are Dr. Ed Venezuela, Tommy Chacon, Dr. Manual Madrid and Lucero Bebe, a press release from Arizona Department of Education says.
"Douglas supports inclusion of all ethnic groups in the design of standards, curriculum and instruction for all Arizona students," the release says.
We've heard her say that in the past, when it was discussed what exactly was it that the state had found TUSD's culturally relevant curriculum to be in violation of the state's anti-Mexican American studies law; was it the content or what? Douglas said she supported the content, but that the teachers highlighted in the notice of noncompliance—gentlemanly sent to TUSD by former schools chief John Huppenthal on his last day in office—were not teaching it right, or, really, were not using methods Douglas supports.
“Arizona students should have instruction that includes the rich diversity of all ethnic groups and creates an appreciation for their fellow students,” Douglas says in a statement. “I am confident this respected group of community leaders will provide outstanding advice that I intend to implement. We must restore trust in all students and communities and that begins by listening, and then by acting upon recommendations.”
Douglas is also creating an African American committee, Native American committee, and working, alongside former state Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor, who is now the director of special projects for the superintendent, to include other groups (she even mentions migrant children and homeless youth) in history, civics, music, literature and other coursework statewide.
“Homelessness, poverty, ethnic relations and helping children put behind racism in this generation are no longer going to simply receive lip service,” Douglas says.
All committee meetings will be open to the public for input and Douglas says they will try to have hold these across the state. The chairman of the committee will be announced once the list of committee members is finalized.