Friday, February 20, 2015

Diane Douglas Quietly Visited TUSD Yesterday

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 9:45 AM

  • Courtesy of the Arizona Department of Education
Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas was in Tucson yesterday to meet, for the second time since stepping into office, with Tucson Unified School District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez and do some classroom visiting at Rincon High School.

I imagine the visit was related to the notice of noncompliance sent to the district in January by former schools chief and anonymous angry blogger John Huppenthal, since Douglas sat in a history class taught from the Mexican-American perspective.

TUSD is supposed to clear by March 4 all issues the state has with how certain teachers are implementing history and English from a Mexican-American and African-American perspective.

As we know by now, if the district doesn't comply, they could lose 10 percent of monthly state aide. 

The pair originally met last month in Phoenix to discuss a plan and the reasons TUSD was found in violation of the state's anti-Mexican-American studies law. During that meeting,  Douglas invited Sanchez to be a part of the Latino Education Advisory Committee, which will ensure state courses and programs have a Latino presence. 

“I continue to be encouraged that Superintendent Sanchez is working with the state to bring coursework into compliance with the law,” Douglas said in a statement. “It was very valuable for both of us to make an unannounced visit together to monitor the progress of these changes in one of the classrooms. I hope we can continue our cooperation, bring the coursework into legal compliance, and build a strong and lasting relationship with TUSD.”

Sanchez had similar words.

“Our conversation was very positive and constructive,” he said. “I feel our teachers are on the right path. The students at Rincon were engaged in learning and the teacher whose class we visited had prepared and delivered a thoughtful lesson.”

Douglas also went to Florence, and today she will visit Fort Huachuca and Hereford. 

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