Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Freedom Center-Affiliated Authors Refuse to Put Their Phil. 101 Textbook Online For TUSD Review

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Stealth. That has been the watchword of the Koch brothers and their allies since they laid out their plan of attack on the country's political system some 40 years ago. Do all our work under cover of darkness, they decided. The other side won't know what hit them until it's too late.

True to its roots, the University of Arizona's Freedom Center, whose funders include the Kochs and members of the Koch network, prefers to avoid publicity whenever possible. It succeeded admirably when it managed to sneak the high school course, Phil 101: Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship, into the TUSD curriculum. The school board had no idea the course was being taught at four of its district's high schools.

The course remained well below the TUSD board's radar throughout its first year, 2016-17, and into the second. That's when I got a tip about its existence and did some digging. In October I wrote about the course and its connections to the Freedom Center. Others in the media followed suit. The Freedom Center folks were not happy.

At a December meeting, the TUSD board decided to cancel the course at the end of the school year, though the members left the door open for putting it back into the curriculum at a later date. In July, the board took up the topic once again but tabled a vote on whether to reinstate the course. One reason was, the textbook, which was written by the same people who created the course, had not been properly authorized by the board.

Skip forward to the present. The district planned to have a 60 day public review of the textbook, which is standard operating procedure prior to authorization. The review was set to begin September 4, but the book's authors said they wouldn't allow the district to put a digital copy online, even though that's what most publishers do these days. That meant anyone wanting to take a look at the book had to go to a district office and sit there reading a hard copy.

TUSD responded by postponing the review until it can form a committee to evaluate the textbook.

The Freedom Center has opted once again for stealth over transparency. I'm left with two questions. First, why are the authors worried about the public reading the book and critiquing its contents? Second, why should a public school district — emphasis on the word "public" — consider using a course whose creators refuse to allow the public to take a close look at their work?

Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship. That's the title of the course and the textbook. I get the "entrepreneurship" angle when it comes to keeping the book away from public scrutiny. Sometimes it's good business to hold some of your work close to the vest. But ethics? I have trouble understanding how denying the public the opportunity to take a close look at the way a public school textbook presents its subject matter can be considered ethical business practice.

Tags: , , ,

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Meditation and Buddhist study

Meditation and Buddhist study @ Sky Island Zen

Tuesdays, Saturdays

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Paula Abdul: Straight Up Paula! Fox Tucson’s Annual Chasing Rainbows Gala

We are so excited to have Paula Abdul grace the Fox stage as our headliner for our… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Fri., Nov. 16, 7:30-10:30 p.m. 17 W. Congress St.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Sinema Now Up by 38K Votes; Hobbs Leading by 5600 Votes; Glassman Losing by Nearly 15K Votes (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Sinema: "I’m Honored That Arizonans Chose Our Vision of a Better Arizona" (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Defeated Dingbat Congressman Blames McCain for GOP Losing House of Reps (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Oral Surgeons Announce the Recipient of their Second Chance Program (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody: Too Much BS (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation