TEA President Jason Freed rallies TUSD teachers to fight federal court-ordered diversity plans

The email at the bottom was just sent to all TEA members from Jason Freed, President of the Tucson Education Association and deals with consistently campaigning by TEA against the District’s teacher diversity plan.

This diversity plan was designed to hire more ethnic/racial minorities and to more evenly assign minority and non-minority teachers throughout the District; this way schools are neither comprised of predominantly white teachers or minority teachers.

The National Education Association also supports teacher diversity plans.

However, teacher seniority, in the eyes of TEA, is more important than the objective of a court-ordered teacher diversity plan. As seen in the letter below from Jason Freed to his membership, the TUSD Board has been lobbied by him and many TEA members against a diversity plan required by a Federal Desegregation Order. This has resulted in a Board resolution which will be discussed at tonight’s Board Meeting.

If passed, it will result in TUSD appealing the court order of September 6, 2018, to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will once again be very costly and drain desegregation funds to deal with adult issues. It will also take attention away from student-focused matters.

Many teachers have complained that TEA’s membership is at an all-time low and that its membership is comprised of predominantly of white teachers. TEA refuses to provide statistics on its membership and its membership’s ethnic/racial composition but if what teachers are reporting is true, the data itself would support the need for a diversity plan focused on teachers.

TEA President letter below:

I am writing you a stand-alone message about an extremely concerning piece of information of which we just became aware. This will require your immediate attention, as well as participation on the part of you and your colleagues. Please read below:

In an attempt to gain full Unitary Status, which will mean that TUSD would no longer be under court supervision, TUSD filed for and received Partial Unitary Status just last week. By and large, this is good for employees, students, and the community, as it indicates that TUSD is addressing racial disparities within our community. Buried in the 152-page document, there is one significant section in the “Partial Unitary Status Order.” The Order calls for a change in hiring practices in TUSD. Please read the direct quotes from the Order below:

“The USP, which requires that TUSD ‘increase the number of experienced teachers and reduce the number of beginning teachers hired to teach in racially concentrated schools or schools in which

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TEA to host TUSD candidate debate after endorsing two candidates

Tonight will be the first forum for the candidates running for a seat on Southern Arizona’s largest school district, TUSD. The event is hosted by the TEA, the teacher’s union and its president Jason Freed is advocating for everyone to show up and for help in “re-electing Adelita Grijalva to the Governing Board.”

So come out and learn about the candidates, but we’ve already decided who you should vote for? How’s that for a fair forum?

To canvass with Adam Ragan, send RSVP to a standwithraul.com email address.

Furthermore, “finding the best two candidates… is imperative.” Given that Adelita Grijalva has been canvassing with Adam Ragan, and since Adelita knows what is best for TUSD, is this whole façade of a fair forum just a rally for Adelita and her boy Adam? read more

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How the Supreme Court Defined Students’ Constitutional Rights

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by By Eloise Pasachoff.

The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind”

A book by Justin Driver

Reviewed by Eloise Pasachoff

In 1969, as mass protests about the Vietnam War and civil rights roiled America, the Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding the right of students to protest peacefully at school with a memorable and oft-quoted line: “It can hardly be argued that … students … shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” In “The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind,” University of Chicago law professor Justin Driver presents a masterful analysis of the Supreme Court’s role in public school students’ constitutional rights more generally.

Across seven chapters organized thematically around different lines of Supreme Court cases, Driver—a former law clerk to Justices Stephen Breyer and Sandra Day O’Connor—makes the bold claim that “the public school has served as the single most significant site of constitutional interpretation within the nation’s history.” This claim is easy to believe after his encyclopedic discussions of the entire range of Supreme Court cases on student rights under numerous constitutional provisions: the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, and its proscription against government establishment of religion; the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures; the Fifth Amendment’s protections against self-incrimination; and the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and limits on deprivations of liberty or property without due process.

Click here to read long excerpts from “The Schoolhouse Gate” at Google Books.

As Driver demonstrates, it was not obvious 100 years ago that these constitutional protections would extend to students at all or, if they did, how fully they would apply. The book’s portrayals of fierce battles over these rights in public schools—a primary place of “national identity” and “cultural anxieties”—amply justify Driver’s elevation of the public school as an important locus of constitutional interpretation where, time after time, the court “has played an instrumental role in shaping constitutional realities.”

Driver also makes two powerful related arguments. First, the Supreme Court started off in the right direction on school desegregation, student speech rights and school discipline, but in each area has weakened its initial holdings in a way that diminishes “both the nation’s public schools and our constitutional order.” Second, the court has reached acceptable constitutional compromises in a number of important areas, including the role of religion in public education and the meaning of “equal protection” as it applies to single-sex schools.

The book is best when it goes beyond the justices’ opinions to give broader context to each case, including contemporaneous responses by national and local newspapers and the background stories of courageous student plaintiffs and their parents. Though Driver doesn’t make the connection explicit, many of these stories have relevance to current societal debates. For example, today’s football players who kneel during the national anthem draw some of the same heated reactions as did Jehovah’s Witness elementary school students 80 years ago when they refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (After first approving school expulsions on these grounds in 1940, the Supreme Court reversed course in 1943 and forbid them as a violation of the First Amendment.)

The book also benefits when Driver discusses his personal connection to the material he analyzes. For example, he humorously describes his childhood pastime of watching reruns of “Three’s Company” on TV as “painstaking, exhaustive field research” that helps flesh out his analysis of the “most renowned—if not exactly the most celebrated—speech ever delivered at a high school assembly,” a nomination for student body president that the Supreme Court later deemed “lewd,” “vulgar,” “indecent,” “offensive” and “sexually explicit,” but that the student speaker in question justified as in keeping with student interest in “shows like Three’s Company, with their heavy use of sexual humor.”

More poignantly, Driver recounts his feelings of shame, after he received a three-day suspension in the ninth grade for drinking alcohol with some friends on an overnight field trip, to counter the Supreme Court’s analysis of school suspensions as “a welcome holiday,” reflecting on the expulsion he probably would have faced had his “schoolboy indiscretion” taken place in more recent years under school “zero tolerance” policies that the Supreme Court has largely let stand. Driver also movingly describes his parents’ efforts to take him out of their segregated community across the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, D.C., to enroll him in Alice Deal Junior High School in Upper Northwest (“where the educational outcomes were much brighter and the student bodies, not incidentally, were much whiter”). This effort required his father to camp out overnight in front of the school to be the first in line to enroll his out-of-boundary son.

Powerful as the book is, however, it feels incomplete on the role of the Supreme Court in public schools in two dimensions. First, arguably the most important part of the Constitution that structures student relationships with their schools is entirely absent from the book: the spending clause, which grants Congress the authority to spend money in pursuit of the “general welfare” in exchange for state and local governments agreeing to accept conditions imposed on the use of that money. Driver’s focus on the rights-granting provisions of the Constitution instead of the provisions designing our government’s structure obscures how the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the scope of the spending clause have dramatic implications for how far Congress may reach into the schoolhouse gate.

Second, a large part of the Supreme Court’s docket involves the interpretation of statutes, not the Constitution. The court has issued many important decisions on the scope of student rights under education statutes. For example, does Title IX’s ban on discrimination by schools on the basis of sex protect students from peer sexual harassment? Does the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act grant students with disabilities the right to attend a private school at public expense if the public school is failing to provide them with a “free, appropriate public education”—and what does a “free, appropriate public education” mean in the first place? Driver acknowledges this gap, saying the court’s role in statutory rights deserves its own book, but it is still hard to come away with a sense that he has fully examined “the intersection of two distinctively American institutions: the public school and the Supreme Court” without it.

Neither of these points undercuts the value of what Driver has written, however. In fact, the number of closely divided cases he both praises and treats as settled law is striking—for example, two decisions from 1982 that required public schools to admit undocumented immigrants and that limited schools’ ability to remove books from their libraries that school board members wished to censor. Precedents like these are up for grabs as the Supreme Court undergoes a personnel shift under Trump, with the arrival of Justice Neil Gorsuch and the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Against this background, Driver’s book makes for especially timely and important reading.

Eloise Pasachoff, a former law clerk to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, is a law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

<small>&copy;2018 Washington Post Book World</small>

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TUSD sup’t Gabriel Trujillo continues to allow harassment in TUSD from the “Fisher Plaintiff”: Whistleblowers

TUSD sup’t Gabriel Trujillo continues to allow harassment in TUSD from the “Fisher Plaintiff”: Whistleblowers

Our permission is granted to media, bloggers, and others to publish our letter. We are the sole authors of our letters.

76th Open Letter to the Community:

ShEEE’s BACK! Gloria Copeland Back at Sahuaro High School Interfering with its Operation and the Board and Superintendent Do Absolutely Nothing

From: TUSD Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Former Students/Class of 2018, Retired Administrators, Parents, & Grandparents

ShEEE’s Back! read more

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Consuelo Hernandez wins Sunnyside school board race

Consuelo Hernandez has just won a seat on the Sunnyside school board after one of her opponents was kicked off the ballot for having enough invalid signatures to no longer qualify to run.

Only two candidates remain for the two open seats.

Consuelo is one of the Three Hernandez Siblings that are running for offices in Southern Arizona. Her sister Alma just won her LD3 House race since there are no Republicans running for the two open seats, thus making the primary race the determining election. The other sibling that remains in an open race is LD2 House incumbent Daniel Hernandez Jr. read more

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TUSD granted partial Unitary Status in Deseg Case: Still remains under federal court supervision

TUSD granted partial Unitary Status in Deseg Case: Still remains under federal court supervision

TUSD is currently under a decades-old federal desegregation court order. To be in compliance with the Federal Court and to get off of the Deseg Case is known as “Unitary Status.”

Today, the Court has granted partial unitary status to TUSD within some specific areas while other areas have not yet been found unitary. Importantly, the Court will continue to oversee all areas of the court decree/USP until full unitary status is granted. The District remains under obligation to report on all areas to the Court. The Court anticipates one more year prior to the District being granted full unitary status. read more

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Whistleblowers connect the dots with TUSD board candidates and UHS

Our permission is granted to media, bloggers, and others to publish our letter. We are the sole authors of our letters.

75th Open Letter to the Community:

Connect the . . . . Dots . . . .The Stegeman

University High School Parasite Plot

From: TUSD Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Former Students/ Class of 2018, Retired Administrators, Parents, & Grandparents

Mark Stegeman believes that he is smart enough and powerful enough to be able to plot out how he will be able to get three votes to place University High School (UHS) on its own high school campus. He has tried this before and has failed. Sometimes his conniving ways do not become obvious until they smack you in the face, so we thought we would start warning people now about his newest plan to get his third vote for a UHS campus take-over. Stegeman has left a trail of dots which are so obvious that they almost self-connect. read more

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DeVos Weighs Federal Funding for Arming Teachers

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Ilana Novick.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering a plan to use federal funding to put guns in schools, The New York Times reported Thursday, calling it an “unprecedented” move.

In March, following multiple school shootings, Congress passed a $50 million school safety bill for districts around the country that, as the Times notes, “expressly prohibited the use of the money for firearms.”

Public opinion started to turn to more positive toward gun control, especially after the shootings in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which 17 students died. A February Politico/Morning Consult poll showed “support for stricter gun laws among registered voters [is] at 68 percent, compared with just 25 percent who oppose stricter gun laws.”

While support for gun control tends to rise after school shootings, Parkland students have made a point of keeping their names and stories in the news, touring the country and attempting to persuade youths to register to vote so that they can elect politicians who support gun control. According to a recent Elle magazine story, Parkland students are even using a high tech t-shirt to aid their registration drive.

As back-to-school season begins, however, DeVos’s Department of Education seems determined to buck the trend. According the Times, the department is examining the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program, which, unlike the congressional school safety funding, does not prohibit spending on weapons.

“That omission,” the Times reports, “would allow [DeVos] to use her discretion to approve any state or district plans to use grant funding for firearms and firearm training, unless Congress clarifies the law or bans such funding through legislative action.”

Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill told the Times that “[t]he department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety.” She declined to elaborate further.

As the Times explains, Student Support and Academic Enrichment is a $1 billion grant program intended to help the nation’s poorest school districts accomplish three goals: “providing a well-rounded education, improving school conditions for learning and improving the use of technology for digital literacy.”

The Education Department is exploring the position that guns could fit the criteria for improving school conditions, although current guidelines for meeting that criteria include expanding access to mental health services, support for students returning to school from juvenile detention, and other social services.

The Times observes that, like calls from President Trump to arm teachers following the Parkland shootings, the Education Department proposal is almost certain to receive backlash.

In addition to being a departure from current models of education funding, it’s also in sharp contrast to funding on school safety. “Guidance for grants distributed by the Homeland Security Department that are intended for ‘school preparedness,’ for example, notes that weapons and ammunition are not permitted,” the Times reports.

According to the Education Department, school shootings were not taken into account when programs such as Student Support and Academic Enrichment were established. Previous public comments on the subject by DeVos and her staff members suggest that they will leave the question of whether to arm teachers or school staff up to individual states.

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Complaints against harassment by the TUSD Desegregation Fisher “Plaintiff” continue

The following open letter to TUSD was posted on this recently posted article’s comment section.

TS and Readers: The following was sent to Board and Supt. today.

August 6, 2018

Dear TUSD Governing Board and Dr. Gabriel Trujillo:

I was very glad to see what the Whistleblowers reported about Gloria Copeland in Three Sonorans. Good and brave of the Whistleblowers! In reaction to the Whistleblowers’ 72nd letter, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo is saying that Gloria Copeland, Fisher plaintiffs’ representative (or whatever her role is) has the same rights to visit schools as any other “citizen.” This immediately shows how oblivious he is about Gloria Copeland’s behavior throughout the District and his lack of power or willingness to protect TUSD employees from Gloria’s out-of-bounds behavior at the schools. Maybe he believes Gloria’s bluff that she has two or three Board members “in-pocket.” (She throws Michael Hick’s name around all of the time and suggests that she speaks to Mark Stegeman regularly and she throws in that when she spoke with Rachael Sedgewick she said this and she said that so that people will know that she is also in contact with her.) It is one of her intimidation tricks. Basically, she is constantly dropping their names. I refuse to believe that any of these three Board members condone what Gloria is doing in the schools or other TUSD offices and I challenge each board member and Dr. Trujillo to condone her conduct or to denounce it. Remaining silent actually condones Gloria’s behavior and it allows her to continue with her awful disrespectful and disruptive behavior. read more

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