by David Safier
Save Ethnic Studies, the group defending the Mexican American Studies program, is playing hard ball.
If you remember, Ed Supe John Huppenthal hired an audit team to evaluate MAS to help him decide if the program is in violation of A.R.S. § 15-112. The original head of the audit team, Steve Gallon, was removed after complaints from Save Ethnic Studies that he had a checkered past, to put it lightly.
Now, Save Ethnic Studies is refusing to participate in "a focus group discussion" with the reconstituted audit team. The three reasons: (1) It's hard to trust Cambium Learning Group which put together the audit team if its own "audit" of the team members would allow someone like Steve Gallon to head it; (2) The scope and parameters of the audit haven't been spelled out clearly; and (3) The audit team has no demonstrated expertise in the theory behind MAS or the challenges faced by Mexican-American students in the southwest.
This refusal to cooperate will undoubtedly be used against the group, but I think it's a good move. If the audit team is an honest, objective group, it can find all the information it needs without someone explaining it to them. If the deck is stacked, then anything members of the Save Ethnic Studies group say can be used as "evidence" against the program.
You can read the Media Release after the jump. You can read the letter to Superintendent Pedicone here.
Save Ethnic Studies Hand Delivered Letter to Dr. John Pedicone and TUSD board today declining to meet with Audit Team
Today Save Ethnic Studies declined an invitation to meet with the audit team currently evaluating TUSD's Mexican American Studies program. Save Ethnic Studies does not trust the judgement of the group that was going to send an individual with a substancial criminal history to evaluate our program. In addition, we do not know the scope or perameters of this audit. A hand delivered letter to Dr. Pedicone and the TUSD board today explains our position.
Please direct questions or comments to Deyanira Nevarez at (520) 975-1485 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.