by David Safier
The Star's top, center, front page article is about a letter sent by former TUSD Board members to the current board. It's carefully worded to be as diplomatic as possible. Explicity, the letter asks the Board to be a bit more careful about its public statements concerning the MAS program. Implicity, it says, "Hicks is an idiot. Shut him the hell up!"
The letter says the MAS controversy, which was created by the state law making the program illegal, "has also been worsened by the District Board's behavior and comments."
After the Governing Board took action January 10th of this year to "suspend" MAS courses, the community was told it was time to "move on." Yet, there continue to be negative news stories coming from District officials and Board members about MAS which has caused numerous aftershocks, some nationally.
"Negative news stories" is a pretty clear reference to the infamous Daily Show segment with Hicks. But a later statement implies folks like Mark Stegeman as well as people in the TUSD administration should be more careful about condemning those who are fighting to reinstate the program.
We implore you to shift from the negative attention that is now focused on MAS to positive attention on countless matters critical to the education of students in TUSD. We encourage you to conduct yourselves in a manner that unifies rather than divides, and that you work together as a group to build community, rather than to erode it. Tucson has a long tradition of celebrating our community's diverse cultural heritage, and in seeking solutions to our problems through respectful dialogue.
The letter ends by hoping members of the public "will learn from your example and dial down the caustic rhetoric that now dominates the news about the District." That's clearly not what's happening tonight (but then again, TUSD isn't exactly leading by example), as supporters of the MAS program plan to protest the Board getting rid of Sean Arce by turning the volume up 11 during a gathering at 6pm in front of the Admin building. Everyone is invited to a "Burrito Tardeada" (afternoon party). Burritos will be served, in honor of Hicks' scandalized observation that MAS teachers bought burritos for their students.