Tucson Elections Wrap-up

The votes have been cast, and Tucsonans sent clear messages regarding the ballot proposals. Council races are now official.

Candidates:

Richard Fimbres won Ward V beating Shaun McCluskey. Karin Uhlich hangs on to Ward III by 195 votes beating Ben Beuhler-Garcia. Steve Kozachick upsets incumbent Nina Trasoff in Ward VI by well over 1,000 votes.

Props 401 and 402, TUSD Overrides:

Both attempts by Tucson Unified School District to exceed its its budgets limits were defeated, both by substantial 20 point margins. The failure reflects a basic distrust among Tucsonans. From the many financial scandals, to the “Post Unitary Status Plan”. Greg Patterson of Espresso Pundit credits the controversial “La Raza” (The Race) program.

Young man with Karin Uhlich tee-shirt holds SEIU generated ant-prop 200 sign at Tea Party


Prop 200, Public Safety:

This ill-conceived proposal would mandate specific police and fire response times, officer/population ratios, etc.The idea was to force the council to fund basic services rather than pet projects, favored charities, and payoffs to supporters. The promotion effort was terrible, and the Left seized on the general anti-tax mood to attack the proposal. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) activists were seen at the last Tucson Tea Party parading around with signs saying that Prop 200 would increase taxes. It lost 70% to 30%

Teaching Injustice

Dr. Ben Chavis, a Native American from North Carolina who earned both a bachelor’s degree and doctoral degree in education from the University of Arizona, took over a failing charter school in Oakland, California. He instituted high academic standards, and was a tough disciplinarian who passed out detentions freely. Dr. Chavis’ American Indian Public Charter School (AIPCS) has been consistently rated in the top five of the roughly 1300 junior high schools in California.

Back in the Old Pueblo, I heard Michael Block in a radio interview discuss one of his motivations for starting the Basis charter school here in Tucson and Scottsdale. Basis, you may recall, has been consistently rated one of the best high schools in the country by Newsweek magazine. Anyway, he had two daughters who moved from Europe to the U.S. and entered a Scottsdale public school. They learned English by attending school and watching television. According to Michael Block, they were treated very well, accepted and welcomed, but they were not learning anything academically. He started his own school with high academic standards, and the rest is history.

Meanwhile, Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) is preoccupied with “diversity”, and “social justice.”

TUSD’s “Post Unitary Status Plan” (PDF copy available online), adopted in July of 2009, contains the following: “Each school’s plan should specifically address the academic needs of African American and Hispanic students who are not performing at grade level and or meeting the standards as assessed by Terra Nova and AIMS. Each plan should also address the issue of underrepresentation in Honors, AP, and Gifted programs…”

Yikes! Let me break it down for you brothah.

“Each school’s plan should specifically address the academic needs of African American and Hispanic students who are not performing at grade level and or meeting the standards as assessed by Terra Nova and AIMS.” This is a good idea, but how about the Anglos, Asians, or Native Americans who are failing? Is that not a problem too? Now before you question why I included Asians, let’s just say that it is possible that an Asian kid might be failing in some school somewhere, hey, all I’m saying is that it could happen. Anyway, “equality” is repeated throughout the document as an important principal. Are some kids are more equal than others?

“Each plan should also address the issue of underrepresentation in Honors, AP, and Gifted programs.” It’s always been my understanding that these programs are not legislatures with every group having equal representation. Participation is based on individual merit, which makes over or under representation meaningless. Believing that demographic patterns for those in special programs must match the demographic patterns of the school as a whole is like saying that each time the dice are tossed they must add up to seven. The fact is that sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, because they are unrelated. When Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he supported colorblind admissions standards for the state college system. Some tried to frighten him by saying that if there were no affirmative action admission standards the student body would be eighty per cent Asian; to which he replied, “So what?”

If you want to see how deeply destructive this document gets, go to the “Discipline” section. In it you will find the following: “As appropriate, the Department of Student Equity will interact with each school to review suspension data (in-school and out-of-school). School data that show disparities in suspension/expulsion rates will be examined in detail for root causes. Special attention will be dedicated to data regarding African American and Hispanic students.” And, “The Equity Team will ensure that disciplinary policies focus on improving students’ future behavior, rather than inflicting punishment, and that they represent a commitment to social justice for all students.” Finally, the ultimate attack on the individual. Now, not even punishment for breaking the rules relates to behavior. In fact, punishment itself is passe’.

So now we teach children that they are not responsible for what they do. Bad actions do not lead to bad consequences. Everyone is equal, except that some are more equal than others. We are no longer committed to justice for all; rather, we are committed to social justice for all. I don’t know what “social justice” is, but it is not “justice” – hence the addition of “social.”

I understand that TUSD really wants that desegregation money, but if you have to do this to the children, is it really worth it?