John Huppenthal: Unfit To Serve?

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How badly did Ed Supe John Huppenthal screw up when he made a robocall urging parents to yank their kids out of public schools and put them in private schools "for free" (meaning, on the taxpayers' dime)? Badly enough he issued a public apology at the State Board of Ed meeting and sent a letter of apology to Arizona Superintendents. Well, kind of an apology.


"I have profound regrets over the articulation of my message and the false perceptions it generated about the nature of my commitment to public education."

"False perceptions"? Hupp has said that he's the superintendent of "education for the public," and he defines private schools as public schools. His support of vouchers, the more the better, goes all the way back to his days as a state senator when he actively worked to expand voucher programs. His "commitment to public education," meaning to school districts and even charter schools, is suspect. No "false perceptions" here.

One segment in this month's Tucson Cable Access show, "Education: The Rest Of The Story," which I host with Ann-Eve Pedersen, is my take on Hupp's qualifications to be the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Along the way, I get all Dr. Word on him, looking at his clever but inaccurate misstatement of the meaning of the word "public" in different contexts (it means one thing as an adjective used in a governmental context and something else as a noun in a more general context). He also is unclear on the meaning of the word "superintendent," which refers to directing and managing. That's his job, to "superintend" all district schools and charters. But he has no superintendent duties related to private schools.

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