Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Pedicone extends an olive branch. Will it be accepted?

John Pedicone, the much-maligned Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Superintendent, has extended an olive branch to the supporters of the Mexican American Studies Program.

On Monday, in nearly identical letters– one to UNIDOS (the young adult activists group who chained themselves to the school board dias and shut down the April 26 board meeting) and the Mexican American Studies Community Advisory Board– Pedicone said that “actions taken by the district have resulted in high levels of concern and, in many cases, frustration[understatement of the year].” He goes on to say that he has recommended that the TUSD board withdraw the proposal to reorganize Ethnic Studies, brought forth by Mark Stegeman, TUSD board president.

The intensity of the discussion has reached a point where it makes it difficult to consider any resolution at this time. [duh] The deep-seated feelings surrounding this program, either as a result of a strong affiliation to its purpose or, in other cases, a rejection of the premise for its inclusion has created a counter-productive atmosphere that must be changed.

This is a smart move by Pedicone, and I hope the board takes his suggestion. The hate speech fueled by a continuous blogging drumbeat and media blitz on radio and social media often distorted the intent of the proposal and blew the situation way out of proportion. On the day that Osama bin Laden– the world’s most wanted man was captured and killed– what was on the front page of the TucsonCitizen.com? Five stories related to Mexican American Studies.

Since the April 26 board room takeover, there have been several calls for civil discourse to bring out the facts surrounding the Mexican American Studies debate and allow for open discussion with respect from all sides (1, 2, 3, 4). Maybe the hate speech and spin will stop for a while, so this can be accomplished– before Attorney General Tom Horne and State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal step in.

It’s time for radical love for humanity.

5 comments on “Pedicone extends an olive branch. Will it be accepted?

  1. cruz
    May 19, 2011

    I hope so Pam but I’m not holding my breath because from what I’ve seen and heard the supporters of MAS will stop at nothing until they get there way, it’s like trying to rationalize with an irrational person it just not going to happen.


  2. awsjr
    May 19, 2011

    its a nice thought Pam but apparently no….surprised ?….no….
    thank you for attempts to be a voice of reason….


  3. Vato Loco
    May 19, 2011

    As a parent of a MAS student, we as a Chican@ and progressive TUSD community will not allow Pedicone and Stegemen to destroy our classes by giving them second class status (electives).   We will see how sincere Dr. Pedicone is when Huppenthal rules our classes out of compliance in a few days…   paz y reflecciones…


  4. Plain Ol' B.O.
    May 19, 2011

    This will be resolved only to have the AIMS graduation requirement protested next…

    After all, you can’t stomp around and protest with demands for a  a quality eductation equal to  the ones offered at other Districts, can you?


  5. Pingback: Also from the Tucson Citizen. Scared white folks from PHX. « Ben Quick Homepage and Blog

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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