Dear Diane Douglas,

You do not likely remember, but a few weeks ago we met.  You spoke at an awards assembly where Rio Rico High School was awarded the College Board (AP exams) and Cambridge International Examinations (IGCSE) school of the year for the nation among small schools.

In your speech you spoke a few times about how funding for education needs to improve and in particular about teacher pay.  It was a deft political move.  #REDforED was just beginning to make waves and you felt them.  A teacher friend expressed a weight lifted off her shoulders by your words, saying, “It was sure nice to hear the state superintendent talk about the need for increased funding.”

We shook hands, you congratulated me and went about your way.  It was the last I’d seen of you until very recently.

Since then the Arizona Educators United group has exploded to it’s nearly 50,000 current members, and much has happened with the #REDforED movement giving you many opportunities to step in and provide the guidance that only someone in a high level position like your own can do, you’ve done little.  Let’s review:

  • There was a march on the capitol where the demands of the AEU were made.  
    • You were silent.
  • In response to the demands Doug Ducey pushed through more legislation that cuts funding for public education.
    • You were silent.
  • Doug Ducey says that teachers will only get the 1% “raise,” nothing more.
    • You were silent.
  • Doug Ducey calls #REDforED, “Political theater.”
    • You were silent.
  • Over 110,000 people participated in Walk-Ins around the state, showing incredible solidarity.
    • You were silent.
  • Governor Ducey comes up with his 20×2020 proposal to pay teachers but not fund education as a whole.
    • You were silent.
  • A plan to vote on a walk-out among educators was developed.
    • You were silent.

Now the line is drawn in the sand.  Both sides are backed into corners.  Now you speak.  The quality and character of your message will be discussed soon.  But first, an observation.

The time where people will hear you has passed.  Your inaction has shown that you serve your own political and financial concerns, not the need of students.  Your silence has been heard loud and clear.  Your statements now, both in timing and quality, only serve to confirm the public has long since known to be true.

Let us address two things that you have said.

  1.  Give the governor time to fix this.

The governor has had years.  You have failed to step in and help motivate change.  This is a stall tactic.  Your opportunity to step in and slow down the #REDforED movement to provide time so that meaningful and sustainable changes could be made has passed.  

2.  Teachers will be investigated fully, teaching certificates can be revoked and teachers can be fired.

Newsflash Diane Douglas:  You don’t need a teaching certificate to teach in Arizona.   (What did you say about those moves by the governor when they went through … oh yeah, nothing.)

You have chosen sides.  Your bread is buttered by the cream taken off  of the top of public education funding, and the knife dives deep when in your hands, doesn’t it?

8 thoughts on “Dear Diane Douglas

  1. Gale A Griffin says:

    Well said. This woman has never been interested in public education and is certainly not going to wake up now.

  2. How sad that the AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction doesn’t support public schools 🙁 But why would she? She has NO educational experience. Unless you count serving on a school board for a few years and teaching others how to make stained glass 🙄 Her background is in business & finance.

  3. The answer is to vote for David Garcia for Governor.

    David Garcia is running for Governor to fight for working families and against a rigged economy.
    David wants Arizona to have top quality schools, good paying jobs and honest government for a change. David is a husband, dad, veteran, and teacher – he’s not a politician. As Governor, David Garcia will root out the corruption, fight for education and break the old politics that hold Arizona back.

  4. I can’t agree with you more. While Ducey has been off creating and running his own shadow “State Department of Education”, Diane has been lost. While Ducey and the legislature almost got the private school voucher system established Diane was once again lost. Now she has the audacity to issue a veiled threat to the teachers of this state who have the professional credentials to teach that should be required of all teachers but thanks to Ducey and his ilk and Diane’s inability to speak out and lead, is not required of many people running classrooms in our public education system? Diane, your pathetic attempt to authoritatively declare teachers must return to the classroom by relying on a weak Attorney Generals opinion from almost 50 years ago that is not case law and your misunderstanding of “illegal” as it applies to individual teachers in the case of this walkout is maybe (hopefully) your last display of how inept you have been as the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. If you want to gather your belongings and leave a little early, we will arrange to cover what it is that you do until the elections in November….wait, we won’t have to cover anything because that is what you have done and continue to do for public education in Arizona.

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