Douglas takes Huppenthal to the mat during GOP AZ Superintendent of Instruction Debate

hupp-douglasBy Brad McQueen

Diane Douglas takes a stammering, Nixon-esque Huppenthal to the mat during the GOP AZ Superintendent of Instruction Debate

The AZ Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate debate took place this past Tuesday on PBS’s Arizona Horizon, hosted by Ted Simons.

It seemed more like the famous Kennedy/Nixon debate of 1960 as a confident, well-versed Diane Douglas took the stammering, jittery, Nixon-esque John Huppenthal to the mat not only for his part in abrogating state sovereignty over education to the feds through his complicity in promoting Common Core, but for the culture of deception he has promoted and taken part in at the AZ Department of Education over the last four years.

Huppenthal’s deceptive practice of using aliases to  anonymously  post to online blogs using Department of Education computers to not only attack his opponents but support his own policies is discussed right off the bat

Rather than apologize publicly to Arizona’s parents and children for his shady behavior unbecoming of our state’s “chief educator”, Huppenthal compares his deceptive behavior to our Founding Fathers under the guise of his exercising his right to freedom of speech.  I have a hard time seeing George Washington or Benjamin Franklin looking down on Huppenthal’s behavior with anything but contempt.

Diane Douglas, a former Peoria school board president and a straight-talker, is having none of this. She instead admonishes Huppenthal for his unrepentant attitude and puts forth that Arizona’s parents and kids deserve a chief educator that they can look up to and trust.

Diane Douglas continues by recounting that Huppenthal’s treasuring of the right to expression obviously does not extend to teachers and state employees who disagree with the Department of Education, alluding to my treatment by the Dept. of Ed when I voiced my opposition to the Common Core.

Diane Douglas also mentions not only Huppenthal’s office attempt at intimidating me, but also their blackballing me from further contract work on state assessments due to my opposition to Common Core as was documented extensively with internal emails obtained by the AZ Daily Independent.

The moderator also asks Huppenthal how he can repair trust with black and Hispanic children after his, what some have called, racially charged anonymous blog posts.  Again, eyes down like a scolded child, he stammers through a jumbled non-answer about South Tucson kids, because we all know that “they” all live in the south side of town, eh Huppenthal?

The debate is then steered towards Common Core, which Huppenthal immediately tries to distance himself from, calling it something he “inherited” from his predecessor.  Diane Douglas reminds Huppenthal that he wrote a letter in support of Arizona’s adoption of the Common Core as an AZ State Senator, as she dangles a copy of the said letter for Huppenthal to see, as he averts her gaze like a child caught in yet another lie.

Huppenthal may have “inherited” the Common Core dress, but he’s been wearing it with pride, no doubt as he blogs anonymously into the wee hours of the morning, ever since as he has become its chief proponent/mouthpiece with the full throated backing of the AZ Chamber of Commerce whose customers are big business, not our kids.

One thing Huppenthal did inherit was former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne’s abolishment of the social justice focused Ethnic Studies program at the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).  The final court battle took place under Huppenthal’s watch, yet Huppenthal takes full credit for defeating this racist program as a conservative feather in his cap.

Diane Douglas continues to hammer at the Common Core pointing out that the copyright to the standards is owned by two private companies in Washington, D.C., rather than owned and controlled by the state of Arizona as were our previous learning standards.

Diane Douglas goes on to also mention that the Common Core is more than new learning standards, rather they are a whole host of federal mandates that Huppenthal and Governor Brewer agreed to implement in our state in exchange for a pittance of federal money.

Diane Douglas also mentions one of the most insidious components of Common Core, the NSA-like data suctioning systems , which suction all manner of data about our school kids and their families directly to the U.S. Department of Education and to a potential multitude of private companies and government agencies without parent permission or notification.  Huppenthal chose not to address this component of Common Core.

The candidates then give a brief closing statement to end the debate.

Huppenthal continues stammering away like a jack hammer, his brow glowing with perspiration, about opposing liberal Obama education policies and supporting conservative policies.

Newsflash: Common Core is a liberal Obama policy.  In what world would a true conservative give away state control of education to the federal government through the implementation of Common Core?  The answer is, in the world of John Huppenthal where imaginary characters called “Thucydides” and “Falcon9” deceptively post late into the night on government issued computers on blog sites and who knows where else, that’s where.

In Diane Douglas’s closing statement she, as she always does during her campaign events, focuses squarely on the needs of Arizona’s kids and their parents when she says, “God gave children as a gift to their parents,” and they know what is best as their chief protectors and educators, not a bureaucrat in Phoenix or Washington, D.C.

She also promises to make the Department of Education and the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction respected once again for looking out for the interests of Arizona’s kids and parents as it restores trust in teachers to do their jobs in the classroom.

Arizona’s children and their parents deserve so much better than the state/national embarrassment in the form of the serial deceiver, John Huppenthal, as their chief educator.  Fortunately, Diane Douglas is a candidate in the GOP primary for AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction and, on August 26, we now have a clear alternative of competency and hope.


bradBrad McQueen is a former Common Core insider and current public school teacher in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of the anti-Common Core book “The Cult of Common Core”. Connect with Brad at


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  1. This lady sounds good, but does anyone know her political affiliation? dems are good at pointing things out to make themsleves look good, but then once elected do the exact same thing. R’s do this also but this guy has no excuses for anything and needs to be replaced. I am curious is why I ask. J

    ust like driving around town, signs all over yet only 1 or 2 tell their party affiliation, guess the rest a too scared to?

    • Diane Douglas is a Republican, running against Huppenthal in the August 26 Primary. I have heard he speak at an event in Oro Valley, she is very informed and against Common Core. Douglas has my vote and urge all to vote for her as well.

    • Having talked to her. She is certainly a Republican and her only focus is taking back local control for education, and better yet she is not a career politicialn looking for a new office she can Hold.

      The hupster aka;Falcon 9 has been in the state administrative and legislative environment too long.

  2. Huppenthal also abuses animals !

    Every time I call his office, I’m told – Huppenthal is in his office with one of his many superintendents, Spanking his Monkey, or Choking his Chicken.

    Huppenthal must go.

  3. Diane Douglas has impeccable constitutional conservative credentials. She was a founding member and served as the Secretary for the PAChyderm Coalition and Arizona Conservative Coalition. As you may know, that organization was never a one-issue group, but has fought against the McCain/Brewer/Chamber cabal on every major issue facing Arizona. WIth Diane’s volunteer contributions, all Arizona Legislators have been influenced by their legislator ratings.

    Douglas served on the Peoria Governing Board, including a term as Board President, and is extremely qualified to take the reins of the AZ Dept of Ed. Her voice as Superintendent will bring common sense and restore parental and local control of our school system. That is not only the legal thing to do in context with federal law and the AZ Constitution, it is simply the right thing to do. A vote for Douglas is a vote to restore Arizona values in our education system.

  4. Huppenthal offered teachers no help at all when they tried to expose a major case of fraud to him as well as the ADE. He and his minions turned a blind eye and the children received an inferior education. He’s just one of many within ADE who need to go. If Diane Douglas wins, she had better bring a large container for all of the crooked ADE employees she’ll be canning in order to clean that place out.

  5. Diane Douglas is clearly a conservative Republican who I have met and heard speak more than once, plus email communication. She is smart, articulate, and she is extremely well versed in all things relating to K-12 education, including Common Core. She has also been in contact with at least two of the members of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to sign off on the standards: Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram. In fact, she will be joining them on August 2 at a Common Core Forum, to be held at the Burke Basic School, 131 E Southern Av, Mesa. It starts at 6 pm.
    Brad McQueen is an excellent writer, by the way!

  6. At one point in the debate, Huppenthal speaks with pride about getting the state to adopt “phonics” as the method for teaching reading, as opposed to the “whole word” method. While the Chief of the Reading Improvement Service at the University of Michigan, I supported either method because, either one, properly implemented, is very effective; neither is effective when badly implemented. Both are, in AZ and in MI, often badly implemented. Competent teachers are not made by legislation–for “phonics” or for Common Core.

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