Arizona deserves better than Superintendent Huppenthal as their “chief educator”

huppenthal-common-coreBy Brad McQueen

Teachers and kids alike will be returning to school over the next couple of weeks across the state anxiously anticipating what awaits them in their classroom now that Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal and Governor Brewer have mandated the full implementation of the Common Core in Arizona’s schools.

Will Common Core and its “aligned” textbooks with their equally aligned, nonsensical math problems lie in wait?

Will the Common Core’s NSA-like data suctioning systems, which gather all manner of data on our kids and teachers, be fully operational?  Will all that gathered data be used to ensure teacher compliance with Common Core central’s commands, provided teachers and administrators can comprehend what those commands are?

How many talented, veteran teachers will reluctantly decide to retire early and how many newer teachers will select another career choice this year rather than playing a part in the federal takeover of education known as the Common Core?

Will the Department of Education have a standardized test selected to replace the AIMS test yet, or will they be too busy emailing each other should they discover a teacher is going rogue and opposing the Common Core? The newly chosen test is due to be administered in the spring of 2015 and should have long ago been selected.

Will they choose the PARCC testing group with which John Huppenthal had a very close relationship, he sat on their governing board, in violation of Arizona’s procurement laws? Will the PARCC test still have major security flaws as it did during its field testing in Arizona this last school year?

Will the current Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Huppenthal, be too busy posting online under his pseudonyms “Thucydides”, “Falcon9”, or another yet-to-be-discovered anonymous name late into the wee hours rather than providing the leadership and qualities needed to steer Arizona’s fragile education system?

Will there be new “students ” freshly acquired from border crossing detainment facilities that will require vast amounts of already stretched education resources, not to mention inoculations?

As a teacher, I go into the new school year with all these questions and more.  I must now look over my shoulder at every turn for the long knives of angry bureaucrats  at the Department of Education and an angrier Superintendent of Instruction, should John Huppenthal be re-elected this year.  I have had a target on my back since I penned an op-ed in opposition to the Common Core at the end of last school year, as well as writing other articles critical of John Huppenthal, and they have shown no evidence of ending their intimidation or retaliation against me.

I recently came across one of Superintendent Huppenthal’s anonymous blog comments in which he deceptively attacks the blogger, branding him an Alinsky-ite, for disagreeing with his support of Common Core.  Huppenthal  also goes on to call the federally led Common Core standards “conservative” and infers that anyone who disagrees with him is not a good conservative.

In reaction to Harry Mathew’s blog post critical of Huppenthal’s support of the Common Core on the Education Action Network site, Huppenthal, secretly posting as “Thucydides”, commented :


Reply by Thucydides on November 12, 2013 at 6:45am


You are a good man and have done a lot to advance the conservative cause.  But, these are very good standards and completely conservative standards.  The shrillness of this column, the personal, Saul Alinsky, style of the attack and the false statements made, are unbecoming of you and anyone who would call themselves a conservative.


This is reminiscent of when Huppenthal made a complete ass of himself when he called those who disagreed with him regarding the Common Core, “barbarians”.  Huppenthal , and the Department of Education he leads, attacks the integrity of those who disagree with them.  They forget that they serve us, not the other way around.

Hupenthal’s deception continues as he now broadcasts bold-faced lies in his radio campaign ads touting how he blocked Common Core history and science from our schools.  There are no officially mandated Common Core history or science standards.  Common Core standards cover reading, writing, and math and have been mandated to be taught in our schools by Huppenthal and Governor Brewer.

Huppenthal’s mandated Common Core reading and writing standards do have social studies and science content embedded in them as a backdoor way of including their politically charged content.  Huppenthal is hoping that the uninformed listener will come to the conclusion that he blocked Common Core from our schools.  His depth of deception is rather remarkable and borders on the psychopathic.

After I publicly voiced my opposition to the Common Core, a highly placed Department of Education official called into my classroom in an attempt to intimidate me into silence.  I talked to Mr. Huppenthal twice about this intimidation and even followed up with an email.  He looked me in the eye and promised that he would make things right and that no one should be trying to intimidate me.  I have never heard from Mr. Huppenthal again.

This behavior, his deceptive anonymous online postings, combined with his emotional breakdown at a press conference recently when he admitted to the anonymous posting of racially charged comments online, causes me to question his mental/psychological fitness to continue in office, much less serve another term.  If he was a teacher he would most likely have been removed from the classroom long ago.

Huppenthal also parades as a conservative, but what true conservative would hand over sovereignty of education to the federal government?

What do I say to the kids in my classroom when they ask if it is true that our “chief educator” posted anonymously online, attacking his enemies and making racially charged comments?  What if they ask me if their “chief educator” lied in an attempt to get elected?  What if they ask me if it’s okay for them to model Mr. Huppenthal’s behavior?

Is it okay to say that John Huppenthal’s behavior was deceptive and disgraceful and that they should never imitate it?  That will be my answer nonetheless.  Will I then be targeted for that comment?

This horrible present does not have to be our state’s future fortunately.

Ensure that our kids and their teachers do not have to have the uncomfortable conversation above by making sure the serial deceiver, Huppenthal, is not re-elected.

Ensure we do not have a Department of Education that intimidates, retaliates, and deceives, just like their leader Huppenthal, by making sure that we elect someone who will not tolerate these bureaucrats’ nonsense.

Ensure that we regain state sovereignty over education and return it to the control of the local/parent level by not electing someone like Huppenthal who supports Common Core in our state.

I go into the school year with a glimmer of hope, however.  Diane Douglas is running against John Huppenthal for Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Republican primary.  Diane is the anti-Huppenthal.  She is honest, direct, knowledgeable, and trustworthy.  She is also a role model that teachers can count on and our kids can look up to.

Ensure that Diane Douglas is elected by telling all your friends and family members about her.  The current Superintendent may have the support of his big monied buddies at the Chamber of Commerce, but Diane Douglas has the support of the grassroots.  Here’s her website:

Let the establishment hear you roar at the ballot box with early voting this week, on primary voting day on August 26th , and on November 4th during the general election voting day.  Arizona deserves better and now we have a choice.

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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About Opinion 362 Articles
Under the leadership of Editor in Chief Huey Freeman, the Editorial Board of the Arizona Daily Independent offers readers an opportunity to comments on current events and the pressing issues of the day. Occasionally, the Board weighs-in on issues of concern for the residents of Arizona and the US.


  1. This is an issue that is more complicated that what is being expressed on blogs and political rhetoric. I have personally implemented the Common Core Standards and have found they are rigorous, but reasonable in that we are teaching our children a process instead of an answer.

    The one issue is the federal government tying money to the testing process. To be quite honest, it was the responsibility of our state officials to go out and get the monies available. Some states did not and avoided the implementation of numerous programs thus overwhelming school districts.

    The second issue is how we determine the academic success of students. One test is not enough and not fair. The optimal situation is to create a portfolio that follows children to children a holistic view of what a child is. Currently, testing is the predominant method in grading schools and districts. To compound matter more, Pearson has created a near monopoly on the market giving school districts little choice in what is available. In another situation, Pearson has been involved in some less than scrupulous dealings with other states in mind (i.e. New Mexico).

    Huppenthal is not the answer nor is Douglas. We need to examine, be deliberate on a solution, and work on the solution for several years instead of changing programs and initiatives every few years.

  2. Brad, if there was ever any doubt in my mind that Common Core Curriculum is the forerunner to the coming of the Antichrist, that doubt was swept away over the last two days as we have had a review of the adopted “You vill do it und you vill like it!” CCC. All they need to add is the Cyrillic “P” and they’ve got that curriculum properly ID’ed!. It is a lockstep, day by day, week by week, semester by semester curriculum filled with liberal literature, bias, and outright rubbish. It has been implemented by evil people who will control the masses of future workers and to winow out us teachers who will not be able to bear teaching it. For this country, for the world, it is everlastingly too late unless the US voters nationwide vote out those politicians who supported the implementation of Common Core.

  3. Lie, special interest, money, greed. Sounds like a politician NOT EDUCATOR.

    Time to say good bye!!!

  4. Stay home and home school your kids. It’s easier than you think. When you’re kids are finished, they’ll be accepted to college and able to find the Atlantic ocean on a map.

  5. I was a teacher in several states for 39 years. Huppenthal is, by far, the most unethical, least informed, and generally most incompetent leader of a state department of education I have ever seen. The notion that the chief state school officer should past racist blogs under a variety of false names is simply appalling. His actions show a level of stupidity and such a profound lack of courage that should make even a politician ashamed.

  6. He even supported the board at Sunnyside that hired a convicted Felon to head their security department.

  7. Hoops’ radio claims are indeed false. He inherited a lawsuit against Tucson District 1’s La Raza Studies that he promptly tried to dismiss. Public furor brought it back. In 2013 he allowed TUSD to simply rename the program and re-start it (rename it – sound familiar?). TUSD never provided the “new” final curriculum for review, as required by law, and Hoops didn’t even squeek, even though it was well-reported by ADI.

    I see Hoops’ campaign signs springing up, showing him surrounded by the little children. I am reminded of the photos from history of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and that little guy from North Korea all surrounding themselves with the little children for photo ops. I am reminded of the “Candy from Obamao” lessons in gov’t schools after his first immaculation.

    Save our kids and grandkids from Hoops’ plans.

    God bless America.

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