Arizona Superintendent Criticized For Having Texan Train School Board Members

tapped AJ Crabill with the Effective School Boards Initiative

The Arizona Department of Education (AZED) came under scrutiny for having a Texan train school boards in its most recent event.

Not In Our Schools (NIOS), a popular independent journalist group that highlights progressive ideologies and misdeeds in Arizona schools, questioned Superintendent Tom Horne’s decision to bring in a nationally acclaimed and experienced non-Arizonan rather than tap local governing boards or Arizonan leaders to conduct training. Horne had tapped AJ Crabill, a Texan school district leader with the Effective School Boards Initiative, to lead a training session last week.

NIOS claimed that Crabill was in favor of DEI.

Crabill has been critical of DEI tactics like equity audits. The Effective School Boards framework proposes a scoring system to measure school board effectivity, with ratings on subjects including mindsets, causation of student success or failure, self-evaluation practices, board meeting audits, training regularities, goal-led policies, SMART goals, knowledge of community needs, and townhall regularity.

The organization also offers nationally certified coaches, though none exist in Arizona.

The organization’s framework aligns with Crabill’s most recent book, “Great on Their Behalf: Why School Boards Fail, How Yours Can Become Effective.” The book discusses identifying the failures that have occurred, what type they are, and how to address them, breaking them down on the basis of knowledge, skill, and mindset. Crabill emphasizes that school boards must increase their monitoring of student outcomes in order to improve them.

“Education leaders must be prepared to engage in whatever adult behavior change is necessary to improve student outcomes, even if it’s difficult or unpopular,” wrote Crabill.

Crabill’s approach focuses initially on mindset before tackling priority clarification through stakeholder engagement (the community and students), then moving into methods of monitoring progress and rating performance, then identifying resources and engaging them, and then engaging in results communication with stakeholders.

Crabill is a conservator at DeSoto ISD in Texas, which turned around from F ratings to B ratings during his tenure. Crabill also served as deputy commissioner at Texas Education Agency and board chair of Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri.

NIOS also claimed that the controversial school board member who led on the board’s unlawful discrimination against Christians and who publicly identifies as a gay furry, Tamillia Valenzuela, either worked for Crabill or Horne.

Valenzuela’s LinkedIn doesn’t reflect that she works for Crabill or AZED. Presently, Valenzuela’s page reflects that she works as a content creator for I Am Root, a governing board member for Washington Elementary School District, and community engagement specialist for Southwest Fair Housing Council.

AZED also denied the claim of Valenzuela’s employment.

“The person from Washington Elementary doesn’t work for the speaker or Arizona Department of Education,” wrote AZED.

AZED also clarified that the training informed school board members on focusing on academic achievement and ridding their districts of other distractions, “like woke ideology,” the opposite of the NIOS claim. AZED echoed a phrase used often by Crabill referring to the impact adult precedence has on student outcomes.

“We will provide trainings throughout the year to push this basic message. Student outcomes will not change until adult behavior changes,” AZED posted on X.

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  1. The fact that Horne uses the woke term is concerning. Most fail to understand it’s real definition when they use it.

  2. The state of Arizona willingly exports all variety of state business to out of state vendors but when our Superintendent uses the very best resources to train our school board members, he’s guilty of not keeping money in the state. Laughable!

  3. Thank goodness for ESA. Many students are now receiving a quality education instead of biased propaganda from the far left. Superintendent Tom Horne is doing a great job!

  4. “Student outcomes will not change until adult behavior changes.”

    Thank you. Not much good came out of the last elections, but Tom has been a gem.

  5. AZED would still complain even if a training were provided for by Az governing board member! THESE WOKESTERS ARE MARXIST AND WILL NOT BACK DOWN! THEY ARE INCAPABLE OF LEARNING!

    • its called economic sabotage – they want to kick our ass anyway possible – disruption of education just one piece of spaghetti on the wall – every way, every day, any way, no limits (as we see with law) as to how this desegregation can be facilitated to success – that sir is ‘evil’ and it wants this nation to fail and fall as soon as possible. Not a nation ‘ Under God ‘ is one of those facilitators

  6. is some Texas rubs off on Arizona – I’d think that a good think – Az can’t find it’s shoelaces

  7. I suppose if it is a good idea then AZ will not want anyone or anything to come between Indoctrination and wokeism.

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