TUSD looks towards a smoother 2012

TUSD looks towards a smoother 2012

CREATED Feb 20, 2012

Reporter: Corinne Hautala

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – The Tucson Unified School District is coming off a rough year, but the district’s superintendent is now looking ahead.

Superintendent Dr. John Pedicone held his state of the district address at Tucson High School.  He laid out TUSD’s goal for 2012. 

The goals include, improving achievement, which Dr. Pedicone explained a new district-wide curriculum will help in that area.  He also wants to focus on improving student enrollment, lowering the dropout rate and improve customer service to parents.

“Are the students really a priority,” asked Tanya Aldarez a parent of a TUSD student, “And is the community’s voice really going to be heard?  I hear a lot about culture and community, but how much of our voice is really being taken into consideration?”

Aldarez, like many parents that attended the meeting, have questions stemming from issues in 2011, that they don’t want to see brushed away in 2012.

Over the last year, with Dr. Pedicone as superintendent, we’ve seen an array of hot button issues ranging from severe budget cuts to the ethnic studies fight.

In his presentation, Dr. Pedicone said the law is clear and to avoid the pricy legal battle TUSD chose to get rid of Mexican American Studies.

9OYS asked Aldarez if Dr. Pedicone addressed her concerns as far as Mexican American Studies. 

“I think he was doing his job and he could only answer as much as he knew he could and of course the law had a lot to do with it and I think he could to a lot more.”

Aldarez adds she’d like Dr. Pedicone to listen to the community more when it comes to ethnic studies.

Pedicone said discussion on the issue is not over.

“What's not over for me are the students and families involved in this for so long,” said Dr. Pedicone, “So we have to continue to do some healing and work to try to make sure we're doing what’s right, so it isn't over.”