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Tucson kids in China? Alert hero Horne

Citizen Staff Writer

Where’s Tom Horne when we really need him? You know: the crusading Arizona superintendent of public instruction who rides in occasionally to try saving Tucson from itself.

Where is he now with word out that Tucson Unified School District is sending a group of kids to China this summer?

That’s the big country run by commies, isn’t it?

Gasp and horrors!

No word from Horne’s office. Is he soft on communism?

The students – a dozen in all, led by their Chinese immigrant teacher, according to the morning sheet – are making the trip under auspices of TUSD’s Ethnic Studies Department.

Suspicion should surface immediately with that report. The Ethnic Studies program is why Horne left the righteous confines of his Paradise Valley home last week and took a fork in the road to perdition.

Besides the dreaded Ethnic Studies connection, it was reported that the trip is largely being paid for by China’s Ministry of Education.

Hmm. Just what kind of education does it minister?

Or should we, led by crusader Horne, be asking if this is the Chinese agency responsible for – brace yourselves – commie, pinko propagandizing?

One student going with the group was quoted as saying, “I want to meet people my age from a different point of view and a different culture.”

Roll those last words off the tongue: “a different point of view and a different culture.”

What? We have no different points of view and no different cultures, Horne says. Only an American point of view and an American culture.

In the face of this dire threat to a dozen of our kids and our very way of life, there’s no sign of our hero Horne.

But, in his absence, we can quote from some of his past remarks that are applicable.

On the superintendent’s page of the Arizona Department of Education’s Web site, Horne says his department “will be primarily a service organization, helping school districts and charter schools achieve more academic success.”

What the Web site doesn’t say, but what Horne implied in his Ethnic Studies smear last week, was that he will help bring about academic success as long as it is achieved his way.

Never mind that students in the Raza Studies part of TUSD’s Ethnic Studies program, the one Horne attacked, have scored significantly higher on the AIMS test across the board for the past three years than students not enrolled in the program.

Smells like academic success to me. But what do I know? I’m from Tucson.

Let the Paradise Valley expert set the mark.

In doing so, though, Horne should heed his own words, from a speech he gave April 24, 2007, at an event of The Heritage Foundation:

“When a central bureaucracy attempts to manage a complex . . . system, extreme dysfunction results.”

Contact Michael A. Chihak by calling 573-4646 or e-mailing mchihak@tucsoncitizen.com.

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