Log in

Guest Commentary

Lane: SUSD superintendent's hiring a mistake


I think we are all on the same page philosophically when it involves children and young adults having equal opportunity to access the best possible education, and one that will give them the best opportunity for success in life.

It is not the concept or idea of helping young people overcome any life injury to their ability to learn, it’s the process he’s determined to employ. It’s divisive and discriminating to have a government body reintroduce racism into its decision-making. The cure for racism is not more racism.

Dr. Menzel’s tone, manner, and his subjective bigotry in his Torchlight Media interview is a problem, yes. It is a problem unto itself but it’s not the most significant problem.

It’s the process he has outlined in that same interview with Torchlight Media and is driven to deploy in the Scottsdale Unified School District to facilitate the disruption and dismantling of our SUSD educational system. These “Equity Law” programs for the reallocation of educational resources have proven to be a discriminatingly politically motivated disruption designed to separate students into socially disparate groups to dismantle an objective-based system of equal education for all, to a more equal and less equal subjective-based system of education. It has caring parents moving their children to alternative educational programs.

The process develops data on the student population based upon designed subjective criteria, and then analysis of that data to make subjective decisions on who “benefits” and who is “burdened” or loses in the distribution of educational resources. This reallocation of resources can take on very different forms. It may be different curriculums, books, and standards in grading or discipline.

Institutionalizing equity law in our educational system with the accompanying woke ideologies empowers the administrative staff. On the other hand, it lessens the Board’s ability to evaluate the process or results, particularly given the existing level of experience in transparency. By design it reinstitutes discriminating segregation of students into educational groupings by race, ethnicity, and socio-economic circumstances. There are more positive ways to address the post-integration intercity public schools’ failures to educate minorities, then to lead all public schools down the road to mediocracy versus meritocracy.

Despite the fact Dr. Menzel’s view of meritocracy in the U.S. is deemed to be “a lie”, merit-based education is an essential component of our national ethos. It has provided true opportunity and empowerment of the individual to work, innovate and grow in the pursuit of happiness.

Equity law can be detrimental to both sides of this equation. Once in place, it is difficult and disruptive to displace.

I don’t believe there is any difference in how we all feel about proper education and about the evils in any kind of discrimination. I believe the woke ideology has been damaging in every area where it is employed with a vengeance.

That’s how I see it with Dr. Menzel. To the very best of my knowledge, there has not been a public governing board presentation of this disruptive and dismantling process of SUSD’s educational system’s structure made or disclosed.

There is some confusion now, whether the previous Board who contracted and extended Dr. Menzel’s contract before the last election, that any of this was known to them at the time of his hiring. The superintendent is not a policy or political position. In fairness to those Board members there is little thought when hiring an administrator as to the extent of their political zealotry.

For those parents, who do not want to see their school system disrupted and politicized, Dr. Menzel is not for them. I believe it is not good for the ethos of our country, our community or SUSD either. In view of the fact, I believe his hiring was a mistake, it can and should be corrected.

Thank you for your service to our community.