Another Tucson school to face 'turn around'

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- First Rincon and now Palo Verde high school.  The TUSD governing board voted Tuesday in favor of measures to improve academics, but the decision leaves the teachers and staff in limbo.

Tuesday the TUSD governing board listened to the findings of a second evaluation team sent to Palo Verde High School on Friday.

The recommendation was the same, the school should undergo what's called a 'turn around.'

All teachers and staff would have to re-apply for their jobs, but less than half will be allowed to return.

"They said there were seven classes in total where the team saw what they considered to be adequate instruction going on," said TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone.

"I think just from my experience that more than 50% of the staff is on-board," said Board member Judy Burns.

Data provided to the board includes test scores from the past ten years plus assessments from evaluators.

The assessments came from a Solutions Team which reportedly spent a minimum of 15 minutes observing each classroom.

"Unlike last week, I now feel sufficiently well informed to have a considerate opinion on these issues; which I do believe I can defend, for which it is your bad luck," said Board President Mark Stegman.

The board approved the turn around model with two members voting no.

Teachers expressed genuine surprise and dismay at the board's decision.   Despite the disappointment, teachers said they want the model to work, and they want to be a part of it.

"I love working for Palo Verde and i still want to try to work there," said Special Education Teacher Dan Ireland.

According to one teacher, school personnel who re-apply should know by late March if they've earned their jobs back.