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Re: “The New York Times is Telling the Story of How Tucson Became an 'Unlikely Food Star'

@Nancy, someone's revealed LeBuzz in the comments on the Times' story :(

Posted by SonoranWinds on 08/24/2016 at 3:09 PM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

Public education is not broken and has never been. That's simply the mindless blather of those who should devote their time to addressing our broken society and political system.

Whether or not charter schools are good (some are, most aren't), Oliver is discussing the cancerous influence of for-profit 'public' charters and the vultures profiting from them.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Da Coach on 08/24/2016 at 2:34 PM

Re: “The New York Times is Telling the Story of How Tucson Became an 'Unlikely Food Star'

Last Friday they had a nice little piece on the downtown Tucson food scene in USA Today.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Triplem555 on 08/24/2016 at 12:36 PM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

Someone who seems to be wanting to convey the impression that he is Huppenthal and who regularly introduces Huppenthal-style talking points and defends Huppenthal's agenda in office has been commenting on Safier's blog for a while now, and there have been interesting exchanges in the comment streams with this individual (or these individuals? -- you never know with anonymous comment streams where the user chooses the screen name). In that Safier was one of those somehow involved in the breaking of the stories on Huppenthal's role as an anonymous online commenter and in the lead-up to Huppenthal no longer serving as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, it would make some sense for Huppenthal to post here under his name now, but who knows.

As for the idea that "There is something inherently flawed in the delivery process of public education," there are certainly serious problems in some public school systems in the US -- especially in poor urban districts like TUSD, which properly form a category unto themselves -- but a thorough study of public education systems in other states in the US and in other countries would be needed before any conclusions could be drawn about the extremely broad and diverse category "public education." There are better and worse ways of managing publicly funded delivery of universal K-12 instruction. Arizona, for various reasons including both ill-advised draconian funding cuts at the state level and some state-enabled egregious examples of gross mismanagement at the district level, falls into the "worse" category.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Clearer Understanding Needed on Both Sides of Fence on 08/24/2016 at 11:48 AM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

The poster looked to me like jhuppent. I wasn't sure who/what that was. Are you sure that Mr Huppenthal posts here? But I did find accurate links to statements made.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Charter a Course For All on 08/24/2016 at 11:26 AM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

In other posts, Huppenthal has seemed to understand that test scores and parent satisfaction surveys do not measure school quality. Here he is citing rankings based on test scores and parent satisfaction surveys to try to prove that the Arizona educational system has improved since the introduction of charters. Are there multiple people, with mutually inconsistent opinions, posting under Huppenthal's name, or is the real Huppenthal just being inconsistent?

Also: please note that there has been no plausible argument in support of a viable "causation" relationship between the introduction of charter schools and a reduction of murders committed by juveniles. There are any number of factors that could have played into such a reduction, as anyone with a decent background in social science (as opposed to engineering and business administration) knows.

Being able to act constructively in a position like State Superintendent of Instruction properly requires a sound knowledge base in the social sciences and the field of education. The fact that the majority of voters in this state do not seem to grasp this is a good argument for making the role an appointed one, rather than an elected one. The fact that the changes made to the public education system here in recent years have left us with schools where we cannot fill our teaching positions with fully qualified, professional teachers is another argument for taking the ability to fill State Superintendent of Instruction out of the hands of voters.

As for those who like to blame the problems in public schools solely on funding cuts, they are only partially right. If they would like to develop a more well-rounded understanding of what is really happening in the world around them (as opposed to what is happening in the stories they tell and re-tell themselves and others), they should start forcing themselves to attend every TUSD Board meeting. There, if they pay attention, they will soon note that gravely malfunctioning governance and administration -- related to but not necessarily caused by insufficient funding -- are a big part of the picture in the largest public school district in Southern Arizona.

It has been previously noted in these comment streams that the entirely preventable governance and administrative problems in a public school district serving tens of thousands students is partly the state's fault, not just because of its ill-advised funding cuts, because also because of its negligent oversight and lax enforcement of laws on the books that are there to keep public districts functioning properly.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Clearer Understanding Needed on Both Sides of Fence on 08/24/2016 at 11:03 AM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

Thanks j. I found more of those facts when I looked. We are sure led to believe that all they needed was more money. There is something inherently flawed in the delivery process of public education.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Charter a Course For All on 08/24/2016 at 10:52 AM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

School choice has been extraordinarily beneficial in Arizona. In 1992, the start of school choice, juveniles committed 70 murders in Arizona. In 2012, despite a doubling of the juvenile population and a tripling of the at risk population, murders by juveniles had dropped to 7.

In 2015, Arizona African Americans ranked number one in the nation in 8th grade math scores. Hispanic 8th graders ranked 11th, up from 35th in 2011 and Arizona white students ranked 6th.

Arizona also did well in reading with Blacks, Whites and Hispanics ranking 14th, 7th and 29th.

In the 2015 nationwide Gallup Poll 24% of parents rated their child's school quality an "A", the second lowest number in 47 years of measurement. All of our "A" rated districts were rated by their parents 60s or higher with the Chandler Unified the grand champion at 75%.

These measures are the science of school quality.

2012 is the most recent date of FBI juvenile statistics. The school rankings are from NAEP, the gold standard of educational measurement.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by on 08/24/2016 at 10:16 AM

Re: “BASIS Schools: On Beyond Charters

So Robert has decided who can and can't comment on this article. Does that thinking ring a bell with anybody?

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Marilyn Tucson on 08/24/2016 at 9:17 AM

Re: “BASIS Schools: On Beyond Charters

What most of you are missing is the "fact" that BASIS is NOT outperforming the public district schools but they are using public tax dollars. If you are not aware of that fact then you have no business commenting on this article. They simply wittle down the student population to weed out those that do not perform at the highest standards, which they do quite effectively. Public schools cannot do that and BASIS is using our tax dollars in their charter schools, which is what the writer is concerned with. What they do with their private schools is fine but what they do with our money should be completely transparent. The person who said that is not transparent in public schools doesn't know much about them so you should refrain from commenting. Again, do your research on who is doing the best job of education "all" children, not just the ones they pick and choose, then you will see that BASIS is unnecessary in the first place. We should put those dollars to work in our public district schools.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Robert on 08/24/2016 at 7:00 AM

Re: “The New York Times is Telling the Story of How Tucson Became an 'Unlikely Food Star'

Maybe it's just as well she didn't mention LE BUZZ (Catalina Highway and Tanque Verde Rd.) which has their own roasted coffees from exotic places, but also their own bakery ....... croissants to die for. It's getting much too crowded......just celebrated 20 years in Tucson. CONGRATULATIONS, MARGARET! WE
LOVE LE BUZZ! ( The LE is pronounced the French way).

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Nancy Fahringer on 08/24/2016 at 6:55 AM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

" In addition there is no documentation that charter schools do any better and in many cases do worse than regular public schools."

Sounds like something I would have said years ago when I was a member of the NEA. I don't know where you're getting this "no documentation" info from, but it's bullcrap.

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by Once a teacher on 08/24/2016 at 6:43 AM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

Those who claim our public schools are broken should try funding it for a change. Here in Arizona we have methodically and deliberately de-funded our public schools in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. Now we complain that the schools are broken and instead turn to for profit unaccountable charters.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 08/24/2016 at 6:43 AM

Re: “What John Oliver Said About Charter Schools

Public Ed Is So Broken... You don't fix something that is supposedly broken by replacing it with something even more broken and robs the public. I also contend that public education's funds were systematically and purposely cut for decades to make them broken. Tom Horne said and this is not a direct quote but I did hear him say it.... that he would see TUSD closed in his lifetime. He was upset with the Mexican American Studies program.

We can always fix schools as everything in life needs to continually be improved. However the Koch brothers' agenda is alive and well which is to close all public education or at the very least separate children of color and/or are poor from those of affluence. White entitlement at its finest. You, 'Broken' are supporting crime by supporting what charter schools are doing. In addition there is no documentation that charter schools do any better and in many cases do worse than regular public schools when demographics are taken into account.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Guardians on 08/24/2016 at 6:35 AM

Re: “The New York Times is Telling the Story of How Tucson Became an 'Unlikely Food Star'

Oh my! A mediocre writer for the NYT spends a few days in Tucson and feels she actually knows the place well enough to put forth the following assertions:
"...locals start acting like Cindy Lou Who on Christmas morning. They turn their faces to the sky and celebrate with prickly pear margaritas." Say what?
"Coaxing a vibrant food culture from this land of heat and cactuses..." What - we're not a modern city?
"...devoted eaters who will spend the day debating the best place to get a good raspado." Oh, that one will give Phoenicians a chuckle or two.
“They’re O.K., but it’s not like cholla buds are going to take the country by storm,..." Well then, why even mention them, Mr. Wilder? This is the friggin NYT, fer gosh sakes!
"But Tucson will always be Tucson, a place people either love or hate." That is just false. Many people like it well enough to visit during high season, and then sensibly go back to wherever to avoid the exquisite agonies of June and July here. If you can find any year-round resident who really hates it, that would be a great interview to publish. First question: "So why dont you GTFO, then?"

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Starcommand on 08/24/2016 at 1:35 AM

Re: “Mensa mini-quiz

1. Palomino is a type of horse / breed and a color. It was classified as a horse type BEFORE the genetic component was understood. Yes, different breeds can have a tan color However, Palomino is still considered a "breed." Look it up on

2. YES. Questions that are knowledge based are absurd. No MENSA test would quantify a person's intelligence quotient using questions that would appear on Jeopardy, or in Trivial Pursuit. The questions are designed to test your ability to see patterns where most people see randomness; to problem solve, etc.

3. How is the last question a test of intelligence? Really, do highly intelligent people know that "incorrectly" is spelled incorrectly by smart people? My IQ is over 170 and I didn't know that. Why would I? Is there a cutesy clue in the question itself, like a "wink, wink" isn't this cute?

Posted by rcma on 08/24/2016 at 12:07 AM

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