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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Feature: Last 7 Days

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

See and Tell the TRUTH ...: I have admitted errors. You have not. That makes my point.

Posted by Mark Stegeman on 10/31/2014 at 1:32 AM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

I will place my confidence in the studies of the efficacy of MAS which have been conducted by credentialed experts- external to the District. In the period of one month we have seen how TUSD so easily flipped its numbers relative to the budget. Certainly it has done so in other areas. My point in responding to Mark Stegeman's comment, was to remind everyone that the "compromise" which was referenced by Mark, was really NO compromise at all. He offered to either kill MAS slowly or have it killed immediately. As stated earlier- this was NO compromise.

We have Horne, Huppenthal, Pedicone, Stegeman, Hicks, Cuevas and Sugiyama to thank for the demise of MAS. Each played their part and each brought about great division within this community. (Remember Sugiyama- the appointed Board member who worked only a few doors down from Stegeman's office at the U of A! Stegeman almost got away with that maneuver without notice. ) Stegeman's bogus "compromise" was used as yet another means to make "the strongest MAS advocates" appear to be irrational and to portray himself as the one who tried so hard to reason with 'them.' For months he would tell people that he 'tried saving MAS' but that unreasonable people just would not listen to reason. These are masterful manipulative mind games that Stegeman plays. His lack of social intelligence seems to allow him to work his manipulations almost in a numbed state, as he brings about real harm to individuals, to an institution and to a community. Compassion seems to be totally absent.

As to the ongoing rants about 'MAS not meeting state standards' which continue- a thorough examination of the 2014 TUSD Curriculum Audit indicates that without a TUSD curriculum- there has been NO alignment to state standards. It is so easy to for some to continue the attacks on MAS based on myths or contorted information. My comments, although spurred on by M &M's comments are really are not for them. I have little hope that their worlds will ever be expanded and inclusive. My comments are for TW readers who think beyond the myths and manipulations that are so often spewed and attempted by the Martys and Marks of the world.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Tell the TRUTH - on 10/30/2014 at 11:48 PM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

Mark and Marty read the Cabrera et al. (2012) report and the Cabrera et al. (2014), which will be published in the American Educational Research Journal, on the efficacy of MAS program.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Sean Arce on 10/30/2014 at 7:24 PM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

See and tell the TRUTH Stegeman says: "You condemned the MAS teachers and Director for not having a curriculum- without examining whether "official" curriculum existed elsewhere in TUSD. Of course, now you know, via the 2014 Curriculum Audit, that the entire District has been void of curriculum."

First off, the issue was not so much that MAS had no articulated curriculum, but that the TUSD Board was allowing graduation credit for courses that did not even approach meeting state standards in the subject areas the credit was being offered. No one had to wait for any 2014 curriculum audit to know that the TUSD Board had abdicated its responsibility to make sure the district met the state standards for curriculum. Judge Kowal, in his decision upholding Huppenthal's decision that TUSD violated the law with the MAS classes lambasted the Governing Board for its failure to do so, and not just for the MAS classes.

By the way, your assertion that the coursework was rigorous is totally risible. Anyone who has seen the coursework for the high school juniors and seniors in MAS classes knows that it was much closer to the sixth grade level than anything else.

As far as authentic intelligence goes, I'd say the bottom line is having the requisite judgment to separate fact from fiction. Your post fails to do that, as was just pointed out in only two of the many instances that could have been raised. I bet you still believe that 98+% of MAS students graduated...even though TUSD's statistician proved that only about 84% of MAS students graduated, the same percentage as students who never took a single MAS class.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Marty on 10/30/2014 at 5:27 PM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

Here is a chunk of reality Mark, your viewpoint that 'the strongest MAS advocates were unwilling to compromise' shows just how steeped you were and are in a single perspective (privileged white-male). There are many evolved white males; you are not one. Your perspective remains dominant in Tucson, in Arizona, and in the US- no doubt- and much of what is wrong with the world is that the female and ethnic and racial minority perspectives are often disregarded or silenced by those who are threatened by their very presence. The world is no longer as narrow as you would like to keep it.

No one should have been asked to "compromise" on course work that offered a perspective which inspired, engaged and taught- and ultimately rendered positive academic results! We all recall what you offered as a so called compromise: the MAS courses will be taught as electives and not core curriculum courses. This would have brought about a slow but sure death to MAS. Agreement to this suicidal compromise was insulting and when it was immediately rejected, a quick death was imposed. Either way, the death of MAS under your majority rule was destined to take place. Do not pretend for one second that there was ever any dignified and substantive presentation of a "compromise"- because there just wasn't. We tried explaining to you that students were not going to sign up for a rigorous course without providing equal credit as those who take sister courses in language arts or government (which remain to offer only an Euro-American-centric perspective). You condemned the MAS teachers and Director for not having a curriculum- without examining whether "official" curriculum existed elsewhere in TUSD. Of course, now you know, via the 2014 Curriculum Audit, that the entire District has been void of curriculum.

MAS students and teachers (separately) had asked to meet with the administration time and time again. Both groups were ignored. We asked for the Board to learn more about MAS through its teachers and students. You did not. Both the Board and Dr. Pedicone, with guidance from Martha Durkin- responded by calling out TPS and doubling your TUSD security force. Do you really think this is how one sets up an environment for discussion and civility? How exactly does oppression work in bringing about any understanding? Oppression did not take place for a week or a month- it was a year of prodding and investigating and provoking. It was a year of gagging all of us. It was a painful time; one that should not be forgotten and one from which we each should take away truths- if nothing else. Your post is far from presenting any truth, in fact it is delusional. It would be so bold and courageous of you to one day- admit the wrongs you committed and the harm that you brought about. Until then you will be seen as what you are- a man without any social intelligence. Authentic intelligence goes far beyond an IQ and PHD.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by See and tell the TRUTH Stegeman on 10/30/2014 at 4:33 PM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

Thanks for nothin weakly I already voted and not for your suckers.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Harlan Thomas on 10/30/2014 at 2:48 PM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

Yes, and in answering that subpoena, you shared the MAS classes reminded you of a cult and you quoted a Bircher. That was also very profound. No one needed to compromise. But what the community needed was for someone to show true leadership--and frankly that is something you, Cuevas and Hicks failed. So, great job, and per usual, Mark, love your comments.

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by Aztlán Mari on 10/30/2014 at 2:32 PM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

Jim (for this seems to be a signed piece -- thanks for that), I am going to wade here into treacherous waters to respond to your comment: "You [Cuevas] and Stegeman, when you were leaders of the board, did such a poor job bringing the district and community together during a highly contentious time." I readily admit that I made some mistakes during the MAS period, some of which I've long since acknowledged and some that might come later, whenever the book on that episode is written. I recently listened to the tapes of a couple of the worst meetings and it was -- painful. But there is another side that is left out of most popular accounts, including yours. I did many things and published several opeds and went to many meetings with various stakeholders and put together a carefully crafted (though scorned by many) proposal to achieve some sort of compromise on that issue. (I give John Pedicone credit for mostly similar motivations and actions, though we had some disagreements and he made his own somewhat different set of mistakes.) One reason that this all failed is that the strongest MAS advocates, who drove much of what happened, were unwilling to consider any compromise on what they clearly considered to be a matter of principle. It is not my place to judge anyone, but refusal to budge even an inch is, to use your language, not a position likely to bring the district and community together. After May 2011 I had done everything I knew to do and stood aside (except for a subpoena I had to answer) as the train hit the wall. But up to that point I had tried hard to create some kind of viable middle ground.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mark Stegeman on 10/30/2014 at 12:58 PM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

All I know is thanx to the Pima County Recorder's website showing early voting locales, this rat race is officially over for me. I'm on board with DuVal, Barber - who also supports my tribe's West Valley Resort whereas Kirkpatrick crossed party lines to vote against, and Rotellini because these Dems support GLBT rights. I don't support any ballot propositions with the exception of 415, and there's absolutely no way in Hell I'd ever vote for Terry Goddard, so I wrote in Squidward Tentacles for Secretary of State.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Edge Harvey on 10/30/2014 at 11:26 AM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

Thank you, TW, for doing the hard work and making a pick for the PCC Governing Board seat. Our community college has a lot of catching up to do and your interest will help that to happen.
I do agree with you that the election of either candidate will represent a big improvement and that Mark Hanna is the best of two good choices.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave Gallagher on 10/30/2014 at 8:20 AM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

Your comments on the TUSD board election contain so many proofing and punctuation errors it is hard for someone who takes education seriously to acknowledge that your recommendations should even be considered, much less followed. (I refuse to take the time needed to list all the problems, but here is one, in your statement about Jen Darland: "She an amazing researcher....")

However, I will take the time to address some of the problems with the quality of your thinking about who should serve on the governing board of this very troubled school district that serves somewhere in the neighborhood of 49,000 students. There is a current majority (Grijalva - Foster - Juarez) that has failed to ensure that the district observes proper processes with procurement, hiring, and financial transparency. During the second year the district suffered under their leadership, Awwad resigned and revealed serious problems with the quality of the district's fiscal planning under the new superintendent this board majority brought into town using an inadvisable hiring process. So you would like us to elect Jen Darland, a Grijalva-endorsed candidate and another member of the same Ann-Eve Pedersen-connected network that has been behind the current board majority? You believe that someone who has been a resolute cheerleader for what has gone on during the past year under Sanchez's superintendency should be installed as the third person of a new majority (Darland - Foster - Juarez)?

You say "Darland is savvy about our problems with public education funding and the state legislature." So let her run for the legislature. What is needed on the TUSD board is someone who is savvy about the institutional culture in the district and the many process and policy failures that need to be addressed before the district can begin to function properly and put students' needs first. Putnam-Hidalgo stands head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates in her knowledge of the district and her readiness to properly address its many problems. Congratulations to you for finally being willing to admit, at the last minute, that she may have some merit as a candidate.

Another thing that is needed on the board, considering the district's egregious and inexcusable problems with financial transparency and accountability, is someone with sound business and non-profit board experience. You can dismiss Campos-Fleenor as much as you like, for the transparently weak reasons you provide in every article and blog post where you have discussed her, but as someone who saw what happened on one of the TUSD sites after the $17 million deficit fell between '12-'13 and '13-'14, I want another individual who knows how to read a spreadsheet, budget appropriately, and hold staff accountable for observing proper financial processes on that board. I've listened to Campos-Fleenor discuss her priorities in public forums and I've spoken with people who have worked with her. She would be a very constructive contributor to a board committed to accomplishing what is needed in this district: REFORM.

As for your attitude towards Stegeman, which has been revealed in various articles and posts in the weeks leading up to the election: you show childishness and a complete lack of discernment. It is possible to disagree with him strongly on some issues (e.g. MAS), while acknowledging the importance of having a board member who does his homework and brings a properly professional perspective to process and policy issues. If you are incapable of discriminating in this way, you don't deserve to have a public forum in which to air your views about electoral politics.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TUSD Needs REFORM on 10/30/2014 at 8:00 AM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

You have to be joking. You state,
"We're endorsing Democrats more or less across the board for the partisan races because we think the GOP's agenda for the state—more cuts to government, irresponsible fiscal strategies"... "doesn't bode well for the future."

The GOP (Republicans, right-wing ideologues) have an agenda? On every turn deliver government unable to function, starving to the point of havoc public agencies the funds they needed to operate. That was a plan?

Fighting the Legislative and Constitutional mandates approved by previous lawmakers and voters over many years with useless law suits resulting in a total waste of taxpayer funds. A fiscal strategy just irresponsible or totally insane?

Republicans, not the voters who happen to register in the party of fiscal conservatives, believers of laws and Constitutional protections of the rights of citizens. Not those Republicans, the few elected ones who join together to sell off our heritages, believe selling state property to give a few friends tax breaks, the ones who are silly enough to mortgage the free and clear State Capitol Buildings then renting the same buildings back is a fiscal strategy? How long a term fiscal strategy?

The people in state government who use the label Republican and think education is a play thing for speculators to fatten their bank accounts and who are willing to privatize government functions for a few greedy operators who can take advantage of stupid legislative policies or croneyism. There should be a way to chase them out of the Republican party except they are the Republican party in this state.

That was simply "irresponsible fiscal strategy" or stupidity? I don't take exception to your endorsements just the reasons. Bad judgement, wrong decisions, insane thought process, limited foresight, dumb actions, inept Republican leaders, simply,..."pushed under the rug, etc, etc".

Rebellion and common sense is coming to the Republican voters, two of the Republican incumbents holding state office were effectively kicked out in the Primary Election. Now close examination of some of the balance of Republican candidates before next Tuesday's election.

Tucson Weekly you didn't do bad there.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by hakeson on 10/30/2014 at 5:10 AM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

One way that electing Hicks and Campos-Fleenor would help me (as TW puts it) is that we could finally establish an internal auditor position that reports to the board, as many external experts have recommended for years. Recent events surely confirm that need, as district leadership still seems determined to underplay the size of the current operating deficit. (Incidentally, Putnam-Hidalgo and Cotton have also supported creating such an internal auditor, repeatedly and unambiguously.)

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark Stegeman on 10/30/2014 at 3:26 AM

Re: “9 Things for Last Minute Voters to Know

This year residents of the Metro Water District in Tucson have an alternative choice to the incumbents and their third rate increase in three years. Please make an effort to vote to lower OUR water bills through greater accountability. Support Donovan Hemway, Danny Sargent, and Helen Ireland.

www.YourMetroWaterTucsonBoard.com OR

www.facebook.com/yourmetrowatertucsonboard

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by YourMetroWaterTucsonBoard.com on 10/30/2014 at 1:04 AM

Re: “This is What Equality Looks Like

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Posted by Karin Sheng on 10/24/2014 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Proof of Evolution

Gay marriage is a perversion of marriage, yet even Christians are succumbing to the pull of the world. See "Vicky Beeching and the Lesbian Gospel" at http://t.co/CpHQtj5sGN.

1 like, 6 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Borchers on 10/24/2014 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Who Gives a Crap?

Here is the problem as I see it. A resident of a ward,can be represented on the council by someone who actually lost the vote in that ward! That is not real representative government,in my book. The ward residents vote for one person,and the rest of the city gets to negate those votes,by voting for someone they probably do not even know,but vote because they belong to a particular political party. That is like allowing Canadians to vote for our President. Combine that with a toothless powerless Mayor who is nothing but a ribbon cutter,and the future of our city is in the hands of an unelected City Manager,who actually answers to nobody,because his actions are almost always rubber stamped by the council.

Posted by Jake Eagleshield on 10/24/2014 at 9:35 AM

Re: “Proof of Evolution

I just listened to the audio from above - Brnovich took shots at not only the judges, but also press reporters (doing their job) and immigrants - trying hard to impress the right wing voters. It's deja vu all over again.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ay te wacho on 10/24/2014 at 5:43 AM

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