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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch

Re: “TUSD Superintendent Firing Update: Nothing To See Here, Folks (For Now).

The Superintendent should be fired because:
1) He was not experienced enough to recognize that this is what would happen when he attempted an across-the-board reduction in class sizes in a district with the composition TUSD has. The result was a massive mis-use of federal funds and a reduction in the quality of services offered to the disadvantaged, both fire-able offenses. Sanchez has always been conspicuously underqualified and unfit for the job. He was brought in through an insufficiently transparent process that did not involve appropriate levels of community participation and his inexperience has been showing up in his mismanagement of this and other matters since Day 1. (Yes, it is appropriate to expect that the district will hire someone whose previous experience actually equips them to do a competent job in a district like this, with the characteristics this district has. Why would anyone question whether an administrator's inability to anticipate and manage the consequences of their administrative actions in the institution of which they are head would be a fire-able offense? Of course it is.
2) Credible sources have noted he was given advice about what the consequences would be, but he was too arrogant and self-willed to accept advice from people who had real experience managing districts of this size and complexity. If you are too inexperienced for the position you occupy, it's best not to reject the guidance of those who know what they are doing when they try to warn you off a dangerous course.
3). After bungling class size reduction, he did not need to outsource subs, which only made conditions worse both for the subs and for the students in the classrooms they were trying to manage.

He is incompetent and should be fired. End of story. Continuity of dysfunction in a public school district is not desirable to anyone except privatizers like our state level leadership, who clearly want to keep Sanchez in place for reasons that have nothing to do with STUDENT BENEFIT . Competent and honest leadership is what's needed. If Ducey et al. would stop colluding with Sanchez et al. to put lipstick on this very ugly pig, perhaps TUSD might have some chance of getting it.

Posted by Yes, he should be fired. on 02/20/2017 at 6:43 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Bless, Keep and Protect Our Free Press

Hey David, did you notice that in the first online version of Tim Steller's piece, "Attempts to fire Superintendent roil TUSD," Steller expressed, in passing, his personal opinion that Sanchez should not retain his job? Then, a day or so after the piece originally appeared, the Star noted it had been "updated" and that opinion was no longer in the piece. It had been edited out.

You expressed your opinion in one of your recent blogs here in TW that Sanchez should remain Superintendent, and your opinion was allowed to stand in this publication. But Steller's opinion was erased from the Star. Who erased it, and why?

Is Steller less entitled to an opinion -- or to expressing it -- than you are? Is this a sinister local example of what you refer to in this blog, the press "forfeit[ing] its effectiveness [...] to our peril. Possibly the most dangerous is self censorship, where a reporter, a columnist or an editor decides an honest story is too dangerous to print because it may offend an advertiser or a community leader or a powerful politician."

I believe it is, and I've seen plenty of it since I started following the Star's battered and beleaguered attempts to provide anything resembling honest and complete coverage of the largest local school district in a context where the district's agents constantly try to undermine and trash talk their reporting. (What happened to Alexis Huicochea David? Why is she no longer covering TUSD?)

Here's my humble opinion, David: if there are in fact "benevolent powers are out there watching over us," I don't think they like you and your friends very much. Another commenter penned this apt remark on another of TW's BS TUSD stories, but it applies to the subject of this blog, media manipulations, as well: "I'm sorry Foster/Grijalva machine. we pretty much know exactly what you do. And many of us want you to stop it."

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by You and your friends are supporters of the free press? on 02/20/2017 at 5:12 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Bless, Keep and Protect Our Free Press

Oops, that should be "fear."

Posted by Used to be a teacher on 02/20/2017 at 4:16 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Bless, Keep and Protect Our Free Press

If you truly fact-check your stories, there's no need to feat "fake news." Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Posted by Used to be a teacher on 02/20/2017 at 4:15 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Bless, Keep and Protect Our Free Press

Just like the freedom of information act wanted to censor Limbaugh.
4 more years !! 4 more years!!

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 02/20/2017 at 3:51 PM

Re: “Death in the Arizona Borderlands

I'm sorry, but can we please stop infantilizing these people? Walking through the desert, particularly in the summer and particularly in the day time, is really, really dangerous. Every Arizona school child (and probably every Sonoran school child too) knows this. It is not our fault that the Mexicans, Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans coming over the border choose to confront this obvious risk. When an Arizonan drives into a flooded wash, putting himself, his passengers, and his rescuers at risk, we do not write sob-stories about the human toll caused by our hard-hearted failure to build bridges everywhere. We do not pretend that the driver bears no responsibility for his action. In fact, we fine the driver and label them "stupid" under the law. Illegals are not children. They bear as much responsibility for the risks they assume as a stupid motorist trying to cross a flooded wash.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Nathan K on 02/20/2017 at 3:04 PM

Re: “TUSD Superintendent Firing Update: Nothing To See Here, Folks (For Now).

So the Superintendent should be fired because of the complexities arising from his reduction of class size?

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 02/20/2017 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Death in the Arizona Borderlands

Economically speaking, we can't afford to keep them here:
They have made the US a WELFARE STATE:
60% of Households Now Receive More in Subsidized Income Than they Pay in Taxes - REDISTRIBUTION OF INCOME!
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/60-percent-h…

33% of all Welfare recipients are in California. California has reduced Welfare Fraud from a Felony to a Misdemeanor so they won't be deported because they need all the Federal Subsidy like the $20,000,000 they get to subsidize their OVER USE of MediCal.

54.4% Hispanics enrolled in Special Education in California
http://www.kidsdata.org/topic/97/special-n…

These are their parents:
Nevada saw 90% of immigrants flunk the written test in the first few weeks a new driver authorization card was offered. The California DMV (90% failed) is also concerned that immigrants might not have the literacy proficiency needed to pass.
http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-a…

Legal Hispanics' incomes fall into the first 4 Household Quintiles where they consume 2-7 TIMES in programs and services than they contribute in taxes.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Postimpressionist on 02/19/2017 at 8:40 PM

Re: “TUSD Sideshow

Good job, What Again, you figured it out. Sanchez is the Grijalva's quid pro quo gift to the privatizing powers-that-be in Phoenix. Ducey should pick up the phone and give Huppenthal a call to tell him he's showing their hand. The Grijalvas want the gravy train to continue and the privatizing state level government wants someone to mismanage the second largest public school district in the state in precisely the way Sanchez is mismanaging it, picking fights with the desegregation authority, applying Title 1 funds in ways that benefit the affluent rather than the poor, outsourcing substitute teacher labor, collaborating with Lisa Graham Keegan on a plan to destroy credentialing requirements for public school teachers, etc., ad nauseam.

Heads up, Huppenthal. It's not just disgruntled contractors that want new leadership. It's every WELL-INFORMED parent in the district, most teachers who have seen the inside of these mismanaged schools during the last 3 and 1/2 years, and every policy analyst / education advocate independent of the local political machine who has been tracking the district's sad affairs. Better leadership is possible, and it's what the voters in this democratically controlled district have asked for. Let's hope it's what they will get.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by If they listen to parents they will ditch Sanchez. on 02/19/2017 at 6:21 PM

Re: “Death in the Arizona Borderlands

That's great news kduryee. Increase the outbound rate by a couple times more and these illegals will be outta here in no time! Another great reason for the Wall!

4 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 02/19/2017 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Death in the Arizona Borderlands

What no one seems to know or remember is that more Mexicans are leaving the United States than are crossing our border, legally or illegally. The rate of Mexican immigration into the US is less than zero. We don't need a wall, we need to grow up and do research for ourselves and utilize logic and critical thinking. That means spending more money on education, not on walls. The Pew Research Center is as respectable and non-partisan as they come; here's their report on Mexican immigration:
http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/11/19/more…

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by kduryee on 02/19/2017 at 3:27 PM

Re: “TUSD Sideshow

Why are you being so naive? The Grijalva's have owned the district for the last twenty years. There is no room for a cohesive atmosphere. H.T. is simply the tool of the Grijalva's to run the system and that 300 million dollars exactly as they tell him to. H.T. is a documented bigot and serial liar.

By all measures TUSD is a total failure. Thousands and thousands of students have spoken with their feet. Wake up to the corruption, or are you part of it?

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 02/19/2017 at 2:39 PM

Re: “TUSD Sideshow

Disruption is very seldom a source of positive change. Having a vision for the future and creating a cohesive atmosphere where everyone feels respected and energized towards that future so that they work a solid 8 hours is all it takes is what really achieves progress.

This is what their vision and mission should be: To provide every student an unbelievably great education.

TUSD believe it or not, has slightly above average academic gains and a slightly better than average measured relationship with parents. They have a foundation to build on towards creating great schools.

Nothing will be achieved by the disruption of replacing superintendents, nothing at all, except for the loss of a couple of years of progress as you regroup and develop a new group of aggrieved parties.

Look at what is really happening. TUSD has an annual budget of over $300 million dollars. So every special interest group that feels victimized that they didn't get their fair share of the loot wants someone else in charge so that they get another bite at the apple. They are quite explicit about this, its just about the loot - one very particularly vociferous commentator made a list that I haven't seen funded in even the most gold plated districts in the nation.

A few express grievances about policy but anybody who has been around policy in large organizations knows that everyone can end up feeling powerless at the slow rate of change. Expressing power by firing a superintendent won't change that and likely won't change policy.

So, quit whining, go listen to some other parents and try to help them instead of trying to help yourself.

0 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 02/19/2017 at 1:55 PM

Re: “TUSD Sideshow

That is so weak jhuppent@hotmail.com. Putting lipstick on the pig that is TUSD is not going to help it. It will only further camouflage that rot that has been baked in the last 20 years.

Disruption and drama is the only way change will come.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 02/19/2017 at 11:51 AM

Re: “TUSD Sideshow

All this disruption and drama isn't positive for the district. Ms Sedgwick's comments about the Superintendent's visits to schools is instructive, but insufficient. This needs to be handled behind closed doors, there needs to be an expectation that the Superintendent will spend one day in five out in schools and in classrooms and in the school parking lot greeting parents. These personal touches are critical for creating the sense of community that is needed for improvement.

Ms Sedgwick should go out with the Superintendent on a day tour starting with a school parking lot in the morning - in the most extreme poverty neighborhood. A sense of community starts at the School Board.

1 like, 8 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 02/19/2017 at 7:44 AM

Re: “TUSD Sideshow

All this disruption and drama isn't positive for the district. Ms Sedgwick's comments about the Superintendent's visits to schools is instructive, but insufficient. This needs to be handled behind closed doors, there needs to be an expectation that the Superintendent will spend one day in five out in schools and in classrooms and in the school parking lot greeting parents. These personal touches are critical for creating the sense of community that is needed for improvement.

Ms Sedgwick should go out with the Superintendent on a day tour starting with a school parking lot in the morning - in the most extreme poverty neighborhood. A sense of community starts at the School Board.

1 like, 8 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 02/19/2017 at 7:43 AM

Re: “Death in the Arizona Borderlands

People have been dying since people have been entering illegally. Solution is simple. Stop breaking our laws.

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Nations Have Borders on 02/18/2017 at 9:23 PM

Re: “H.T. Sanchez's New Contract and Salary Deal

From reading these comments I must assume that most of the authors are ignorant to the fact that Dr Sanchez has donated large sums of his salary to individual school programs.

Posted by Ken on 02/18/2017 at 7:38 PM

Re: “TUSD Board Meeting Scheduled For Tuesday, Feb. 21. Only One Item on the Agenda

Just ran into someone who had received their "quid" from TUSD and had been asked to pony up their "quo" in the form of a public thank you to TUSD's current administration in the Call to the Audience at the 2/21 Board meeting.

So it's clear that everyone in Tucson to whom the panicked "leaders" in this malfeasant district have been able to toss a few coins (and definitely those who hope to have a few coins tossed to them at some point in the future) will be lining up to create the impression that "This is the best administration TUSD has ever had!!!" and to offer their obeisance.

It will be a sick spectacle of "business as usual" in Tucson, for those who go in for that sort of thing. Right up David Safier's alley.

So get out your popcorn, David, and enjoy. (Though we know there will be no suspense involved for you because you'll know what the outcome will be well in advance, right? One of the many fringe benefits of being the most obedient little lapdog in town. You urge people to "stay tuned in," but I'm guessing those of us who know the TUSD drill -- i.e. anyone with a shred of intelligence who has had the misfortune of watching the district's clumsy operations for even a brief period of time -- will not be joining lapdogs like you and members of the general public uninitiated in the malfeasant mysteries of TUSD in watching this sad spectacle.)

12 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Why should anyone bother to "stay tuned in"? on 02/18/2017 at 1:49 PM

Re: “TUSD Superintendent Firing Update: Nothing To See Here, Folks (For Now).

Were you at the Board meeting where they voted to award a $21 million contract to ESI, a manager of outsourced labor, "Sun Riser"?

What did that agenda item and vote mean? It meant already underpaid, long-suffering long-term subs, working one of the most difficult jobs people do locally -- walking into classrooms full of kids you don't know and trying to deliver something resembling "instruction" in very challenging circumstances -- had their wages reduced and their ability to qualify for benefits destroyed. Why? So that the district could off-load the tremendous management problem it had created for itself when their newly recruited, inexperienced 30-something-year-old Superintendent redistributed Title 1 money to reduce class sizes. This redistribution of federal funds meant to benefit poor students had the effect of creating a lot of impossible-to-fill positions in schools on the west and south sides serving primarily low income families. Long term subs, who in most cases don't have teaching certification, had to fill those positions. And then their labor was outsourced. And then an executive in the company to which the labor was outsourced gave two $5,000 donations to TUSD Board members running for re-election who had voted in support of the awarding of the $21 million contract. And no donation to the TUSD Board member running for re-election who had NOT voted in support of awarding that contract.

These are the sorts of things that can be observed in and around TUSD Board meetings if you are well informed and have done your homework, and if you are not distracted by the student mariachi bands and other BS that is trotted out in every meeting, specifically to entertain and mislead people who DO NOT do their homework.

I haven't read any commenters here that give me the impression they "want to hurt somebody," but I have read many commenters who give me the impression that they want this toxic, dysfunctional district to stop hurting its poor and minority students.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by TUSD needs to stop hurting disadvantaged students. on 02/18/2017 at 11:53 AM

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