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

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

Public schools are about opportunity for all. Private schools are about privilege for a few. Public schools are about inclusion and diversity. Private schools are about exclusion and homogeneity. Public schools are about public governance. Private schools are about money-based governance. Public schools are about choices. Private schools are about limiting choices. I vote for public schools. Yes, some fall through the cracks, unfortunately, in public schools. In private schools, those who do not succeed are either booted out, or covered up by influence. Anyone remember the "gentlemen's 'C' grade? Excellence not required but provided by network. Public schools are where excellence is determined by individual and/or group effort.

11 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 11/30/2016 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

"I'm taking a side trip to Iraq, 2004, "...

How about taking another trip there in 2016? I'm sure we could easily crowdfund a one way ticket for you.

8 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Danehick Sux on 11/30/2016 at 10:35 AM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

Wrong, Again:

Get mental help Troll. Nobody needs it more than you do.

11 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC! on 11/30/2016 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

Socialists like Safier and most liberals are absolutely the least qualified to speak of privatization or profits. He has no knowledge of it, no experience, has lived off the backs of taxpayers all his life, and it is him and his elk that have destroyed the public education system.

4 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 11/30/2016 at 10:14 AM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

The problem with the bromide, "everyone knows the private sector can always do it better", is the sheer hypocrisy from the privatization crowd. They want privatization without risk, or accountability. The problem with it is public service is not their priority, profit is. Blackwater essentially wanted profit, but no one could complain when anything went wrong based on sheer stupidity, mismanagement, or profit gouging. Privately operated charter schools receiving public money want the money, but if they procure from their own family operated companies, no questions, when they exclude special needs students because of cost, no questions, when they "select out" students who may lower their test scores, no questions, when the self select their boards, no questions, when they solicit for "teacher improvement funds", no questions, when they send unreported profits to their for profit owners, no questions allowed.

12 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 11/30/2016 at 10:13 AM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?


Is David Safier distinguishing between not-for-profit and for-profit? I though he opposed "privatization" (charters and vouchers) across the Board, both when the public money in question is used in for-profit and in not-for-profit charter schools and private schools. If I'm wrong about that, he will no doubt correct me.

Opposing any form of what is called "privatization" in education is a lost cause; there are at this point too many people receiving better services in alternative settings than they could receive in their neighborhood public district schools and the outcry if those opportunities were eliminated across the board would be tremendous. What we should be trying to accomplish: better laws regulating the alternative sector, greater transparency, more reliable professionalization of the faculty in alternative institutions, and some labor protections that are not currently in place. Eliminating for-profit charters and privates entirely would be a good plank in that reform platform and those affiliated with most of the responsible not-for-profit charter and private operations I know locally would support it.

At this point, the "tilting at windmills" of the hard-core "anti-privatization" crowd diverts attention and public pressure from the policy areas where it should properly be applied to improve services to students. It is utopian fantasy, not serious policy advocacy.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Could we start promoting a reasonable policy agenda? on 11/30/2016 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

Keep the light on these privatization schemes. For-profit schools using public money is a bad model.
I'm fine with purely private schools, and with non-profit, publicly funded charter schools. But for-profit schools sucking public money has been shown as a failure at the college level already. It begs for corruption.

13 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 11/30/2016 at 7:58 AM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

I like how you structured this piece. Fun to read.

8 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Olive Eckwin on 11/29/2016 at 11:20 PM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

...and I would add to that kvoa local news. It has become a waste of my 10 pm time. If you change to 9 or 13 they are all running the same special interest stories, almost like they start the day with the same assignment editor. Or do they all have moles on the inside? What happened to creative journalism?

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Walter Winchel on 11/29/2016 at 9:17 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Normalizing 'White Nationalism' Down to 'Nationalism'

Such vitriol! I wish the first post, that says that Trump is lots of smoke and very little fire was true. He is surrounding himself with people that can and will produce a great deal of fire if they receive their confirmations. It may be more productive to figure out how to put that fire out (or how to try to block those confirmations) than to fight every single other person or organization trying to do the same thing.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 11/29/2016 at 9:05 PM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

I don't think the wording was a mistake, and I think the article was great. I am loud in my critique of Safier for his biased reporting on TUSD, so its only fair to be equally loud in my defense of his work when it's good and insightful. This normalization of the lies and corruption that politics is accompanied by more than ever right now has been a real issue for the media. In fact I wonder how donations to the various non-profit media outlets are going (I refused to donate to a media that didn't cover ANY substance, just the b.s. surrounding the electoral period and didn't even cover AT ALL the biggest phenomena happening in the country, Bernie Sanders' campaign. I wonder how many others responded similarly).

I too have always enjoyed opening the paper and drinking coffee, but with the new management, I have almost given up. There is, essentially, no more coverage (or VERY reduced coverage) of TUSD, almost as if the guy at the top successfully scared the daylights out of both the journalist who used to cover it and the editorial/ownership staff. At the same time, there were NO recommendations for local school board or superintendent of public education races--in other words, wherever the new owners come from, its not this area, and local news is of little interest to them. But its the only reason I take the paper--if I want non-local news, the NY Times has always done a better job than simple AP repeats....I support the CONCEPT of newspapers, and I support the smell of the ink and the sound of the pages turning. And I REALLY support good investigative journalism (endangered species that it is) But its increasingly difficult to support the Star for its local news...or lack thereof.

5 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 11/29/2016 at 8:51 PM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

The incorrect wording probably was an innocent mistake, but I appreciate your point. Thanks for sharing.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Olive Eckwin on 11/29/2016 at 7:20 PM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

Safier asserts that Betsy De Vos and her brother believe, "the private sector can get the job done better than a government army or government schools, and no evidence to the contrary will shake their beliefs."

A few questions on this:

Do they believe that private is always better than public? Or do they believe that room should be made for private to function next to public? Could you provide citations that make it clear what their specific views actually are?

Are you implying that any evidence there is about private / public will be evidence "to the contrary," i.e. proving that public is always better than private?

But it seems when it comes to education there might be evidence on both sides of this question:
--evidence of malfunctioning public district schools, evidence of high functioning public district schools
--evidence of high functioning charters and privates, evidence of malfunctioning charters and privates
Most people I know would agree that charters and privates receiving public funding need to be better regulated and overseen, but surely you don't intend to assert, David, the contrary of the absurd belief you attribute to the De Vos family: that public is ALWAYS, in every circumstance, better than private?

One more question:
When the US Government loses a battle and soldiers die, are relatives of the soldiers able in every case to successfully demand information about how the lead-up to the deaths was managed, and file law suits against the US military personnel who gave the commands leading to the casualties? I don't follow military history very closely, but I'm drawing a blank on examples of this I've read about in the media in recent days. Could you give some examples of how things have gone differently than this sad case you describe in Fallujah, when the armed forces in question were publicly managed rather than privately managed? Perhaps there are some examples I don't know of...and there may be standards that can be referred to...soldiers should have specifically these supplies when going into these types of battles...commanders should make specifically these kinds of decisions. Perhaps war, contrary to popular opinion, is not a violent, unpredictable endeavor, but a professionally managed enterprise where there are agreed upon standards and commanders can always be held accountable (and sued) for poor decisions. (Wonder what would happen if all the cases of mistakes made by commanders in war were settled with law suits and monetary settlements. It might bankrupt every government that engages in armed conflict. Perhaps it's not a bad idea...)

20 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Some questions...perhaps the answers will be in the next blog. on 11/29/2016 at 5:27 PM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

Public Schools=Loss

7 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Ellen D on 11/29/2016 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Betsy DeVos, Privatization and . . . Fallujah?

Oh don't stop now I'm on the edge of my moms basement steps. Shouldn't having relatives be illegal? Let's ask the Podestas or the Emmanuels.

10 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Turn Up The Heat on 11/29/2016 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

Jill Stein, failed graffiti artist, Castro fan. She is not helping the Green cause.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Gandalf the White on 11/29/2016 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

Now I see the connection with Kanye West. How did he get in the middle of this election dispute? And he blames Hillary?

On Saturday, West ranted about a few longtime friends and acquaintances, including Jay Z, Beyonc and Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Ive been sent here to give yall my truth, even at the risk of my own life, West said on Saturday night. At the risk of my own success. Ill give yall the truth. Jay Z, call me, you still aint called me. Jay Z, I know you got killers. Please dont send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man.

On Thursday during his concert in San Jose, West editorialized about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement before praising President-elect Donald Trump.

Has Hillary commented on the Pizzagate story?

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Whatsgoingonwiththis? on 11/29/2016 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

You are on to something. I think we watched the birth of the liars politics when Bill Clinton was caught lying under oath. from there we have slid down a slippery slope and it will be hard to return from it. We must hold our elected officials accountable. It doesn't do any of us any good to be constantly lied to.

I am trying to teach my children not to act like politicians. I don't know what else to do.

12 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Debra Holt on 11/29/2016 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

I wonder if it will be possible, in the current political climate, for citizens to remember that there is something called the truth that exists outside of and separate from the partisan story lines being ceaselessly, relentlessly manufactured on both sides of the political spectrum.

When it comes to voting, the system is, on the whole, reliable, but it is not perfect. Attention should be focused on what is actually weak in the system and on efforts to improve it, not on wild partisan accusations of massive fraud. We saw ludicrous conspiracy theories and unfounded accusations on both sides of the political spectrum during the run-up to this presidential election. Here is one that Safier himself offered to the public:

Democracy cannot function without voters having confidence that their votes will be accurately tallied and reported. Those who throw doubt on the validity of the voting and reporting system without solid factual grounds for their claims and without concrete proposals for solving the problems are irresponsible.

When it comes to education, we have the same problems with irresponsible partisan commentary on both sides of the spectrum.

Contra some of the Democratic partisan commentary in Southern Arizona:
Some poor urban public district school systems (like TUSD) are not delivering uniformly high quality services to their constituents. Observation of and accurate reporting on these districts is needed. Some valuable commentary on the problems in poor urban systems in the U.S. (Kozol's SAVAGE INEQUALITIES is one example) has been provided. But the problem is ongoing; it has not stopped because of the right's efforts to back the formation of an alternative system (aka "privatization"). At the same time that we need to defend the right of public district school systems to exist and to receive adequate funding, we need to provide ongoing observation and honest commentary on actual conditions in public district schools. If we allow some groups, in their effort to defend public district schools, to look the other way when there is malfeasance in public district school governance and administration and to try to silence honest descriptions of some of the problems that do need to be solved (what some members of the faction Safier affiliates with have done when it comes to TUSD), we've already lost the battle to defend this system. In order for the system to function well and to be something to which parents can confidently entrust their children, honest commentary and ongoing efforts to improve it cannot be quashed.

And contra some of the partisan commentary about education on the right:
Laws governing charters and the privates that receive public funds from vouchers, ESAs, etc. need to be strengthened. Some charters and privates currently operating are irresponsible and should not be receiving public funds. The charter and subsidized private system as a whole needs the kind of oversight and transparency public districts are supposed to operate with. (Just as public districts need to actually operate with the oversight and transparency they have in theory but sometimes do not have in practice.)

Seeing everything in terms of a simplistic drama between easily identifiable villains and heroes is a form of entertainment, but it's not journalism, and it's not what's really out there in the world. The tedious and unexciting fact of the matter is that close attention paid to observing and reporting shades of gray and engagement in constructive bipartisan problem solving -- not a never-ending program of indulging in paranoid fantasies and mudslinging -- is what actually gets policy modified in ways that benefit the citizenry.

We will get nowhere as a nation as long as partisan hysteria remains the pervasive M.O. on both sides of the political divide.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Is constant partisan hysteria all that's possible now? on 11/29/2016 at 10:12 AM

Re: “Dear Daily Star: An Unsubstantiated Claim Is Not a Citation

Seeing that you are NOT ALLOWED to ask anyone for ID or proof of citizenship and anyone can fill out a voter registration application even by mail. I would say THERE IS NO WAY OF EVER TELLING how many NON citizens voted.

There are 14,000,000 Green Cards in the US
There are 14,000,000 work permits
There are 10,000,000 Work and family Visas
There are 21,231,396 Visa Waver Program
There are 30,000,000 lllegals.

All can vote says the SCOTUS by Swearing they are Citizens of the US! Lying should be enough deterrent. LOLOL !

6 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Postimpressionist on 11/29/2016 at 9:17 AM

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