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

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

UPDATE: According to the Arizona Dept of Ed statistics TUSD has about 2663 certified classroom teachers.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/11/2017 at 10:03 AM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

Hey Hupp,

Nobody is talking about faculty attrition rates, we are talking about TEACHER attrition rates. TUSD only has 2500-3000 teachers. Redo your calculations please. Beep Boop Bop Beep....

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/11/2017 at 9:45 AM

Re: “Political Theater: McSally Schedules Town Hall Just in Time To Scramble Critics

When Bush fails, blame all else.

17 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by 31WC on 03/11/2017 at 8:52 AM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Kick Back

You're a dump What, Again.

That's why you love living in a dump. It gives you yet another reason to be dickish.

29 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Dumpy people love dumpy places and Trumpy leaders on 03/11/2017 at 7:22 AM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

TUSD is described as having 4,700 faculty members, so 400 turnover a year would be quite low. Well over 100 of that would likely be retirement which would leave true teacher turnover in the middle single digits. Private sector companies would kill to have a turnover rate of 6%.

That would suggest that TUSD teacher job satisfaction is actually much higher than national averages.

Of course, not knowing the actual numbers leaves much of this speculative. The actual numbers are knowable. TUSD almost certainly did a valid teacher job satisfaction measurement. I studied one they did back in 2011.

A really great school, a really great school district defines itself as a support mechanism for great teachers. The question that should be constantly on your mind is "How can we help you?" I found that you can increase the percentage of teachers rating their school an Excellent place to work by 7 percentage points a year. But, its hard work and most people very much want to tell teachers what to do rather than ask them what to do. That's why that excellence number has plunged nationwide.

1 like, 27 dislikes
Posted by on 03/10/2017 at 8:45 PM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Kick Back

"So, Tucson" is exactly right. A dump.

4 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 03/10/2017 at 8:11 PM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

Hmmm...shifting the blame again? Where does the buck stop?

I sure can't wait for vouchers. Then they will get their problems figured out...when they get a little quiet time.

1 like, 36 dislikes
Posted by Concerned Mom on 03/10/2017 at 4:04 PM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Kick Back

Is that the new convention center downtown?

5 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by I Don't Get It on 03/10/2017 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Skeletons

How about renaming this feature Watering Hole for Dicks?

29 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Peabo on 03/10/2017 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Skeletons

Can you hire an actually good photographer for this feature

1 like, 30 dislikes
Posted by Palisades on 03/10/2017 at 1:24 PM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

Two questions for

If there were over 400 teachers leaving per year (something that is unprecedented in the district's history) and if the district found itself unable every year since Sanchez arrived to fill all the newly created vacancies with qualified teachers rather than with outsourced, uncertified substitutes (the dearth of fully qualified teachers in TUSD has been of an entirely different scale than what other districts with similar wage rates have been experiencing) do we need an annual teacher satisfaction survey to tell us whether teacher job satisfaction deteriorated?

In a climate that has frequently been described as retaliatory, would the teachers who did fill out a "survey" circulated by administration feel confident that they could be honest about their feelings of "satisfaction" with the district without suffering blowback?

The answer most who live in this region and know the district's schools would give to both of those questions would be "No."

It remains curious that a privatizer keeps weighing in to support Sanchez. Why would that be, Jhuppent? Because he was willing to cooperate with outsourcing & reducing teacher credentialing & Basis-style misuse of AP testing & inflated and unstransparent administrative compensation packages & disparaging of desegregation judges, experts and plaintiffs & lowering deseg taxes & phasing down deseg levies after unitary status was achieved & recruiting private donations to supplement insufficient PUBLIC funding for PUBLIC schools, etc. ad nauseam?

Too bad, so sad the privatizers lost their BFF administrator of a massive PUBLIC (?) institution in Tucson. It will be interesting to see what kind of administrative behaviors the Superintendent recruited by the SUPPOSEDLY "anti-progressive" REPUTEDLY "white supremicist" Board majority comes up with. Will they be more favorable to the privatization agenda than what Sanchez came up with? It seems scarcely possible.

20 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Phoenix privatizers are mourning the loss of Sanchez. on 03/10/2017 at 1:15 PM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

Did teacher job satisfaction deteriorate under Sanchez? Was that deterioration more severe than the national decline which saw the percent of teachers rating themselves "Very Satisfied" fall from 62% to 39%?

TUSD was doing an annual survey so the data should be readily available.

1 like, 36 dislikes
Posted by on 03/10/2017 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Latin It Up Sandwich Shop Is Now Open on Fourth Avenue, Go Get a Cuban Sandwich

It seems they've closed now.

Posted by Firsttimecaller on 03/10/2017 at 10:47 AM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss


Thanks for the heads up! I am always looking to grow and read new sources of information! If we don't try to learn about things from a new perspective or if we are not willing to change in light of new facts, what the hell is the point?

Why is this all coming from the comment sections? It seems like the Weekly has outsourced the leg work to the comment section. Dangerous. Step it up Weekly!

19 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 03/10/2017 at 10:14 AM

Re: “Tucson Book Fest: A Conversation with Evan Thomas, author of "Being Nixon: A Man Divided"

I have nothing more to add Your Honour.

Even the Orange Emperor himself denounced the whole birth certificate BS.

Everybody with enough intelligence to spot fake news rests their case.

Expect an appeal from Russians Again though.

22 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC! on 03/10/2017 at 9:26 AM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

Danyelle Khmara, please take some time to read "Bridging Three Centuries" on the TUSD website under Information/History. Especially focus on the chapters involving the 1960s forward, for the purpose of learning the roots of much of today's TUSD stories. Human Bean, the same source will inform you that Tucson Mayor Jim Corbett (a colorful figure) appeared at Board meetings to speak on issues critical of the district. The district didn't just start in 2000.

17 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 03/10/2017 at 8:33 AM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

"Kindness", please do not accept Varney's words as any indication that he or his organization care about how the STUDENTS fare....they indicated that he cares only about how the SUPERINTENDENT fares. His words followed the veiled threat from Varney's right hand woman at a recent Board meeting that important collaborative programs could be cancelled now that Sanchez is gone. At a following meeting, during a discussion about the possibility of going out for a Bond in the future, a minority Board member who continues to champion Sanchez claimed that TUSD has lost the support of the political and business establishment by "what has happened here to Sanchez". Just who is the Board supposed to try to satisfy?

In this case, they had spent four long years satisfying the Superintendent to the detriment of the students and their teachers. If the political and business community are so committed to backing a continual liar (see citations elsewhere in this comment string) they should be replaced by people who know the value of honest transactions. 200,000 votes were cast in the recent election by people who know that our students and teachers deserve better than a string of lies and cover-ups, and a completely airtight bloc was broken.

Those who really care about TUSDs students should now be looking for ways that that Board can work together instead of hurling threats accompanied by name-calling, entrapment and badgering of the new member that can only make that harder.

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 03/10/2017 at 7:49 AM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Skeletons

This is Tucson. Ugly power lines that destroy the vista and a skeleton of a strong, thriving saguaro. Just like Tucson, dead.

6th poorest in the country and liberals are DAMN proud of it.

1 like, 38 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 03/10/2017 at 7:39 AM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

It's good that "Kindness Counts" provided a link to Varney's letter. I had heard that he had composed a letter and had looked for it as an editorial on the Star website, but did not find it there. Once I read Varney's two letters on the Chamber website it became clear that they were not something a reputable newspaper could have published.

I'm not going to take time to put my finger on every false claim or unverifiable, unsubstantiated assertion. It would take too much time. Here's one example of a completely false statement: the vote to hire Sanchez was NOT unanimous.

The vote to advance Sanchez as the sole finalist for the Superintendent position was split 3-2, with Hicks and Stegeman dissenting. In a public district of this size it is unheard of for only one candidate to be advanced to the final stage and put forward for public review in candidate forums.

In the vote to hire Sanchez, Stegeman dissented, remarking that he was not certain that ""I voted 'no' because I felt that his record did not support his elevation to a job as difficult as this at this point in his career," Stegeman said. "I'm concerned about whether his experience preparation is adequate to come into this job. "

Other interesting facts about the Sanchez hiring process, which was mismanaged, are available in these pieces:

As for the glowing record of stellar leadership Varney attributes to Sanchez, it doesn't take much digging to find a LOT of reporting locally about problems that would be recognized as grave ones to anyone who understands standards for the administration of PUBLIC institutions. Perhaps Mr. Varney is one of the many in private enterprise who do not understand those standards:

Bottom line? Tucson Weekly does an ABYSMAL job of reporting on TUSD. They are a propaganda organ of the establishment candidates (Grijalva, Foster, etc.) and provide little more than slanted stories to back up the political machine's self-serving talking points. Sedgwick is being set up for smear jobs in bars and coffee shops by people with loyalties to the establishment candidates and she is then being pilloried and stories about her that have little more than rumor-mill value are being aggressively circulated and promoted by people in the community who should know better.

What has really happened in the district is not that a good administrator has been dismissed because of political scheming and infighting. What has happened in the district is that the democratic process has been at work: in spite of certain influential parties' concerted efforts to BLOCK information about actual conditions in the district from getting to the public, voters in November 2016 heard the outcry of teachers and parents and voted in candidates who would not continue to rubber stamp the decisions of irresponsible leadership. These three candidates are now being punished by the propaganda machine for have achieved the # of Board positions necessary to start getting the right things done in the district.

How many people locally who don't know much about education or about conditions in the schools will be misled, like Varney, by this propaganda? It remains to be seen.

24 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Try to distinguish between propaganda and journalism. on 03/10/2017 at 6:20 AM

Re: “TUSD Still Needs a New Boss

Thank you, Lillian Fox, for providing information on teacher vacancies and unpaid teacher bonuses. Whether or not a district is able to retain a fully qualified, effective teaching force is the single most important variable in whether it is able to deliver quality services to students. As you point out, there has been a significant deterioration of teacher morale and teacher retention under the Sanchez administration, and that's something the community should be discussing, together with the opinions of the head of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, who is not, to my knowledge, a professional educator or a researcher who studies teaching and learning conditions in the schools. You might want to add the numerous examples during the Sanchez administration of public funds being allocated to pad central administrative contracts without proper, public Board approval, a serious process and transparency problem in a PUBLIC school district. The copious additions of central administrative positions and inflations of central administrative salaries that kept being revealed after public records requests were done to "out" them was another factor that contributed to low morale and transfers out of district for teachers tired of struggling to get by on shockingly low wages in inadequately supplied classrooms in a district where central administrators were multiplying quickly and many of them were compensated at levels 3, 4, and 5 times what a classroom teacher makes per annum -- and receiving $10K bonuses on the QT.

As the most recent TUSD audit report shows, TUSD has an administrative to classrooms spending ratio much worse than other districts of the same size. The outsourcing of substitute teachers was another blow to professionalism and morale in the teaching community:

24 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Teaching conditions, teacher morale deteriorated under Sanchez. on 03/10/2017 at 6:09 AM

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