As a fellow Vietnam Veteran I have admired Sen McCain for many years. But he just lost my vote. What we don't need is another four years of demagoguery and obstructionism. I'm voting for Ann.
Arizona is number one in charter school choice and from 2011 to 2015 we were number one in combined math and reading gains on the NAEP test from 2011 4th grade to 2015 8th grsde.
This is how Republicans think these days: if they don't win then the rules must be unfair. Sen McCain should be ashamed of himself. He and so many of his fellow Republicans have become so arrogant that democracy is just a nuisance to them.
Too old. He's always said stupid stuff. Remember "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran? " He also shamelessly and cynically brought stupid people, like Sarah Palin, into national politics. People don't improve w/ age in their 80's. Anyone who has taken care of elderly relatives knows this.
All I can say is thank God we who can't afford private schools have an option besides our mediocre-to-awful public school system. More charter schools please.
The hell with McCain...this old used up dirtbag needs to be put out to pasture !...He has no platform and changes his mind everyday !.....another perfect example why they need to put term limits into place !
Prejudice – an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. 2. any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
When any elected representative makes a statement that he/she will perform his/her duties in accordance to their own personal prejudices that elected official needs to go.
When party loyalty trumps serving ALL the constituents a representative democracy no longer exists. Unfortunately for America, he is not the only so-called representative to sell out the people to maintain good standing with a party.
Senator McCain is shucking his responsibility and playing irresponsible partisan politics. McCain has no idea who will be submitted for the SCOTUS seat, yet he thinks it's OK to say just say no all those submitted for review no matter how qualified they may be or their foundation. It's really high time to vote for McCain's opponent.
I would have loved to see info on the judges. I don't want lawyers views which are terribly biased. I wish we still had a media that worked to inform voters OF FACTS.
I hate to interrupt your contemplation of what you regard as encouraging developments at the national level with mundane and somewhat depressing local concerns, but the fact is that here in Arizona, the transparency of public district schools is far from what you assume it is. You state: "I know public schools don't always spend their money wisely, and they don't always do as good a job as we want them to do. But their finances and policies are far more transparent than charter schools, by law, so we can peer inside them more easily to see what's going on."
Arizona public district schools may be REQUIRED BY LAW to be more transparent, but in a context where enforcement of these laws is by no means effective or uniform, we cannot, in practice, "peer inside them more easily to see what's going on."
Did you notice the link "Supporting Public Ed Means Supporting Local Reform" posted on one of your recent blogs, David? In case not, here it is again, and I suggest you do what I did: click on it and read the reports, especially those pertaining to Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, Amphitheater School District Governing Board, Holladay Magnet Site Council, University High School Site Council, and the informal survey at the end of the report relating to public district site council laws and their implementation in selected local districts:
This report is not getting very much play in the local media. I wonder why. Perhaps because there are some people locally who believe, "Morale costs nothing in these tough fiscal times, and our schools need that morale to keep going in the face of adversity." In other words: Keep lying about or concealing what the ACTUAL conditions are in our public district schools, because if people knew how bad conditions have actually become, the charters might win this war we're fighting with them.
Sorry, but according to the very HIGH standards of people like you who champion TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY, that cannot be regarded as an appropriate attitude for an employee of a PUBLIC institution to adopt, can it David?
Is it just me, or is there much less reporting on local contested races here in Pima County this year? County races that are contested haven't been covered. Retention of AZ Supreme Court & Superior court judge recommendations, pro or con, haven't been covered. Early mail in ballots have been out for days & have to be mailed back in, so I'm hoping that The Weekly is going to start putting out a lot more information.
Now all we need is Bernie Sanders to go out and campaign for Hillary. The liberal takeover is complete:
Take a good look at the socialist corporations and our money that they have used against us.
Sanders may have conspired to make Hillary look moderate. The law will catch up with her.
This man is an idiot who has way overstayed his welcome. He needs to be retired fast.
Thank you Safier for your support in keeping those black children in their failing inner city schools and not having choice to escape. It's essential to the 'progressive' agenda to have a dependent, second class of citizens.
The rest of the country have the inner city blacks. Here in Tucson we can be proud of the illegals that provide millions of dollars of confiscated taxpayer dollars to 'good' and 'caring' liberals stuffing their pockets, like you did for your entire career.
Liberals, 'Progressives', have had a lock on the public school system for decades.
Been into the Groovies since the mid eighties. Certainly one of the most underrated bands out there. "Groovies Greatest Grooves" is a real favorite in my rotation. Like earlier stated, they stand the test of time. Long live rock.
In Tucson, it's too hot 9 months out of the year to wear anything remotely resembling 'fashion' , at least for men.
Another Reply:.... You seem to be agreeing with me (not the previous writer) that the big deficit was announced in 2012 rather than 2013. Yes, it was predictable and related to the end of the stimulus funds. I will not repeat what I wrote before, but it seems consistent with your recollections... I do well remember the terrible fallout it had on the schools, the great push for school closures that came that year, etc.
More people are registered as Independents in this state than as either Republicans or Democrats. Many of us do not fit well into either current party.
The 100-day plan is just that... it is not intended as a long-run vision statement. It was developed over months and I believe that it is realistic and would be a significant start to a long process of positive change.
The community input into the strategic plan was great, and some things in it make sense to me, but the plan as a whole is a mess. There is no way that an organization this large and troubled can create a coherent 5-year strategic plan that quickly. It is good to have a plan, but TUSD has the habit of sticking labels on messes and calling them successes.
I have much respect for the USP, which is far better than the PUSP put forward under the Fagen administration. I have a good relationship with Dr. Hawley and great respect for him. But some things in the USP were too ambitious, as I think the subsequent history has proved.
It is surely true that not all principals in the district can handle higher levels of responsibility, but I am not proposing to end oversight. A one-page 100-day plan is obviously not a complete plan, and I am definitely NOT the educational expert who knows all the answers. TUSD needs to make more and better use of the experience of other districts, in Arizona and nationwide, and a broader range of experts than it currently employs. The solution to bad curricular (or similar bad educational decisions) is not a board that has expertise in curriculum but a board that, directly or indirectly, puts into place a top curricular team.
Yes, my letters have been critical, and some things in TUSD are going well, but I am very concerned about the overall trajectory. I agree it would be good to write more about the positive things, and I will try to do so, but it is also important to draw attention to what is going sideways. Those are the things that tend to be left out of official TUSD communication.
I like your comment, and it seems that in substance we agree on much. If the board changes in a positive way, then I hope we can convince you that TUSD can indeed be a much stronger district than it is at present. I think that many of us outside of the current board majority have similar (not identical) goals, and I am optimistic that positive change can occur regardless of which of us is elected.
Congratulations Lupita from a fan from the RGV i remember staying up to see u n Rick Diaz in channel 5 god bless u very happy to see that u are doing great
I first heard the pending $17 million deficit mentioned in the summer of 2012. The explanation given at the time was that an entirely predictable expiration of federal stimulus funds was bringing the deficit about. The phone call from central admin to our school specifying the amount that needed to be cut immediately from our school's 2013-3014 budget came in April of 2013, 8-9 months after those at our site first heard of the pending deficit. It was the school's principal who communicated the information, both in the summer of 2012 and in the spring of 2013.
As a result of the cut and the demand from central that decisions be made in a 24-48 hour time frame, faculty and support staff eliminations were made that seriously impaired the functioning of our school during the 2013-3014 school year. At the same time, I was aware of other local districts that had used the same kinds of windows for planning their responses to changes in funding levels -- from summer of one year to spring of the next year -- to work successfully with their communities to secure funds that had, in these other districts, prevented the kinds of damage that occurred in our TUSD school.
Now, 3-4 years after all this occurred, the details of it are so vague in your mind that you aren't even sure the incident I refer to is the same as the deficit you remember staff bringing forward to the Board in 2012? You remember that staff brought a deficit forward but you don't know what fall-out that deficit had in the schools, or how that related to planning and discussions that did or did not take place at the Board level between the summer of 2012 and April of 2013? That is not confidence-inspiring, especially coming from someone who is asking for the community to re-install him in a leadership position based on his ability to improve the fiscal management of the district.
Setting aside the area of fiscal management of a complicated public institution, when it comes to education policy, my experience of your "leadership" during the time that I have been a parent in the district has been that you have been either unaware of, silent about, or actively working against the things that could have made a constructive difference to the quality of education offered to students in TUSD schools. Understanding what matters in K-12 education can come from a number of different kinds of experience, including being a K-12 parent, being a K-12 teacher, or being a credentialed expert in child development, pedagogy, elementary education, secondary education, the management of public educational institutions or the history of educational methods.
To understand, as a university faculty member with credentials in none of these areas, that most freshman who show up at the U of A are unprepared to do college-level work is not to understand how to alter a complex and troubled public school district in ways that can have some hope of improving educational outcomes for its students. Your frame of reference and qualifications, which are valuable in a University economics department, are not applicable in K-12. Your lack of a relevant knowledge or experience base has, over the course of the last 4 years, resulted at several different points in an inability to identify and advocate against K-12 policy adoptions in TUSD that have been damaging to students.
As for your political positions -- if they are an idiosyncratic combination of positions that don't align with any recognizable school of thought in politics or in education, how do you expect voters to understand what you stand for, or what you may decide to stand for on new policy issues that come before the Board for the first time in the future? Your Constituent Updates during the period when you have occupied a minority position on the Board have largely reflected your desire to criticize and eventually get rid of a Board majority which, I readily grant, has made some conspicuously poor decisions during the last 3 and 1/2 years. Once that majority is no longer there, I question whether the piecemeal 100-day plan you offer is able to offer a coherent vision for how the district should be operating.
You say you are for complying with the USP, though you like to remind the public that you didn't vote in support of it, so we should probably conclude that your idiosyncratic views are out of alignment with the views of experts in desegregation policy and community members who worked together with them to create the desegregation plan for the district. You are not in support of the district's Strategic Plan, another document created with significant district stakeholder participation.
What exactly is the constructive, unified educational philosophy behind your refusals to support plans desegregation experts and district stakeholders have created? Reducing class sizes and putting more spending in classrooms rather than administration is a noble goal, but in order for that transfer of funds to have good effects for educational outcomes, you have to know WHAT to put that money into. What KINDS of curricula, materials, school structures, and instructional plans will equip teachers to improve student achievement? Is there an appropriate role for standardized testing in K-12 education, and, if so, what is it? What problems have developed in schools through the mis-use of corporate-produced standardized testing? Board members on a school board which votes on multi-million dollar testing, curricular, textbook, and materials adoptions and budgets allocating funds to different areas should have more than a passing understanding of these issues. You do not seem to. Saying that principals and sites should have more discretion in applying funds is also not a solution. Principals in TUSD vary widely in competence and experience and giving them discretion in how funds are spent is no guarantee that their discretionary powers will not be mis-used. Sites differ in their degree of organization, levels of constructive parent participation, and preparedness for site-based governance. In this context, increasing site-based management will do little more than to increase inequity and make constituents at many sites vulnerable to abuse.
The TUSD audit committee might be a good place for you to contribute constructively to the management of the district's affairs, but many TUSD constituents feel that based on your poorly informed written opinions on how K-12 education in TUSD should be managed and your track record in office for eight difficult years of the district's history, it would be best for the district if you did not continue to serve on its Board.
Well said, Billy. I'll never forget reading about that album in Creem or Fusion, possibly even in Rolling Stone, and eventually finding a copy when I went off to college a few years later. It was a sealed cutout copy, in fact, priced at $1.99 I'm guessing. (Later I would find another sealed cutout. I still have it. Still sealed. No, I will not entertain offers.) The Jordan-Loney team was a powerhouse for sure, and that song still holds up today. I've long broadcast my intention to have my family play Shake Some Action at my funeral, but after reading your essay, I'm now also thinking about making sure that we have some sort of Irish wake where we/they can spin the pre-Sire Groovies music as well. -Fred Mills, Asheville NC
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