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

Re: “TUSD Magnet Schools, Desegregation, and the Next Step

Thank you, Caryn, for putting a pitch for the plaintiffs and the role they can and should play in holding districts accountable. The plaintiffs in the Fisher Mendoza case certainly have tried here in Tucson, but this particular district is a tough case and this particular blogger is an apologist for the irresponsible governing board members and administrators in this district who have recently been disparaging the plaintiffs in Fisher Mendoza and spending millions of our deseg money in picking unnecessary fights with the desegregation judge and court-appointed Special Master.

So unfortunately for the kids in our schools, you won't be able to persuade David Safier of anything -- at least not unless you can first persuade Raul and / or Adelita Grijalva and then get them to issue their marching orders to him. He can't even be bothered to visit and study the successful magnet schools we have right here in Tucson -- he'd prefer to do "online research" to justify and excuse the many failures of his friends in high office.

29 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Safier is a chronic failure on the issue of racial justice. on 01/06/2017 at 1:09 PM

Re: “TUSD Magnet Schools, Desegregation, and the Next Step

Please take a look at the Hartford Connecticut experience. It is under a court order (Sheff v O'Neil) and managed by the state-run Regional School Choice Office. They are ALL magnet schools, not charter schools. These are thriving and students are out-achieving their peers from their sending districts. I happen to be principal of one such magnet high school that has been ranked the #1 high school in CT for three years in row, has consistently met the desegregation goal, has students already accepted at service academies and ivy league schools for next year (early admission). How has this happened? Because the plaintiffs in the desegregation lawsuit have not let the state off the hook and takes it back to court every time those with no political backbone try to dismantle the magnet system.

30 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Caryn White Stedman on 01/06/2017 at 12:34 PM

Re: “You Can Now Avoid the Grant/Kolb/Tanque Verde Intersection

Is "fustercluck" an appropriate term for a professional journalist to be using in an article. C'mon MAN !

21 likes, 35 dislikes
Posted by Citizen on 01/06/2017 at 12:18 PM

Re: “You Can Now Avoid the Grant/Kolb/Tanque Verde Intersection

Great job City of Tucson! This will provide some relief. When will we get an agreement with the County to extend Snyder Rd to Sabino Canyon? That would relieve all the Tanque Verde congestion of drivers that have no need to come down Sabino Canyon only to have to go back up the mountain on another road to reach their destination.

Steve Christy may be the key to getting this going. It would save millions of road miles, reduce air pollution, provide better access to emergency services, and preserve fuel supplies. Not to mention cutting drive time congestion for thousands of up to 20 minutes each way.

31 likes, 45 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 01/06/2017 at 12:11 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

No, she doesn't. She's one of those who supports using public schools as indoctrination centers for her version of what is moral, as she has revealed in her sad little post. Publicly funded schools in a pluralist society, Frances, are inappropriate places for you to think of instructing other people's children in your beliefs about how "women's reproduction" should be handled in our society, but thanks for slipping up and letting us know that your desire for public district schools to spread your beliefs about "women's reproduction" is one reason you oppose vouchers.

As for your cracks about TUSD and Sanchez, those of us who ACTUALLY care about financial transparency and appropriate uses of public funds in public institutions will keep expressing our legitimate concerns. Those of you who have no REAL interest in transparency in public institutions -- just an APPARENT interest when you bash charters for lack of transparency but fail to care about public districts' transparency -- go ahead and make your disparaging comments, slipping up now and then as you did above to let us know what your real concerns are.

21 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Thanks for revealing your REAL concerns, "Frances." on 01/06/2017 at 12:10 PM

Re: “TUSD Magnet Schools, Desegregation, and the Next Step

"Charter schools, by the way, tend to be more segregated than district schools, so going with charters isn't a deseg solution."

Earth to David Safier. There is a large majority that is actually only intent on getting their kids a great education. They are not swayed by politically motivated and propagated problems. Some of us don't look at skin color, and yet others attempt to profit from it.

TUSD can't be "fixed" until they become the former.

21 likes, 29 dislikes
Posted by Make Education Great Again on 01/06/2017 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

If only it were reproduction Frances. But it has become annihilation. That doesn't even belong in an education discussion regarding private school vouchers. Hopefully you understand the difference between education and abortion funding.

20 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Tammy Parsone on 01/06/2017 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

TUSD is evil. Sanchez is the devil. TUSD is evil. Sanchez is the devil. Local fetish for some herein. Taxpayer paid choice is great for private religious indoctrination schools, but not for women's reproduction. We need taxpayers to subsidize creationism as science. Choice on steroids.

17 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 01/06/2017 at 9:27 AM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

I agree with "prudent investment in infrastructure" as a strategy, and would like to include raising dismal salaries too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that high school teachers right here in Tucson are paid 43% below the national average. Maybe their current, hardly extravagant pay makes some commenters jealous and outraged, but I think it is a disgrace. No wonder good people leave and schools end up with unqualified subs on daily-rate pay in semi-permanent positions.

18 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Underpaid, Unappreciated & Insulted on 01/06/2017 at 7:12 AM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

Not many are fans of locking students into bad educational environments and providing no alternatives, but if you're going to allow "choice," why not also provide oversight and effective quality control? That would be the responsible thing to do.

Does anyone deny that there are bad charter schools and private schools in existence, where students' best interests are not served?

This is from an informational flyer written by an employee of the Arizona Department of Education: "Among the key lessons taken from Arizona's experience with many various forms of school choice is that in nearly every instance, the haste to enact a program was not accompanied by a prudent investment in the necessary infrastructure to oversee it. This has left the ADE [Arizona Department of Education] and ASBCS [Arizona State Board of Charter Schools], among others, under-resourced to handle the demands of an ever-expanding system. [] the ASBCS is tasked with overseeing 535 charters serving 145,000 students, yet it has a staff of only 9. By its own account, it is severely understaffed for the amount of work it is required to undertake by law."

Well said. This is the kind of point rational thinkers and sane administrators take into account when making policy decisions about public institutions: "That might be a good idea in theory, but in practice we don't have the funding or the infrastructure necessary to oversee its sound implementation."

In the post above, another flaw in the thinking behind "choice" policy is apparent: why would we assume that it's fine to give parents who rate their schools (correctly or incorrectly) as "D or F" alternatives while leaving the children of those who don't recognize that there are problems with their children's education in failing schools? What if we handled the medical system this way? "You only deserve to have a good physician if you know enough about medicine to be able to tell a good one from a bad one."

The state has a responsibility to the children of parents who cannot or will not move children from their neighborhood "government school" as well as to the children of parents who can and will move them if alternatives are provided.

As long as the state of Arizona is refusing to play any role in guaranteeing some minimal level of quality in educational institutions which make use of public funds, it is acting irresponsibly and failing to protect the best interests of citizens and the future health of our communities and economy in Arizona.

21 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Try a "prudent investment in necessary infrastructure." on 01/05/2017 at 9:17 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

The parents of over 4 million students in this country rate their child's school a "D" or an "F". They have no choice, they are stuck. One of them, the parent of a special needs child, was so beside himself he accosted his school board with a rifle.

You can say that these parents can't tell a good school from a bad school but likely they can tell that their school is not very good for their child.

80 percent of 8th graders can't do fractions procedures or understand them conceptually - a fourth grade standard. Thirty percent of 8th grade students take and pass algebra, yet only 1% can do the simplest prealgebra word problem and less than 9% can do the very simplest polynomial manipulation. Education is a huge Potemkin village.

Trapped is the correct adjective for these students, trapped by the parents who want to parasite off the resources that they bring to the school without returning commensurate value. Only school choice can remedy that situation. Those 4 million students have no chance to achieve their potential in life without it.

3 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by on 01/05/2017 at 6:45 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

Parents who don't know how to tell a good school from a bad one do not create "oversight." As it turns out, identifying a quality educational institution requires somewhat more expertise than choosing your favorite kind of cereal in the grocery store.

Try superimposing your "choice" model on the field of medicine. Do patients know enough to evaluate the quality of hospitals? Of their own doctors' quality of care? In most cases, no. Not unless they've been to medical school.

The disrespect for credentialed and experienced educators in this state is astounding. Together with the poverty level wages -- "salary" is not an appropriate term for what teachers are paid here -- this attitude drives teachers out of the classroom and out of the profession. And, as a result, Arizona parents get what they deserve: uniformly low quality schools when compared to what is available in other states, poor educational results, and CHOICE between the frying pan, the fire, and the furnace: poorly overseen district schools, unregulated charters, and irresponsible privates.

Hurray for Arizona.

27 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by The market / consumer model does not work for education. on 01/05/2017 at 3:47 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

Sorry "Choice does not guarantee excellence," but there are patents out there that create oversight by pulling their kids from a failed school. It is up to the parents because if the Board can not get the schools to straighten out, the parents would be free to walk. Many families have carried the tuition burden for years in an attempt to get their children and excellent education.

Send these people school shopping and they will get results! The opposite has become true in public education where they can't seem to figure out their failings so they simply blame others. That won't work any more.

Let's make education great again.

5 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Tammy Parsone on 01/05/2017 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss. writes, "...the more choices a parent has, the more likely it is that every child will get [...] excellence."

Nope. Because if there is no oversight that guarantees quality, it could well be that all the choices will be faulty. Perhaps you will end up choosing between entrusting your child's education to "bad" or "worse," not "good" or "excellent." A choice between "bad" and "worse" pretty much sums up the current state of education in the state of Arizona, thanks to more than 20 years now of misguided state level policy.

Turns out there's this field called "public administration," jhuppent. And when you care about delivering quality products through public institutions, you have to know something about it. Also social science: it can be useful for elected officials administering public institutions to know what kinds of conclusions can and cannot be drawn from data -- and how the conclusions you can and cannot draw should relate to public policy. Try it some time...

26 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Choice does not guarantee excellence. on 01/05/2017 at 2:42 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

Vouchers could educate all children. Now that would be a value.

4 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Concerned Mom on 01/05/2017 at 2:10 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

The opposition to vouchers is to show that we believe there is value in educating all children, not just our own.

19 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Cascabel on 01/05/2017 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Grijalva Blasts GOP Plan To Use Fuzzy Math To Justify Federal Land Sales

What is the difference between buying a politician and buying a national park? You might lose the politician in the next election... but the park is yours to trash forever.

35 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Cascabel on 01/05/2017 at 12:02 PM

Re: “Private School Vouchers Are Bad For Arizona. Discuss.

Parents can get a great public education at a district school, an alternative school, a Catholic school or a private school. Why shouldn't they be able to decide where their children get their public education?

No school can be excellent for every child. Not possible. Thus the more choices a parent has, the more likely it is that every child will get that excellence.

We have over 5 million students in this country who can't say 9 when you say 5+4. We have over 7 million who can't say can't say nine when you ask them for a number that is 5 more than 4. We have over 6 million who read less than 2 minutes a day because it is so painfully difficult and slow for them to read. No amount of money pouring into district schools is going to solve this.

We've tried the spending experiment on steroids. In New York, spending went from 12 billion to 24 billion in a single school district in a few short years - no detectable impact. In Kansas City, a federal judge told school superintendents: "Let your dreams run wild, I will fund them" and he did. it took a decade to dig out from the wreckage.

We have every bit of evidence that school choice is healthy for Arizona. From 2011 to 2015, our combined math and reading gains on NAEP were the highest in the nation. From 1992 to 2012, murders by juveniles in Arizona fell from 70 to 7 while our at-risk population more than tripled.

4 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by on 01/05/2017 at 12:00 PM

Re: “Grijalva Blasts GOP Plan To Use Fuzzy Math To Justify Federal Land Sales

Raul the fool. What a buffoon.

6 likes, 41 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 01/05/2017 at 10:54 AM

Re: “Grijalva Blasts GOP Plan To Use Fuzzy Math To Justify Federal Land Sales

Yeah, its a damn good thing we have someone keeping us informed of what these corrupt-fascist corporate, shady scum, are up to. Trying to take the Nations public lands. We went through this a few times in the past. This is exactly, why, Theodore Roosevelt, established the American Public Lands... So, malignant corporate greed, couldn't steal the citizens treasures. We now, more than ever, need to be vigilant...And valiant against political corruption....Disaster.

34 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Micky Smythe on 01/05/2017 at 10:31 AM

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