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Re: “Keeping It Reel

Oh, Bob. Regarding your review of "La La Land": Really? Original? I guess it's been some time since you've seen REAL classics that clearly inspired multiple facets of this film, like, say "An American in Paris," "Singin' in the Rain," "A Star is Born," the Astaire-Rogers oeuvre and lesser films like "Xanadu,"and "Fame." Emma Stone was very good, but Gosling nearly ruined the film with his saturnine presence; comparing him to Sinatra and Gene Kelly is just ludicrous. The film really needed the ebullience of a Gene Kelly or the dapper charm of a Fred Astaire to really make it fly. It also needed help in the writing department; the script elements certainly betray Chazelle's youth and lack of real-life experience. I lived in L.A. for more than two decades and I cannot recall another film that so heavily romanticizes the city and the lives of its characters. Most actors in L.A. never get (paid) work in films or TV, and the small percentage who do mostly get work in commercials and as (non-union) extras. Most would gladly eat out of dumpsters for months for the chance to get a SAG card. For Stone's character to apparently limit her auditions to film and TV work shows extreme naivete, at best.
The John Legend character's assertion that "Jazz is dying" is simply not true; jazz has enjoyed a small but healthy niche market since the decline of big bands in the '50s. Given that jazz clubs are few in L.A., and regularly feature established artists of the genre with a lot more experience than Gosling's character has, some of his character's actions and attitudes are largely preposterous. How can his character have any "depth," as you put it, since there's so little of his backstory revealed to the audience?
Walter Kirn wrote a recent piece in Harper's in which he concisely skewers nostalgia, a concept in which this film is drenched: "It [nostalgia] tells romantic lies. It breeds reactionary sentiments by glorifying and simplifying what was and devaluing what is."

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Starcommand on 01/10/2017 at 12:20 AM

Re: “The Skinny

The point is that the testimony of one independent witness to Ms. Sedgwick's behavior (other than Sedgwick herself) is insufficient to establish exactly what happened -- or the appropriateness of her tone and words in the exchange. Having some familiarity with her demenanor and goals as they appeared in various public forums before the election, I find it unlikely that she "screamed" during the exchange. I also find it unlikely that her point, if she did make reference to her elected position, was that she was a "big shot" deserving of universal deference, which some commenters in this stream seem to assume.

In any case, interviewing additional witnesses would be necessary to establish exactly what happened, and that was not done. If Nintzel were concerned about fairness, he would be more cautious. He gives the impression here that he is about as concerned about fairness as Safier was in reporting about the IEC "TUSD Kids First" before the election, i.e. not concerned in the least. The intent in both cases seems to be disparagement and mudslinging, not unbiased and cautious reporting of issues of real import in understanding local governance.

This form of "reporting" is beneath contempt.

20 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Think more & try to understand standards for reporting. on 01/09/2017 at 11:27 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

What Again. Well put. I love it.

4 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 01/09/2017 at 9:47 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

ALL children, regardless of citizen status, deserve the best education possible, and they get it.
Check the number of children and young adults that cross the border daily to attend American schools.
Another cheap shot by Safier to attack a man that's not even the President yet.
He could have reported this story with the facts, but he chose to inject his personal bias against someone into an "opinion" piece.
A retired teacher he may be, but, a reporter he's not.

6 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Juan Valdez on 01/09/2017 at 7:06 PM

Re: “The Skinny

Mister "is this a gossip column" and Mark Stageman, did you miss the part where sedgewick said that she mentioned her position so that the manager would know she had a large facebook following? Clearly both parties involved were interviewed.

16 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Read More on 01/09/2017 at 6:35 PM

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

Frances Perkins - your evil/devil comment is appreciated. Because it is so easy to batter down than it is to make better. Solutions require effort and thought. Despite occasional issues my family has had good results from TUSD. But for the knee-jerks there is never mention of goodness or decency or great kids or effective programs or dedicated professionals. Just people on the outside spewing toxic, obnoxious Twitter-type political insults.

13 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Sunriser on 01/09/2017 at 5:54 PM

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

Magnet schools were supposed to have been given top priority in hiring teachers, not just because it was the right thing to do given the number of vacancies that schools have had, but also because TUSD stipulated to this in last years magnet stipulation. Instead, many of us who work at central administration or at schools as administrators have continued to see the Districts HR Chief continuously fill positions at east side schools, long before the magnet schools even got a glimpse of a teacher applicant. The services that are provided by the HR Chief, Anna Maiden, and her crew are lop-sided and it is very intentional. The pattern is obvious to many of us and it leaves us with one- and only one- reason for the lop-sided attention that is given to schools which preside in wealthier neighborhoods than schools such as Utterback and Ochoa; institutionalized racism. It is not a nice word. Everyone hates it. But TUSDs policies and practices remain to be permeated with bias.

Everyone seems to make comment about the student demographics which have changed since the onset of the desegregation court order. However, what is not mentioned is that TUSD, as an institution has not changed all that much. More than sixty percent of teachers are non-minority and recruitment efforts to hire teachers of color is pathetic. Less experienced teachers are systematically placed at west side and south side schools. West side and south side schools have the largest number of substitutes. Many of the substitutes are NOT certified as teachers. Additionally, good teachers (white and non-white) are leaving TUSD very rapidly. TUSD is one of Tucsons largest employers, yet their HR Chief has no knowledge of the turn-over rate. Yet, it is clear via separation documents that teachers are leaving at a very high rate.

Of course, it does not help to have white superiority thinkers such as "Postimpressionist"
blatantly state that the darker the US gets, the stupider it becomes. Arizona is ranked almost at the bottom of states in its support of public education. We are where Mississippi used to be years ago. The US, and especially states like Arizona, are not investing in public education. Our public school infrastructure is aging with little maintenance and repair invested into our school buildings. With little respect for the profession, many teachers are leaving to more lucrative careers. Kids arent losing IQ points; they are being deprived of a quality education. TUSD needs drastic reform and Tucson needs to call out folks such as Postimpressionist on their racism.

The community gets what it demands. We all need to demand more from TUSD. ALL of us!

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by TUSD- Institutionalized Racism on 01/09/2017 at 5:43 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

The author's use of "Terror" in regards to a legally elected President is disgraceful and demeaning to all that have fought the "War On Terror."

Please change the words you are using to try to make your point. Not withstanding the fact that these teachers don't own these illegal immigrants. It is odd they would not first act to protect the citizen students from law breakers.

But that seems to be your vision of America.

10 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Major Pain on 01/09/2017 at 2:36 PM

Re: “Gabby Giffords: My Pledge

MaryE2 The flaw in your thinking is that a group of armed citizens would even NEED to fire at him. Amazing how well people behave when there are immediate consequences.

4 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Soul Searching Is Good For The Soul on 01/09/2017 at 2:31 PM

Re: “Gabby Giffords: My Pledge

21,000 of those mentioned per year are Suicides by people who take their own lives. That reduces the number to 12,000 and just think if you removed Chicago from that equation it would be another minus 762. I really liked Gabby voted for her 2 times but not after Pelosi and Wasserman-Schultz corrupted her. Facts can be easily distorted.

4 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by Jeffrey Engelbert on 01/09/2017 at 1:00 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

It will be much better for the educators to look for a job outside Tucson because once the flood of illegals is shutoff at the border there's going to be a lot of empty seats in the Grijalva Chicano Indoctrination Center known as TUSD.

7 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 01/09/2017 at 12:37 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

Not a Trump fan, but very tired of hearing terms like "regime of terror" used in connections with what we can expect his administration to be.

Do the people who throw phrases like this around know what the "reign of terror" was? And how unworthy of respect they make themselves when they connect phrases like this with what is happening in our country right now? Hysteria and exaggeration will not solve the problems, which need to be calmly identified and accurately named.

Plutocracy? Yes. Oligarchy? Yes.

"Regime of Terror?" No.

24 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Hysteria and exaggeration won't help. on 01/09/2017 at 12:19 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

Taking a picture of yourself with a sign and posting it on social media.

Much easier than tracking what is going on with application of desegregation funds and quality service delivery in the Tucson schools that serve vulnerable families.

Which action would help immigrants more? Draw your own conclusions.

21 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by What's happening in the schools matters more. on 01/09/2017 at 12:14 PM

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

Fact Checker 13: Thanks, interesting information.

Seems like the problem we are still trying to address in this district is the lack of uniformity in quality of services from one school to the next.

When you have some schools where fully qualified, experienced teachers line up to fill positions (UHS, Fruchthendler, etc.) and other schools where classrooms are filled with rotating casts of long-term subs with no teaching credentials, and when the racial make-up of the schools with higher quality services is more white and the racial make-up of schools with poorly qualified staff and poor service delivery is more Hispanic / African American, how can the district expect to achieve "Unitary Status," which I believe has something to do with delivering good services in a uniform manner throughout the district's schools, to schools enrolling primarily Hispanic and African-American students as well as to schools enrolling higher percentages of white students?

Can anyone answer this question: Why have some of the more than $60 million a year in desegregation funds the district receives not been used to attach permanent, renewable stipends to hard-to-fill teaching positions in magnet schools? Why have the stipends not been raised to the point where the positions are actually filled? Why have funds allocated for a "family liaison" position and to provide teachers with behavior management training at schools like Utterback not actually been used for those purposes? These are the kind of use of the funds (higher teacher salaries, more support for teachers) that will eliminate some of the problems with "vestiges of discrimination" and improve services to students in schools with high Hispanic and African-American enrollment.

What will NOT help eliminate the "vestiges of discrimination"? Paying Sanchez $500K a year. Giving $10K bonuses to his low functioning central administrative cabinet. Adding an expensive "daycare" program to a K-12 public district that struggles to make its funds stretch to deliver quality services in K-12. Paying for expensive single-occupancy hotel rooms (against district policy, which requires double occupancy) for Board members and Superintendent traveling to out of town conferences on the district's dime.

In matters large and small, from top to bottom, this district's priorities in the allocation of funds have been extremely distorted and counter-productive for the past four years and it desperately needs to correct its course.

David Safier has been and continues to be an irresponsible apologist for poor management. He is living in a fantasy land that has NOTHING to do with the realities of what has been going on in the Board Room at Duffy or in the administrative offices at 1010. His politically motivated, corrupt commentary is damaging schools serving almost 50,000 students and it is damaging the community where many of us (unlike Safier) are trying to raise and educate our children.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by We're FAR from Unitary Status (uniform quality district-wide) on 01/09/2017 at 11:36 AM

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

GCB1 -- thanks for the back story on the creation of Holladay magnet. Very interesting, and your story highlights just how damaging the district's current inability to recruit fully qualified teaching faculty for magnets (or former magnets) like Utterback is. In a context where the kind of planning and evaluation you describe was done by the faculty and not by central administrators, how can these programs function without proactive, professional teachers like those you describe?

NB, Holladay is still a magnet.
http://www.holladay-tusd1.org

It was one of the schools on the list for possible loss of magnet status in 2015, as reported by the AZ Star in a side bar on this article...

http://tucson.com/news/local/education/tusd-more-time-to-show-progress-at-magnet-schools/article_0f407edc-93f9-55e6-bd42-74d05ac3f0f1.html

"Magnet schools at risk The following schools failed to meet integration or academic achievement requirements for magnet schools: Bonillas, Borton, Holladay, Ochoa, and Robison elementary schools; Booth-Fickett and Safford K-8 schools, Mansfeld and Utterback middle schools; Cholla and Pueblo high schools

...but it was not one of the six schools that just lost its magnet status:

http://tucson.com/news/local/education/six-tucson-unified-schools-to-lose-their-magnet-status/article_d19f0d4b-8043-5ae3-8acf-0abef0651fea.html

"The schools losing their status are: Ochoa Elementary, Robison Elementary, Safford K-6, Utterback 6-7, and Cholla and Pueblo high schools."

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by FYI, Holladay is still a magnet. on 01/09/2017 at 11:12 AM

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

When unitary status was revoked and the TUSD deseg case was reopened, it was supposed to address the "vestiges" of segregation (Much of the overt discrimination was addressed fairly early on). In 30+ years, the district had gone from 1/3 to >3/4 minority, and the "Green" factors, including student achievement, had been added as criteria. So:
a) Are 20 magnet schools too many given that TUSD now has ~88 schools (the special master has always maintained the answer was yes)?
b) Is 24% of the deseg budget the right amount to spend on magnet schools (including magnet transportation) to address integration, when desegregation/integration is no longer the only goal?

Notice that "demagnetizing" these six schools, while "good" in the long run (freeing up more money for the other magnet schools or other deseg priorities), is "bad" in the short run, since the programs AFAIK will be phased out gradually--that is, the magnet programs for years to come still need most of their magnet staff (and filling these positions has been problematic) while serving fewer and fewer students.

P.S.
The daily enrollment on TUSDStats was produced and maintained by the Accountability & Research department using Mojave SIS data. With the switch to Synergy SIS six months ago, an alternate procedure would have to be put in place to transfer and format the Synergy data for display on the existing pages, and this has not happened.

Why it hasn't happened--the short answer is TUSD hasn't prioritized it. Longer answers might note the disbanding of the Accountability & Research department in 2014 (under the auspices of the Efficiency Audit), and the "nerfing" of most of the TUSDStats functionality in 2015, as well as the lack of the word "transparency" (except in the finance sections) in the strategic plan.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fact Checker 13 on 01/09/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Gabby Giffords: My Pledge

Dear Soul Searching: RE: So gun laws prevented passengers from protecting each other. There are always unintended consequences of most legislation. And nobody wants that to happen.

The flaw in your thinking is that armed citizens could safely make a difference -- even police would hesitate to fire where there is a crowd. And they have the training to manage this.

29 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by MaryE2 on 01/09/2017 at 10:07 AM

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

The history of magnets in TUSD has shown several things. In 1980 when we began the magnet process at Holladay Intermediate Magnet School, we, the teaching faculty who designed the actual instructional program that delivered the magnet focus, planned how to provide every child in the school with fine arts, performing arts, and physical education. The district didn't. What they provided was a 2 week paid inservice time to create the program. We did the work and created a working schedule for daily instruction. We expected a lot of high performing kids with interested parents would enroll. We got a few of that category. On the whole, what we enrolled from the magnet population was the lowest reader or behavioral problem from a lot of east side and central schools. We received students who were performing poorly in their home schools, or whose parents had conflicts with teachers/principals at the home school, or parents who were seeking free before and after school free child care programs and free transportation. We asked the district how they would evaluate the success of the program; there was no response. All they were interested in was student movement between schools. So we, the teaching faculty, designed a three part evaluation program in which we investigated parent, and student, attitudes and test scores, which we disaggregated by ethnic group, magnet status, and grade. We learned as a result that the majority of magnet parents came for child care, small class size, teacher aides, and finally the magnet focus. That trend remained true for the 10 years I worked there. We worked very hard to develop the academic learning of ALL students and had great success, as indicated by 2 stanine upward movement on standardized testing in the course of a single year. When you move from 2 to a 4, it's real progress. We also had movement from a 6 to an 8. This is major growth also. Now Holladay is no longer a magnet and no longer provides those opportunities, thanks to central administration neglect over years. The same is most likely true of the current soon to be lost magnets. What a pity!

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 01/09/2017 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Danehy

Tommy's legion of losers is out in force.

1 like, 17 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 01/09/2017 at 9:41 AM

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

POSTIMPRESSIONIST: IMHO, the IQs and GPAs we should be concerned with are those of TUSD Board members, TUSD administrators, office staff and teachers. We have no data on these. Glib and smug are not indicators of intelligence.

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Mike N on 01/09/2017 at 9:00 AM

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