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

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.


You need to be a bit closer to what is going on in Southern Arizona to draw the correct conclusions about what is happening in TUSD. The idea that Sanchez is a victim of anyone or anything besides his own poor judgment is ludicrous to people who've seen what has been happening on the school sites and in the Board meetings. He has had a Board majority who has rubber stamped every weak idea he's had, including his self-concocted outrageous compensation package. When he has lied to them and to the public this majority looked the other way and / or covered for him. Why? Perhaps because they had brought him in through an improper, untransparent hiring process when he had had only a few short months of experience as INTERIM Superintendent in a much smaller district. They recognized that if the degree of his unfitness for office and the number of mistakes he was making were recognized they would be held to account for it.

It may be true that high-functioning districts have unified Boards and Superintendents who stay in their positions for longer than TUSD has been able to retain Superintendents during the last decade, but this does not mean that retaining any Superintendent, no matter how weak and malfunctioning, for more than two years will CAUSE a district to become high functioning. Using any means possible to retain an incompetent manager in the position -- including lying to the public and bribing the Superintendent with inflated compensation packages put together with public funds that should be applied in the sadly underfunded schools -- will only make conditions in the district worse.

I have through the years spoken with many people about the district and its problems, including professors of education, current and former board members, current and former site administrators and central administrators, current and former teachers and parents. I have repeatedly heard two things: there are entrenched problems in the middle administration that make the district virtually ungovernable and, when we're talking about the last several years, there have been serious difficulties introduced for the Superintendent by the role Stegeman has played on the Board. (As for your speculations about the district's "culture" burning through the last two Superintendents prior to Sanchez. Some who had a good view of the Superintendency during that period believe that in Pedicone's departure, Stegeman was the deciding factor.)

TUSD is admittedly a tough case. It needs a Superintendent who has a decade or more of experience and a proven record of success in managing (and reforming) a troubled urban district operating under a desegregation order. Adding to the difficulty of recruitment is the fact that this administrative task must be undertaken in a state that brutally underfunds education, where the governor (the subject of Safier's post) will use every trick in the book to avoid funding the schools at the right levels and from the appropriate sources.

Regardless of the local and State-level conditions that will make it difficult for the community to recruit for the TUSD Superintendency, many of us who are close to the district and its schools feel that we can't continue to allow this much damage to occur from relentlessly poor and dishonest management in a district serving almost 50,000 students.

If the needed change in leadership happens, there will no doubt be people like you who don't understand what has been happening at the ground level in the district who will spin it as a sob story and a tragedy. But the opinions of the ignorant are irrelevant. What matters is the quality of services delivered to students in our schools. Before the funding increases Safier wants can actually improve those services, it would be necessary to get rid of an administration that has a more than three year long track record of constant mismanagement and misapplication of this e between $300 and $400 million TUSD receives each school year.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ignorance of the district doesn't produce good interpretations. on 01/12/2017 at 7:33 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

I am not knowledgeable enough to rise in his defense, I don't know his prior track record in Texas. I am merely making the observation that high performing schools have cohesive school boards and long serving Superintendents. I am also making the observation that the two prior Superintendents were outstanding and had long track records of being outstanding. The fact that TUSD culture could burn through both of them indicates that problem is the culture, not the Superintendent. Good Superintendents become outstanding under cohesive school boards, supportive communities and time on task.

I am sure that after you burn through him, other people will come forward to burn through the next victim.

2 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by on 01/11/2017 at 10:07 PM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

Dying a little more inside with each ugly comment that's posted.

21 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC! on 01/11/2017 at 5:42 PM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

Millions of birds, including bald eagles are killed every year by wind turbines.

A small price to pay for liberals to feel good.

8 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 01/11/2017 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

jhuppent@hotmail writes, "The TUSD culture quickly burned through two outstanding superintendents and now is evidently working on a third."

Are you implying that Sanchez is an "outstanding superintendent"?

What's outstanding about him? His willingness to co-write an editorial with Lisa Graham Keegan arguing that we should solve our teacher shortage problem by reducing teacher credentialing requirements? His willingness to fight the desegregation authority and waste millions of dollars of the limited funds available for education in this sad district on legal fees associated with ill-advised challenges to court rulings? The fact that under his administration, six schools just lost their magnet status? The fact that he bragged about voluntarily reducing desegregation levies and voluntarily gave more than $3 million in desegregation funds back to taxpayers? His willingness to accept an outrageous compensation contract that mis-allocates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to his salary, expense accounts, bonuses, etc.? His willingness to outsource substitute teachers, cut their compensation and destroy their ability to qualify for healthcare? His tolerance of south and west side schools serving largely minority populations having classrooms filled with long-term subs who don't have teaching certification? His willingness to be a "leader" in local efforts to sell the shoddy Prop123 funding proposition to constituents in his mismanaged district, persuading them (falsely) that the majority of the money would actually be used to improve teacher compensation, which is disastrously low thanks to the AZ "do it cheaper" approach to "education"?

These are the only ways in which this man is outstanding:
1) in capitulating to and collaborating with anti-public education, irresponsible state level leadership
2) in having a track record in office which demonstrates consistent tendencies to be both self-serving and dishonest

The fact that Ducey-collaborators and defenders like "jhuppent@hotmail" rise to Sanchez's defense is very telling, and this is what it tells: Sanchez was brought in by Ducey "kitchen cabinet" members like Lea Marquez Peterson to serve a disastrous conservative education reform agenda and to ingratiate himself to Ducey et al. with a flagrant anti-integration, pro-corporate program that is destroying TUSD.

23 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ducey Collaborators in Southern Arizona on 01/11/2017 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

Do the numbers so that you know what the governor is saying. Inflation for 2016 was 1.7%. 1.7% times $9,000 per student is $150 per student x 1,000,000 students is 150 million dollars total, for the entire package, all the items in his list. But, likely he is subtracting for what prop123 will be adding so $150 million is a rough bogey.

Also, the attacks on Superintendent Sanchez are just a part of the sickness of public education. The characteristics of higher performing public schools is a stable cohesive school board strongly supporting a long serving school superintendent. The TUSD culture quickly burned through two outstanding superintendents and now is evidently working on a third. What a tragedy for the students.

0 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by on 01/11/2017 at 11:14 AM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

From their website:

Who We Are

Fueling U.S. Forward is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the value and potential of American energy, the vast majority of which comes from fossil fuels. Energy shapes everything we do, every moment of our life so much so that we often take it for granted. No longer. The story of energy is one worth telling, and one best told by the people who have the most at stake.

Fee speech, and education from the actual professionals in the business world. Who could argue with that?

David Safier.

9 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Save The People on 01/11/2017 at 9:24 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

There's more than one fox in the henhouse in Arizona, gcb1, and I think, from various commentary you have made locally, that you know it.

Safier is a firm friend and staunch ally of one of our most voracious local foxes (Sanchez of TUSD), and that is a past and present sin I and others will not be able to forgive him for...unless he repents of it publicly.

Did you watch yesterday evening's TUSD Board meeting? The man who spearheaded the movement to get rid of Isquierdo in Sunnyside spoke in the Call to the Audience, recommending that TUSD's changed majority make a move now to get rid of Sanchez, who, he said, shares many of the same administrative behaviors with Isquierdo. Subs also spoke about the district's lies about their pay and benefits and the damage outsourcing to ESI has done to them.

17 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Local Sins & Local Foxes, Past & Present on 01/11/2017 at 9:12 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

I actually felt that David was moving closer to the reality base that those of us who wisely opposed 123 were occupying. Let's not beat him up for his past sins. He is realizing that the fox in the henhouse has been enjoying the chickens.

14 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 01/11/2017 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Cinema Clips: Passengers

Bob Grimm must have really hated this movie to write the review so poorly.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Gonzo Sorcrachi on 01/11/2017 at 5:19 AM

Re: “Gabby Giffords: My Pledge

Do you mean like Meryl Streep did?

2 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Don C on 01/10/2017 at 7:40 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

Ground Control to Let's Get Real. Their will always be poor people. There will always be uneducated people. It is a free country. Try not to hoist your lofty goals en masse on the back of this country and it's citizens.

I do agree with the balance of your ideas.

But just today that group of pesky climate scientists warned of a coming ice age. It may be our fault for combating global warming too vigorously.

What happened to contentment and friendships? Politicians have turned us into political pitbulls promoting their causes whether it be cheap labor, or ethnic cleansing for cheap votes. They growl and nip at our heels and we growl back and nip at theirs.

That is what the last eight years has felt like. Let's see what the next eight bring.

4 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Sing Us A Song You're The Piano Man on 01/10/2017 at 4:48 PM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

Maybe David just thinks that teachers are over paid. He is looking for an admin job.

17 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Concerned Mom on 01/10/2017 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

Prop 123 did not "return to us" what had already been voted on. It took money out of an account we already owned (the land trust) and attempted to use that to settle a debt that is STILL (after the passage of 123) unpaid.

Kind of like if your neighbor withdrew money from your IRA to pay back 75% of a debt he owed you and told you you could "suck it" if you wanted the other 25%.

Why would Safier not "remind us" that Prop 123 was a scam? Because he, like other TUSD-supporting, state-and-local-malfeasance-excusing sell-outs, promoted the passage of Prop 123's illegal disenfranchisement of the voters who passed Prop 301.

If Prop 123 hadn't passed with Safier's support, Safier's friend Sanchez couldn't have had the money he needed to embarrass himself by failing to distribute 123 funds to teacher salary improvements in TUSD as he had promised prior to the Proposition's passage. And Safier wouldn't have had the opportunity to pitch some of his slipperiest and most counter-intuitive propaganda ever in trying to justify Sanchez's failure to distribute anything but a small % of the 123 funds to teachers. And that would have been such a shame, such a missed opportunity for those of us who pay attention to BOTH state level and local problems with education funding to roll our eyes and gnash our teeth at yet another example of some of our local "supporters of public ed" being pretty much as malfeasant, but in different ways, as the state level bozos have been.

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Funding Problems: State Level and Local on 01/10/2017 at 2:47 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

The US is a country that has not found a way to solve the problems of poverty and educate and employ many of its citizens. We have a serious problem with mass incarceration. Shall we be honest about the fact that when we receive immigrants, we're receiving them into a system that has serious unaddressed problems integrating those among us who are poor and uneducated?

Public policy needs to be rationally determined and sustainable, both for the sake of those immigrating and for the sake of those already here. If you don't like current immigration policy, make that argument based on sound data and develop a sustainable policy solution that makes sense both for immigrants and for the society that is receiving them, which already includes many people whose needs for sound education and secure, adequately remunerative employment are not being met. Then get that sound policy passed through our political system. (Good luck with that part. The NYTimes did an in-depth analysis within the last year or two analyzing the most recent sad failure of a bipartisan attempt to enact better immigration policy.)

In any case, let's be honest about the fact that advertising on social media that you are a fan of widespread tolerance for disregarding current immigration law is unlikely to help matters. Disregarding the law is not a safe and sustainable solution, either for those making themselves and their families vulnerable to enforcement actions or for the millions of low-SES people in this country who are US citizens but are not currently benefiting from adequate education, health care, or employment opportunities, and who need that fact acknowledged and the system changed in ways that can better their situations.

The bottom line? Photographing yourself with a sign like this is an emotional gesture that begs for approval from an audience that reacts emotionally to serious social and policy problems that can't be solved by reference to sadly unrealized (and possibly unrealize-able) American ideals like, "Give me your tired, your poor...."

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Get Real on 01/10/2017 at 1:46 PM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

Please remind us how Prop123 really isn't providing new money, just returning to us what was already voted on.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by SonoranWinds on 01/10/2017 at 1:46 PM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

Wrong, Again

Dying slowly (although it will speed up), with each ill-willed post.

Better make sure your will is in order. Someone has got to inherit your comic book collection when you die. Shit, you didn't spend your life in mama's basement to have her just throw that stuff out.

18 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC on 01/10/2017 at 11:28 AM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

I don't favour any of that. Your Orange Emperor, his family and orange nosers such as yourself do.

Pay attention and learn how to read my commentary if you're gonna comment on it.

So, are you feeling that you've lost some good health after posting that nonsense? If not, then you're only fooling one person...yourself

19 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC on 01/10/2017 at 11:11 AM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

"Plus, who will be around to accept the pennies on the dollar that his family members pay to have their extravagant mansions and businesses cleaned if he keeps the "illegals" out?"

Same case was made by Southerners in favor of slavery. Clearly you are in favor of a second class of citizenry, indentured service, one you and your fellow liberals can lord over.

8 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 01/10/2017 at 10:31 AM

Re: “United We Dream National Educators Week

Wrong, Again:

Your Orange Emperor has already flip-flopped on that whole wall building thing, which is no surprise since he flip-flopped on all sorts of issues throughout his flimsy campaign. I won't even bother to mention the issues he has flip-flopped on since he has become President-elect. I guess you have such a raging hard-on for the wall that will never happen under his so-called leadership that you conveniently overlooked that. Plus, who will be around to accept the pennies on the dollar that his family members pay to have their extravagant mansions and businesses cleaned if he keeps the "illegals" out? You don't stay uber-rich as he has by actually paying people a decent salary and most U.S. citizens will not work for the low wages which undocumented immigrants will.

P.S.-Racist comments directed at our neighbours from south of the border are not nice. This is one of the many reasons why you feel that your fellow Tucsonans have no love, respect or tolerance for a poor white Christian conservative man such as yourself. They keep reading this horseshit that you post and aim their justified anger towards you, not the nice white Christian conservative men who don't post nasty and racist comments. You poor little cupcake, you will probably die before you learn how to be nice. Keep breeding all that hate and you will die sooner than you should. People who are full of the hate that you have don't have the life expectancy which nice people have.

21 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC on 01/10/2017 at 9:06 AM

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