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Comment Archives: stories: Currents: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch

Re: “Anticipating the Onslaught of Students, City Shutting Down 4th Ave Underpass Thursday to Sunday

It's about time! A shred of common sense, at long last. I was beginning to think that DOT stood for Dumb Or Tripping.

But these are baby steps. Extend the closure through to Congress St. all the way to Stone. Allow cross traffic on Toole, 6th Ave., Scott, etc., but no through traffic on Congress. The area is packed with pedestrians, streetcars, etc. and flanked by massive parking garages. There's no reason to drive through there during peak party hours. Much of the traffic is just people repeatedly cruising through the area, fouling the air and endangering the pedestrians. Git yer fat ass outta that car and WALK!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by skinnyman on 08/22/2014 at 11:30 AM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

Yes, studies do indeed exist that link poverty and academic underachievement. Anyone with access to the www can do the research unless they're afraid such facts and data will interfere with their ignorance.
That said, be cautious of those fear-peddlers who seem to exist just to make a buck. Their formula: create a straw-boogeyman, have the public fear and loathe it, then promote their latest nostrum as "the cure"...for a price of course.
For the sake of profit nothing is sacred, not even our kids' minds.
Be well.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by socrates2 on 08/22/2014 at 10:55 AM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

Good comments, ChetDude. However, when I encounter a comment like Rat T's, my maxim is "Don't feed the trolls." When people try to hijack the discussion, I say ignore them. If it's too egregious, I'll remove the comment -- not as an act of censorship, but to keep the discussion more-or-less on topic. There are too many good, intelligent folks -- on both sides (all sides?) -- who contribute their ideas here to let some troll distract us.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by David Safier on 08/22/2014 at 10:46 AM

Re: “UA's Liverman: "I wanted to turn my students into change agents"

I guess if the poor ignorant Rat T didn't post here we'd have to invent him...

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ChetDude on 08/22/2014 at 10:23 AM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

I agree David, I'd love to respond to Rat T's faux-noise inspired nonsense with the fact that most of the time when I order something and it's shipped via "Fedex" or "UPS" it arrives punctually on time and safe in the hands of the hard-working, kind, courteous, smiling wonderful woman who delivers our mail dependably SIX days a week, every week.

Rat T is living in a cloud-cuckoo land that refuses to recognize the amazing job that the U.S. Post Office does.

UPS and other shippers are apparently realizing that the P.O. is so much more flexible, economic and effective at delivering small packages that they're using the P.O. as well for final delivery...

Just as people like him ignore the premeditated inequality in this country that creates the conditions you describe in your article and blame hard-working, dedicated teachers or the overworked, oppressed parents!

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ChetDude on 08/22/2014 at 10:19 AM

Re: “The First Elephant Calf Born at Reid Park Zoo is Finally Here

Oh great, an elephant born in captivity. Reid Park Zoo is a joke.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by bangles on 08/22/2014 at 9:58 AM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

A few replies to commenters. (Maybe we should have a "Reply" feature on this blog? Tweekly web folks, is that possible?)

Nanette, I agree completely, equating achievement with test scores is problematic for the reasons you mention. Our crazy high stakes testing culture is creating far more harm than good. But I'm using it as a proxy for achievement, partially because that's the measure being used to trash "low performing" schools. If I could find a better approach to make my point, I would.

Marty, I'm also in agreement with what you say. I just think it's a separate issue. I don't believe in any educational snake oil that promises miracle cures, especially those "teacher proof" (God, I hate that term!) programs and lesson plans. We have to face the reality that most educational improvements are incremental, frustratingly so. Competitive wages and equitable budgets would improve the lot of students in some schools. So would fixing decaying buildings. So would lowering class size. So would genuine, sustained, long term teacher development which included time for teachers to work together and learn from one another. But none of them would turn students who are struggling in school into Harvard-bound scholars.

Marty, the problems you talk about don't threaten to dismantle our system of education and replace it with a privatized, profitable system which will create further educational inequality. Those are the concerns I was addressing in the post.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by David Safier on 08/22/2014 at 8:32 AM

Re: “Salsa and Tequila Challenge Just In ...

i prefer buds and doritos !!!!

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by jim on 08/22/2014 at 8:13 AM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

Anybody else here feeling sad for "Rat T?"

He seems like such a lonely guy.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by RioRican on 08/22/2014 at 7:50 AM

Re: “Huppenthal's Press Conference Has Nothing To Do With The Primary (He Said, Trying To Keep A Straight Face)

Are we predicting whether Huppenthal will lose the primary? I predict he will win the primary (for all the reasons Jana stated above) and lose the general.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pima Mujer on 08/22/2014 at 6:21 AM
Posted by RealPatriot on 08/22/2014 at 5:35 AM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

David, I agree with much of what you write, but experience has taught me that the effects of poverty can be undone to a significant degree by quality public education. The real problem I have observed over many decades is that...on the whole...the nation's poorest children also go to school in school districts that either cannot compete for the nation's best teachers or won't compete for great teachers because they have bought into other varieties of snake-oil.

Before getting into the other variety of snake oil, let's examine how this competition plays out. New York City and Chicago are expensive cities. Teachers who work there make excellent salaries by Tucson standards. (Most Tucson area teachers top out at what would be a starting level salary in NYC.) But, the suburbs of both NYC and Chicago are very wealthy, and their salaries are astronomical compared to salaries in this area and competitive enough (wealthy NYC suburbs regularly offer veteran teachers 6 figure salaries) to attract the most marketable NYC and Chicago teachers to, literally, "greener pastures." The law of supply and demand plays out in local teaching markets just as you'd expect. So...even though the big cities appear to be paying teachers very well, in their own market areas they pay relatively poorly, and they regularly see their best teachers move away from teaching poor kids in the South Bronx or Harlem to teaching wealthy kids in Scarsdale, Bedford, Oak Park, and other tony suburbs. This system is enabled by state funding for school districts that does not use a "Robin Hood approach" and include extreme poverty and other societal factors in its funding. The federal Title I program is sort of a "crippled" Robin Hood. Title I funding is almost never used to make districts more competitive in attracting great teachers. Instead it is used to provide the type of programs I describe below as just a different form of "snake oil."

The other variety of snake-oil being pitched to poor school districts is the "silver-bullet program." Many districts...two of the most prominent are right here in Baja Arizona... have essentially opted out of competing for great teachers and, instead, put unholy portions of their budget into silver-bullet programs that are, somehow, going to magically undo the impact of poverty. Our own local favorites, TUSD and SUSD, spend less than half their revenue in the classroom...great evidence they are refusing to compete for the kind of life changing teachers many local students need. Instead, many (maybe most) of these programs promise great results regardless of how qualified the teachers using them. They are often marketed, in fact,as being "teacher-proof." Sadly, most of these silver-bullet programs do not work as advertised. The end result has, in the aggregate, been disastrous for the nation's poorest children.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Marty on 08/22/2014 at 5:29 AM
Posted by Fraser on 08/22/2014 at 3:36 AM

Re: “Anticipating the Onslaught of Students, City Shutting Down 4th Ave Underpass Thursday to Sunday

Pity for the employees on the trolle Extra who have to clean up the drunks vomit at the end of the night!Extra pay for them I hope.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Fraser on 08/22/2014 at 3:35 AM

Re: “The First Elephant Calf Born at Reid Park Zoo is Finally Here

Finally an article in Tucson Weekly that is fun to read. Lovely animal. Welcome to Tucson little one.
Henry! You did it! Thanks

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Fraser on 08/22/2014 at 2:07 AM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

You forgot intelligence and values.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Frank F. on 08/22/2014 at 2:05 AM
Posted by J.T. on 08/21/2014 at 11:20 PM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

The only problem with this story is that it continues to equate educational success with test scores. In my experience, the low-income schools that manage to markedly improve test scores manage it by endless drilling and getting rid of everything that won't be tested. That means no time for science, music, art, learning through play, the list goes on and on. Do their test scores improve? Yes. Does the education being provided to the children improve? No. The high income schools aren't getting great test scores by getting rid of music in their schools. It's one more way that the divide widens.

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Nanette Misifus on 08/21/2014 at 11:03 PM

Re: “Schools, Society And Snake Oil Salesmen

I only need rest my case by pointing to the Post Office. Story over.

2 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 08/21/2014 at 8:32 PM

Re: “UA's Liverman: "I wanted to turn my students into change agents"

This is why you don't send your children to designer schools. You will spend 50,000 a year to have your kids sort through trash for recyclables. All motivated by a depressed liberal with unicorn and rainbow dreams.

Grow up America. Act your age.

3 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 08/21/2014 at 8:21 PM

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