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Re: “Want To Opt Your Child Out Of AIMS Testing? Sorry, Can't Be Done.

My uneducated -- non-lawyer's -- opinion is that A.R.S. 15-741 and A.R.S. 15-102 together don't take away a parent's right to opt out. But the A.G. office's decision disagrees. It sounds to me like the decision can be contested. But so long as the A.G. decision is accepted, when enough parents opt out to bring a school's tested students below 95%, the school is punished. At least that's how I understand the situation. So the school and the district administrations are protecting their funding and their status by requiring children to be tested regardless of the parents' wishes.

The proper term probably isn't "unintended consequences," but it's a similar situation. You create a high stakes testing regimen to evaluate a school and a district, then to make the evaluation fair and valid, you have to get every student tested so no school can game the system. That means children can't be taken out of the testing pool for any reason, including parental request. All these anti-opt out rules are there to prop up a testing system.

I'm encouraged by H.T. Sanchez's letter. It means there's enough of an opt out groundswell that the district needs to respond. As this becomes more public and parents become more aware, it's likely the numbers will grow. I doubt it will do anything to affect this testing cycle, but there may be time to organize people in the Tucson area, and maybe around Arizona, who object to this high stakes testing regimen to create change during the next school year.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 04/12/2014 at 5:48 AM

Re: “Stand With Monica: Stop Profiling Trans Women of Color

Monica Jones Guilty Observations

Monica did a great job of testifying after the move to dismiss on constitutional grounds was denied.

The judge was very good, very precise and detailed asking many key questions and carefully clarifying all his rulings on objections and the case.

Unfortunately based on the elements of the Arizona manifestation law he had little choice as he discussed in detail in finding Monica guilty because of 1 or 2 key elements of the law were met by the City Prosecutor.

There were 3 key factual issues where there was minor disagreement between the perceptions of the undercover officers testimony and Monica.

1) Asking if a cop - This Monica easily rebutted. Cops were on patrol doing their roundups for Project Rose and Monica was in the area they were searching for prostitutes to fill their quotas to bring to Bethany Bible Church. Monica testified she wore a very short outfit and breasts above the nipple were showing as she was walking. Monica says she said "your a cop" vs the cops recalling she asked "are you a cop" Monica easily won this element by saying she then warned him about the sting in response to saying he was not a cop. So this element was no issue, Monica won.

2) The big one she lost on and maybe blame the attorney for not addressing it - as the judge pointed out - was the cops testimony not refuted was Monica grabbing the cops groin area. She admitted this without any explanation why. Therefore the judge had no choice but to include this as un refuted evidence that meets one of the "manifestations" in the Phoenix law.

3) About split on the issue the cop said Monica made him touch her breasts vs Monica denying. The judge took this as a factor for the State but I think he may have errored since Monica denied it. Or her testimony that she wore a very revealing top but no nipples showed vs. cops saying she pulled down her top to expose her breasts.

As the judge pointed out (as did Monica's attorney) that when there is conflicting testimony absent any discrediting evidence, the cop's testimony is given NO more weight than the defendant.

But the State basically established element 2 that she grabbed his groin area which she admitted to.

In addition the judge had to take into account, her prior prostitution conviction and she had motivation to alter her story because she faced the mandatory 30 days in jail.

IDEA FOR APPEAL - but in the testimony it was brought out that there were about 14 squads in his area rounding up the number they needed to take to Project Rose. This might be a factor in the bias of thought of the officer.

The judge was very lenient where he could be. He had no choice than 30 days in jail since was her 2nd offence it is the mandatory minimum on the 2nd offense. He sentenced to the minimum he could under the law. He also reduced the statuary fine where he does have discretion from $2500 to only $150 due to her going to ASU and not having much income. He says he rarely reduces the fine but has the authority to do so.

He also has to asses jail costs which for 30 days in jail is $2540.70, but due to her student status only is charging her $350.

He also wanted her sentence to not interfere with her ASU classes and after discussing with Monica set the sentencing arrangement date for May 28th as to not interfere with her studies.

I assume Monica will appeal and has 14 days to file a notice of appeal, then the hard stuff comes for the attorneys in the Appeal Memorandum etc. I suspect the Appeal will take at least a year but the judge indicated he would stay the sentence pending appeal assuming she appeals. The concern is this could be very costly in legal fees - don't know if a concern or not.

Obviously the case had nothing to do with "walking while Trans"... there were no racial or Trans issues involved.

Other notes
The ACLU attorney who joined in Monica's motion did a great job arguing the constitutional issues related to the vagueness of the Phoenix Manifestation law. But as the judge pointed out he is here to be a finder of facts related to the city of Phoenix manifestation law and not the Constitutional issues which can be raised on Appeal.

I have zillions more of notes and comments but thought I would get out this brief summary.

The gay/trans community is going wild with lies that it was all about being Transexual. That clearly had nothing to do with the case but social media with their zillions of supporters worldwide is going crazy with the "walking while trans" fantasy that had nothing to do with the case. But it makes a great cause whether any facts behind it or not.

The issue is the law which is the only issue to address on appeal.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave Hutchison on 04/12/2014 at 1:30 AM

Re: “Want To Opt Your Child Out Of AIMS Testing? Sorry, Can't Be Done.

Zack, look at Dave's video again. You missed his point. Testing kids against their parents' stated desire is NOT required by law. Don't be led around like a cow. Yes, teachers are doing what they have to. But Dr. Sanchez has a choice. School districts all over the country are facing it.

You say that parents should opt out? Does that mean that you are going to hold your child out of school for 3 weeks? To do that to your child in order to opt out is outrageous.

The game IS rigged because Arizona is forcing you to hold your kid out for 3 weeks in order to opt out. Then they will disenroll your kid so she doesn't count as an untested student and your opt-out accomplished NOTHING. What needs to happen is for superintendents to recognize that parents have the right to say that they disapprove of what is happening in the classroom during the school day. That is our right under 15-102 (see Dave's video). To do otherwise puts kids in a horrible situation.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jana Happel on 04/11/2014 at 11:44 PM

Re: “Want To Opt Your Child Out Of AIMS Testing? Sorry, Can't Be Done.

I have been harping on this point for many years. The public votes for the Legislature. The public returns to office most of them every election. The public has no one else to blame for this testing mess. A bold Legislature could change all of this, if it so chose. Please take note that home-schooled students must meet no requirements whatsoever, and there are no tests to determine the efficacy of the instruction, or indeed, whether instruction is provided at all. Again, an act of those same legislators.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 04/11/2014 at 10:00 PM

Re: “Want To Opt Your Child Out Of AIMS Testing? Sorry, Can't Be Done.

It is not the fault of the district that this is happening. From the district superintendent down to the teachers everyone is doing what is required by law. Many of them dislike it as much as anyone. I cannot ask them to risk their careers by breaking the law.

Speaking to our legislature is exactly what needs to happen. The game is not rigged. Parents and educators need to organize, opt-out, and speak out. We need to write letters, make phone calls, and advocate for ourselves. The government belongs to us and we can bring about change.

One thing anyone can do today is to visit the Network for Public Education at and print and mail their call for Congressional hearings on the misuse of overuse of standardized tests. We are many and together we can make our schools whatever we want them to be.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Zack Jarrett on 04/11/2014 at 8:28 PM

Re: “Stand With Monica: Stop Profiling Trans Women of Color

Only in Tucson.

Posted by Frank on 04/11/2014 at 6:44 PM

Re: “Want To Opt Your Child Out Of AIMS Testing? Sorry, Can't Be Done.

OK, now we have it from Zack Jarrett. TUSD is going to put a child in the position of telling her teacher no. Not just no, but "No, my parents said I'm not supposed to take this test." What a horrible thing to do to a child. And then they're going to tell the child that no matter what her parents say, she has to take it. Take a good look at this f$@ked up picture. Testing mania has made educators sick and act in ways that are not in the best interests of kids (like fire a principal even if it will not be good for students.)

HT just let parents know that they will have to keep their kids out of schools for the entire 3-week testing window if they do not wish for their children to be tested. 3 weeks out of school is NOT in the best interests of kids.

Dave, I do not fault teachers for following orders. But I do fault central administration. Although I am sympathetic to the fact that funding and teachers' 301 bonuses depend upon testing, that is the reason that parents have no other option but to opt out. How do teachers think that this madness will be changed? By sitting down with legislators and talking with them? Legislators, both Democrat and Republican, have rigged this game so that parents' voices don't matter and everyone is coerced to accept what is happening because of the negative consequences of resistance. They treat parents like cows.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jana Happel on 04/11/2014 at 6:18 PM

Re: “Cholos of the World Unite

Henry B

I agree but you showed it?

Posted by Fraser on 04/11/2014 at 6:03 PM

Re: “Want To Opt Your Child Out Of AIMS Testing? Sorry, Can't Be Done.

It seems like enough parents are opting out for TUSD to notice. The following letter was distributed to the students at my daughter's school today.…

The letter refers to an AZ Attorney General opinion from 1997 but the opinion was not attached so I have dug it out:…

Interesting stuff here.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Zack Jarrett on 04/11/2014 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Take a Tour of Colonia Solana

Too much going on this weekend. Tucson Botanical Gardens super gardens tour; Spring Fling; Spring Football game at UA and other sporting events; etc etc.

Posted by SonoranWinds on 04/11/2014 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Singer-Songwriter Jesse Winchester Dead at 69

Get this right, he was not a Vietnam Veteran, he was a draft dodger that ran to Canada so someone else had to go in his place.

3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Keith on 04/11/2014 at 3:49 PM

Re: “Stand With Monica: Stop Profiling Trans Women of Color

"The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is in the First Amendment. Being able to rally and demand justice is a cornerstone of democracy, and a far cry from mob violence.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by RJF on 04/11/2014 at 3:18 PM

Re: “The War on Drugs Delivers the Goods at Congress

stop the lie's,,,,,, legalize !!!!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jammerk65 on 04/11/2014 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Tumamoc Hill: A User's Guide

Hi, Paul! Thanks for reading. The "mayors" Mari mentions are "elected" by the Foursquare phone app. You get to be mayor when you have "checked in" at Tumamoc more often than anyone on Foursquare, but so many people go up there so often, it's not easy to keep that title, especially if, like me, you frequently neglect to check in. For example, I am the mayor of my dentists' office for the time being because I've checked in there more often than anybody else. I'm eager for someone to replace me! I have occasionally been "mayor" of the dog park at Reid Park, but almost every week one or more people will have been there more often than I. That being the case, the Tumamoc "mayors" really haven't any more influence with Mayor and Council than you and I. Mari is looking into the rest of your question.

Posted by Linda Ray 64 on 04/11/2014 at 2:45 PM

Re: “Body Revolution

I grew up in Tucson and recently came back to visit the same week this story ran as the feature for the Weekly. I was struck by it, because, I REALLY noticed how body un-positive Tucson is when I was home. Having now lived in Paris, rural IL, Atlanta, and Portland, Ore., I can safely say that Tucson struck me as a really fat-phobic environment when I was visiting. I felt uncomfortable and stared at by douchey frat boys or rich foothills moms wherever I went. This made me reflect on my adolescence in Tucson and the way it influenced my self-perception in damaging ways. I commend the Weekly for running this piece, and respect Baker's work, but I think it is absolutely ridiculous to say that Tucson is ground zero for any sort of body positive revolution. There are LOTS of places in the country where being fat just ain't such a thang, because body positivity movements started in those places in at least the early 90s, and often even earlier. I'd also like to suggest that the anti-fat sentiment found in AZ is related to the growing racism, classism, and intolerance for which the state is now unfortunately notorious. To all the fat chics suffering it out in Tucson: maybe you should just move?

Posted by fattiefeminist on 04/11/2014 at 2:28 PM

Re: “Media Watch

So does anybody still watch Arizona Illustrated?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fraser on 04/11/2014 at 1:12 PM

Re: “I Could Tell You What's On The Common Core Test, But Then I'd Have To Kill You

We are raising a group of test takers, not critical thinkers. As a proctor of standardized tests I can echo the sentiment that the results are more about how well they take tests not what they know. It is also a test of their ability to sustain interest while taking a "mind-numbing" test.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Janet Mitchell on 04/11/2014 at 12:54 PM

Re: “Cholos of the World Unite

Gangs of virtually any ethnicity are a pestilence on the body public, little boys trying to be big men by strutting their capacity for violence and anti-social behaviors. Unfortunately, they are glamorized by song and myth. Pathetic...

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JCC on 04/11/2014 at 12:36 PM

Re: “CD2: McSally Raises Nearly $450K in First Quarter

Sadly, it is more likely this money came from a few rich donors (that do not even have to hide thanks to the Supreme Court) than the actual residents of CD2. I do have an issue that she does not state any stance on important issues on her website. I think the early attacks that the far right radio talk show hosts have made her nervous about coming out on issues. The "Tea Party" does not want her to go against Barber, even though a moderate Republican taking common sense stances would be a better opponent than a Jesse Kelly far right jack a@@.

It is too bad. I followed her on Facebook. She seems like a really nice person and had a lot of experience working on a team while in the Air Force. She helped give matching funds to the Human Society and is a awesome companion to her dog. It might sound superficial but knowing a person is good caretaker for another life means a lot when I am looking for a person to represent me in Congress. It means they look outside their own interests.

If Ms. McSally reads this post, I ask that she does not let the far right take over her campaign. Please do not get bogged down on wedge issues like raising/lower taxes, abortion, gun rights, gay marriage etc. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT OBAMACARE, so please do not think you will win on that issue. Think outside the box and suggest solutions to our nation's important issues. Do not just suggest lower taxes, talk about REFORMING our whole tax system. Shut down loopholes and simplify the tax code. It is 60,000 pages when it really should be 1 page. I would suggest a flat tax with a deduction on the first 50,000 a person/company makes. Talk about our horrible trade deals that have truly killed our Middle Class. Our nation has giving up our Constitutional Right to regulate trade with other nations to the WTO. Attack the influence of the over 35,000 lobbyists that influence Washington far more than the actual American people. Talk about ending subsidies for major industries. If you really want to show you are for the people, denounce Wall Street and the corruption it brings to Washington.

Oh well, I better get ready for all the 30 second attack ads from both sides for the next 7 months.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike on 04/11/2014 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Cholos of the World Unite

I'm proud of where I come from, but this isn't my ideal lifestyle.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Henry Barajas on 04/11/2014 at 10:41 AM

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