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Re: “NAACP Calls For a Moratorium on Charter Schools

Thanks Once. I gleaned this from your link:

In other words, minority kids from the same neighborhood, going to school in classes across the hall from each other, or on different floors, are scoring far above average and far below average on the same tests.

If black success was considered half as newsworthy as black failures, such facts would be headline news -- and people who have the real interests of black and other minority students at heart would be asking, "Wow! How can we get more kids into these charter schools?"

"The truth shall set you free!"

This problem begs for vouchers for charters, private, and parochial. Give them the same funding as public schools and let's see where the parents take their children. The longer I listen to this problem the more I think it is the public process that has rotted from the head.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave W on 08/16/2016 at 11:59 AM

Re: “About That "Shadow Faction of Charter School Operators" Diane Douglas Talked About

I worked for FlipSwitch (formerly American Virtual Academy), which is the curriculum development company Creamer owns, and which supplies Primavera with all of its curriculum. Let's just say things are not entirely on the up-and-up here: they hire people who wouldn't be qualified to teach to write their curriculum (i.e.: physical trainers writing junior high school English curriculum). They hire content quality review and standards alignment people to work internally, then ignore them when they raise red flags about VERY serious issues (i.e. failure to align to State/Common Core standards, blatantly plagiarized content). The idea that this place sucks money out of the public schools to provide an education that is INFERIOR to state and national education standards disgusted me. Damian Creamer pretends to be in it for the students, but he's just lining his own pockets. It's truly shameful.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Former Employee on 08/16/2016 at 11:56 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

The testing regimes and the "excellent school" lists serve many purposes. For the middle-class parents of children in "good" schools, it gives satisfaction. For those who want to punish teachers and attack tenure and public schools in general, it gives ammunition. "Failing" schools have one and only one thing in common: poverty. Children who started out behind, stay behind, keep falling behind, and then we blame the teachers for not solving systemic societal problems because those six-year-olds without a computer at home or many books or who have parents who work too much to help with homework generally get shoved along to the next grade at minimal proficiency at best. Sure, some have well-pulled bootstraps and succeed, but statistics show most don't. And for this, we blame the teachers. Put the staff of UHS at Pueblo for a year and see if they forget how to teach. Put a bunch of teaching rookies in UHS and they'll probably be on a tenure track by their second year. Why? Because testing will show that different students start with different abilities.

If we're going to use scientific methods based on testing, and have it affect the careers of teachers, we need to improve the science. A teacher who says a kid is failing isn't a bad teacher if that kid is failing. A teacher who says a kid is doing great might be if that kid can't pass a test. But we also need to test these kids before they even see those teachers if we're to really know, aren't we? The way things are done, all we know is that poor schools perform poorly. I could have saved everyone millions if not billions of dollars and pointed that one out decades ago.

10 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by mr. meade on 08/16/2016 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Rather than looking for solutions, it's much easier to limit discussion to "just asking for more money."

But we all now see that it has produced even worse results.

"U.S. school spending up 375 percent over 30 years but test score remain flat."

Read the conclusion at the end.

10 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Debbi L on 08/16/2016 at 9:32 AM

Re: “NAACP Calls For a Moratorium on Charter Schools

Here's a bit of truth, Mr. Safier. If you can take it.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Once a Teacher on 08/16/2016 at 9:27 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Consider this:

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Once a teacher on 08/16/2016 at 9:15 AM

Re: “Border Love

Frank Stagg, I'm sorry you lost a friend to a drunk driver. What about all the Americans who are dead because of Timothy McVeigh, Jared Loughner, Sandy Hook, Columbine, et al? Do you propose we get rid of all white males?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by theresa.tucson on 08/16/2016 at 9:00 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

In 2014, Newsweek stopped ranking high schools that serve students below grade 7 -- like every BASIS.ed school.

THAT'S why BASIS.ed schools are no longer ranked by Newsweek.

The Newsweek methodology is easy to find on their rankings site.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Blue Zona on 08/16/2016 at 8:33 AM

Re: “The Skinny

Someone reading your emails would appear to be a compliment these days ,no matter how they do it!

Posted by Kommon Cents on 08/16/2016 at 8:20 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

If only these teachers did have a sound knowledge of the 3 R's. Much more focused on indoctrinating our kids with "progressive" ideology.

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Once a teacher on 08/16/2016 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

A kid with some food in their tummy and a teacher with sound knowlage of the three R's is set for success... anything less is a waste of time... those old school one roomers that had to walk up hill both ways turned out ok... with only chalk and small boards! It's not how much money you have ... it's what and how you have been teaching!

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kommon Cents on 08/16/2016 at 7:59 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Look at number 3, Stuyvesant High School with a 47.3% poverty rate. I guess Stuyvesant is the exception that proves the rule

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Posted by Cactus Barb on 08/16/2016 at 7:22 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

The war on poverty has been lost. Much like all the other wars our politicians have waged, they somehow manage to lose them. I agree with the shackled analogy for many of these folks are frozen waiting for something to "be delivered" to them. Forget waiting for it, better yourselves and move forward. You have tolerated a failing educational system and look what you have gotten.

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Posted by Larry McNeil on 08/16/2016 at 5:23 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Paul, if you are specifically referring to the poor economically disadvantaged children in TUSD as american citizens, you would only be half correct.

The other half are illegals, exploited by the liberal public education system to line their pockets and have a permanent second class of citizens to clean their toilets and keep them in power.

And you are correct, Safier will never have the courage to address it. His entire career has been living off the backs of taxayers and ruining our public education system.

11 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 08/16/2016 at 5:18 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Being "low income" is only a badge of honor in the liberal cesspool of Tucson.

Parents, if you want the best education and opportunities for your children, work hard, improve yourselves so you can provide for your children.

Or you can be dependent on liberals and content being 'low income'.

11 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 08/16/2016 at 5:06 AM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Dear "Break the Shackles, etc": your position is tellingly disingenuous. The discussion is centered squarely on the factors of economic disadvantage and the attendant impediments to academic success. Vouchers are in no way under discussion, poses a fatuous and distressing distraction to the discussion, and becomes a red herring.

As to your odd allusion to racist language, re: " ...the plantation.", and your bizarre " Break the Shackles" signature, perhaps your dog-whistle to your fellow KKK brothers should be made more explicitly. Please don't be a coward on this forum. Call these poor, economically disadvantaged students by their rightful names: American citizens.

14 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Paul Stapleton-Smith on 08/15/2016 at 11:45 PM

Re: “Police Dispatch

How did it end?

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Posted by Nosey Nancy on 08/15/2016 at 9:28 PM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Safire makes a great case for vouchers. Let these parents pick the school which fits them best.

Now if we could only get the parents to feed them. Progressive policies hurt the poor and lock them up on the plantation.

14 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Break the shackles of dependency on 08/15/2016 at 9:21 PM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

More interesting to me than either Safier's discussion of the rankings or the comment of "workinginthetrenches"-- which is both clueless and self-pitying, typical of the the sour-spirited, ignorant, arrogant, uncompassionate denizens of UHS -- is the fact that there are 7 schools with higher poverty levels than UHS that place higher than they do in the Newsweek rankings, many of them with MUCH higher percentages of poor students than UHS has. In the Beating the Odds list, UHS falls to 48.

UHS does not place highly as an exemplar in compensating for the effects of poverty. Unsurprising, in that doing so would require better counseling support and a school culture that does not place "gaming" its stats above student wellbeing.

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Posted by UHS could do much better at supporting poor students. on 08/15/2016 at 8:41 PM

Re: “Want To Be a Top High School? Better Not Have Too Many Low Income Students.

Evidently "workinginthetrenches" does not understand Safier's point, which has to do with the correlation between STUDENT POVERTY and test scores, not with the correlation between how much a district invests in technology and test scores.

Is there some sort of proven relationship between a high school that "creams" its student population (selects for cognitively and academically high functioning students) receiving low technology funding from its district and low student test scores? No. Therefore UHS does not get any award for "beating the odds" because it (surprise, surprise!) manages to get good test scores from an extremely selective, high performing student population even when the district does not fund computers for kids who, by in large, already have their own laptops -- and tutoring when they need it, and educational supplements when they need them, all handily available through their relatively high-SES families, not through their school.

Take a look at the table of tax credit contributions available in this district-produced doc:
Which school has, by far, the largest tax credit contributions in the district in 2014? Rincon / UHS.

How many high schools in the district have Foundation - Alumni Associations that raise significant amounts of money every year to supplement their budgets? Pueblo? Palo Verde? Cholla? Santa Rita? Guess again. UHS does, and their Foundation buys the schools computers.

But poor, poor UHS. It must be such a hardship -- the teaching conditions, the lack of resources. Must be why, in a district where it is increasingly hard to fill teaching positions with permanent, certified teachers, there are scores of highly qualified faculty lining up and competing for every open position at University High School.

"in the trenches" indeed. Grow up, take a tour of other TUSD sites some time, and stop ignorantly missing the point when people try to advocate for schools serving children growing up in poverty.

21 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by UHS is not "beating the odds" in any meaningful fashion. on 08/15/2016 at 8:36 PM

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