While decidedly not a hipster, I am childless, and the reason I care about public ed and the threat to it from people like Barrett is idiot parents in AZ who mindlessly vote Republican for whatever stupid reason they do and then have the nerve to complain about the lack of funding of K-12 schools and how expensive college is. It's sad that I care more about their kids than Republican parents do.
Soros is on the BASIS board too?
Frank, exactly what is Soros' stance on charter schools? It would be nice if you'd read the article before posting.
......everything you say about Barrett, you could say about George Soros.
Bslap: My children currently attend public schools, and my business thrives only if we can hire enough skilled, educated college graduates. I'm not an 'expert' on education, but the current haphazard treatment of our schools in Arizona ultimately impacts my family and colleagues on many levels.
I follow this paper because the Tucson Weekly authors tend to dig deeper than the talking points and press releases that are churned out by the special interest groups and political offices in our state. The Tucson Weekly contributors also often explore the 'bigger picture' impact to our community when we allow politicians (of any partisan stripe) to carelessly manage our tax dollars based on flashy trends, ideological mythology or flat-out disregard for the public good.
So there you have it. I can't speak for the rest of the TW audience, but I am a big fan of my 'catering' coming in the form of thoughtful, smart and insightful articles. I don't always agree with them, but they do tend to make me consider things from a different perspective.
And PS: …no one would ever mistake me for a "hipster". Wish that much was true.
Bslap: For the record, the editor of the paper "catering mostly to childless wannabe hipsters" has two children in TUSD schools.
Better question: why does a paper catering mostly to childless wannabe hipsters care so much about education? Or claim to have any expertise on the matter?
Excellent article, Mr. Safier. In almost every other state, Mr. Barrett's multiple conflicts-of-interest would preclude him from playing a direct role in education policy, and he certainly wouldn't have a primary role in allocating public tax dollars.
Cyber schools, including K-12, have been under fire consistently over the past few years for failing students and families and "fleecing" taxpayers. (See http://truth-out.org/news/item/19204-cyber… for one overview). Why would Arizonans allow one of the biggest proponents of this racket to toy with our limited education tax dollars?
I do commend Mr. Barrett for being involved, but I doubt very much that he would have approved of even the most popular, proven school leader stepping in to direct any of the financial decisions for Intel while he was there. You summed it up nicely: this is "too problematic for him to go unchallenged."
Like so many other revered institutions, Americans are allowing their precious public school system to be destroyed, so people like Barrett can get richer. Do I hear the death knell of democracy in the distance?
As you rip Huppenthal and TUSD, I wonder why anyone questions parents' decisions to put their children in a charter school. Mine are in a charter school that scores well above TUSD, state, and national average on those silly tests. And I think it means little that they do, because those tests are ridiculous. But if you use the testing as a valid measure, I will point out that our local TUSD school is well below average. In large part it's due to lack of funds. I want my children to be ready to meet the challenges of the world, to be able to think, resolve problems, and work with people, and their school focuses on those skills. Yes, they need background knowledge taught in the schools, but these tests don't tell me anything about the skills I am most concerned with. I have nothing against public schools in concept, but if they don't deliver, I will look for other alternatives.
Another note about those tests: I was amazed the first year those tests were given. Our school generally doesn't use tests, and I thought the kids would be anxious going into them. It was a bit of a concern of mine that they didn't get tests regularly, in fact. Yet, every child I asked was looking forward to the tests. They were excited. It was something different. And then after the tests, they reported that they thought they were easy. Now, every year they look forward to the tests. They are easy, and they look at it as a break from school. I didn't think my children would score that well, but they did great. It actually reinforced my decision to keep them where they are.
I would like to fit in a whole conversation about this, but this is already more than enough for a comments page. I just hope this state does education right.
It is like North Carolina who has taken Civic classes out of the schools, teaching kids how to vote, when the Republicans are suppressing voter rights. Republicans are not for a democracy. They are for a limited voting base who will support big corporations and the NRA.
Neither one of these guys are interested in education. There only interest is destroying it. The Republican and Tea Party agenda is to destroy public education and go to private schools where the Republicans can control the teachers and the programs that are taught.
Huppenthal and Horne did what Tucsonans lacked the good sense and courage to do.
This column is full of misrepresentation as well as out and out lies. Here's one: "A study concluded that students in MAS scored higher on the AIMS test and graduated in greater numbers than similar TUSD students who weren't in the program." Mr Safier may be referring to the sorry excuse for a study put together by Augie Romero that led to the out and out lie that 98.4% of MAS students graduated. Or, he may be referring to the study done by one of the UA professors who helped develop the original MAS curriculum. The non-MAS sample in that study had more than twice as many special education students in it than the MAS sample. And they wonder why people do not believe anything TUSD and the UA Ethnic Studies departments say in defense of MAS.
The actual stats from TUSD's statistician show that 84% of MAS students as well as 84% of Mexican American students who never took an MAS class graduated from TUSD. Students who never took MAS classes actually did marginally better than MAS students on the AIMS tests.
BTW, the desegregation order signed by Judge Bury requires culturally relevant classes. It does not require the programs of indoctrination that were in the defunct MAS classes and that ideologues like Augie Romero are trying to put back into this sort of classes.
Charter schools are accountable to almost no one. The right wing fetish is for minimally regulated charter schools regardless of performance. They self perpetuate their board, they are not voted upon. They can procure from their own board members' businesses. If they went out of business, the charter board members own the buildings and property acquired with the charter, they don't revert to the State, or the local district. If all this deregulation or innovation is good for charters, why are they not good for conventional school districts? If charter boot a student for any reason, they end up in the regular school district. It doesn't go the other way. Charters have for profit schools. Those are reasons enough.
No one hates ALL charter schools. The problem is in Arizona charter schools are being used to destroy public education. The state funds charter schools at a higher rate, they have stripped the flesh of funding for public education to a skeletal condition and the incentives they offer to increase funding benefit charters, who are able to pick and choose students, over public schools who take everyone. The state of Arizona wants to privatize education and make it a growth industry which would be a disaster.
Why does the Weekly hate charter schools?
Huppenthal is on the same "mission from God" as Francisco Franco was in 1936 and Agustin Pinochet was in 1973. He's a whacked-out rabid right wing catholic who never spent a single day in a public classroom. Research doesn't matter to fanatics. This is "Faith-based" public education in action. Take the cretin to court, TUSD.
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