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Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

From the revised Democratic party platform: "Charter schools must reflect their communities, and thus must accept and retain proportionate numbers of students of color, students with disabilities and English Language Learners in relation to their neighborhood public schools."

Could we just acknowledge openly the indisputable fact that properly educating students to our curricular grade-level standards when they:
A) enter school with deficits in their pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills compared to the majority of their peers of the same age
B) must receive instruction in English as a second language at the same time that they gain competence in core subjects
C) have cognitive disabilities or diagnosed special education needs
requires the installation and maintenance of professionals with special training in these areas of education and thus is more expensive for a school to achieve than educating students who don't have special needs to the same curricular, grade level standards?

District public schools have depended for a long time on funding formulas that assume a certain percentage of these kinds of needs in the population, and that percentage has been altering as more families with children who do not have remedial needs, ESL needs, or special education needs have been exiting the public district school system for charters and privates. As the ratio alters, it creates funding problems for district schools because it costs less than the per-pupil amount currently allocated to educate a child with no special needs, more than the per-pupil amount currently allocated to educate a child with special needs.

But the solution to the funding problems created as ratios of special needs to non-special needs students in district public schools change is not to require every charter school, many of which have very small-scale operations, to deliver services their size may not make it financially feasible for them to provide. Nor is the solution to require all schools to be large enough to sustain ratios that make retaining the full complement of ESL and special education professionals on site possible. A more effective and fair solution to the problems public district schools are experiencing as their ratios are altering is to adjust the per-pupil rate for students with special needs to accurately reflect the ACTUAL expense of giving these students the high-quality education they deserve, delivered by fully qualified professionals. Adjusting the rate to reflect the reality of expense should help more schools of all types retain the needed services, but there would still be a "threshold" -- a minimum # of students enrolled requiring a certain kind of service needed to support the necessary staff, and it will probably be the case that not every charter school -- and perhaps not every district school -- will have the enrollment numbers of students with special needs of various sorts to support the installation of every kind of special service on every site. Publicly funded transportation needs to be provided to the sites where the type of services each child needs are being delivered to remove any geographic or financial obstacles to families to enrolling each of their children in the school best equipped to meet their needs, but the notion that it should be possible for every publicly funded school in existence to have the full range of services needed by every member of our school-age population is an impractical, unimplementable, fiscally irresponsible fantasy. I am disappointed that the Democratic party platform now includes this plank, and I hope attempts to implement it won't do as much damage as attempts to implement other misguided federal policies (Race to the Top, etc., ad nauseam) have done.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dubious about this plank in the platform... on 07/18/2016 at 10:16 AM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

Last time an "establishment" candidate (Gore) was spurned in favor of a "pure" candidate (Nader) we got George W Bush. I think it's hilarious when people want to repeat that with Sanders. Be careful what you wish for.
Also find it hilarious that accepting "persons of color" and "english language learners" is so commonly accepted as undesirable that they have to spell out that unpleasant requirement for charter schools.
We wouldn't have the problem with English language learners if we just returned to historically normal levels of immigration. We have been importing 6 times the historic average with predictable problems of assimilation.

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 07/18/2016 at 9:08 AM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

Nothing will change until the population of Arizona stops CONSISTENTLY giving power to the ideology that screwed it up in the first place.

What do you all think.............................they've effed it up for the last 30 years BUT..if we re-elect them, they promise they'll fix it "This time?" Has the education system here made you all THAT stupid???

Guess that question will be answered in November.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bob Regan on 07/18/2016 at 8:47 AM

Re: “Zona Politics: Matt Heinz, Victoria Steele and Steve Christy Talk About Their 2016 Campaigns

As usual, Democratic votes will be based on hearts and minds and Republican votes will be based on hate and fear.

Hearts and minds will win!

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bob Regan on 07/18/2016 at 8:37 AM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

The verdict is in on both Obama and his education legacy "Race to the Top" of which Common Core Standards were the tent pole. United States math scores went down for the first time ever from 2011 to 2015 and reading scores did not improve.

By comparison, Arizona had the highest combined math and reading gains from 2011 fourth grade to 2015 eighth grade. Our African Americans eighth graders rose to number one in the nation, our Hispanics rose from 35th to 11th and our white students rose to 6th.

Could the evidence be more stark about which approach works between centralized systems and decentralized systems? Monopolies versus free markets?

1 like, 8 dislikes
Posted by on 07/18/2016 at 7:41 AM

Re: “Editor's Note

"The myth of police hunting black men is as racist a trope as there ever was and only continues the subjugation of black men and women by avoiding the real issues within the community."
"There is racial/bigoted violence directed at police officers every day in some of these communities. "

are you trying to say that stereotypes and prejudice towards police is a form of racism, as if police officers are a race

7 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Palisades on 07/17/2016 at 10:00 PM

Re: “Editor's Note

" There will be about 30-40 black men killed by police this year whereas there will be about 4000+ black men murdered by other black men this year."

where did you get these obscene numbers

there have already been 146 black people killed by police this year…

7 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Palisades on 07/17/2016 at 9:57 PM

Re: “Two Tucson Women Hold Rally for Law Enforcement

God bless our police. The President and the AG have responsibility for this. They worked to weaken protective equipment that was available to law enforcemebt, after Baltimore. The killers know this and are taking advantage of it. Dallas and now Baton Rouge are both discharged military, that fought for their country, only to come home and murder fellow citizens and police officers.

5 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/17/2016 at 4:20 PM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

I didn't advocate cutting necessary services. Why can't you folks ever concede that there are things that are NOT necessary? Yours is an old trick. Politicians also use it well.

6 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/17/2016 at 3:07 PM

Re: “TUSD Teacher Dustin Williams is Well on His Way to Make the Ballot for Pima County Superintendent of Schools

Who is this guy?
How long has he been in the classroom and really fought hard in the trenches for public education?
I know Michael Gordy has fought for decades. If you want my vote, you must have had paid some serious dues...both on the picket line and in the classroom.

Posted by Ray Siqueiros on 07/17/2016 at 12:16 PM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

David: could you do a compare and contrast on exactly what Obama said about education before he became president and what the policies became once he was in office? I've seen clips of his campaign speeches that seem to indicate there was a significant difference between his campaign statements and what he was allowed to do once the interests backing him got him into office. How about an explanation of what happened with the federal education policy advisory committee after he assumed office? I've heard it described as an externally forced "sweep" over which he had little control.

What could your reason be for thinking that what we're seeing with Clinton will not be the same: a candidate being allowed to make statements that may sway voters, while there is no chance the candidate, if they become an elected official, will be allowed to implement those policy ideas?

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Did Obama implement his campaign ideas? on 07/17/2016 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Editor's Note

Mari, Three more officers have been murdered and four wounded. Do you believe that the debt has been paid in full ? Do you believe that there has been enough blood shed to compensate for the two men shot by police and that the protests by the group B.L.M. can stop now ? If you do, lets hear you're thoughts on the 'matter'.

12 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Dave D on 07/17/2016 at 9:55 AM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

How much more should be cut, Rat T, from Arizona's Child Protective Services? Try talking to one of their overloaded caseworkers some time, or to a rep from one of the many underfunded, insufficiently professionalized, patched together non-profits that tries to fill one of the gaping holes in the sinking ship of child welfare in this state. "A thousand points of light" indeed. Rather: a dysfunctional, uncoordinated mess of voluntary "social enterprises" that provide "services" that are gravely insufficient in some areas and redundant and superfluous in others and, even where they may fill a real need, are often impaired in their effectiveness by being delivered by insufficiently qualified (and underpaid) staff.

Those who promote the further dismantling of the public sector should take a good look at what is actually happening to people in our community as critically important services are cut and cut and cut again rather than continuing to get information about how beneficial "starving the beast" is from the ALEC newsletter.

To return to the topic of this blog: Clinton-style collaboration with and capitulation to the forces behind privatization will not get this country where it needs to go. The time has come to let the Democrats know that if they continue putting people like Clinton forward, their candidate will lose in the general because they cannot unite the base behind her.

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by A thousand points of light doesn't work. on 07/17/2016 at 8:16 AM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

Our population is more vulnerable from the socialist, globalist lies. They could learn a lot from Reagan era if they were not so lied to.

5 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by David W on 07/17/2016 at 8:13 AM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

With a rebel yell they cried more, more, more. Start cutting wasteful programs and you already have more than you need. How much did Obama waste trying to overthrow Israel?

6 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/17/2016 at 7:28 AM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

It's astounding the degree to which people who have to work for a living in this country have been persuaded that the country's problems are the fault of requiring the class that has, throughout history, always played the largest role in depressing wages to pay their fair share of the taxes that support infrastructure and services available to all. As Sanders noted during his campaign, his tax proposal involved returning the tax rates on the top brackets to what they had been during Dwight Eisenhower's administration, provoking the interesting thought that perhaps part of what it will take to "make America great again" is not building border walls and developing protectionist economic policies, but reverting to a tax code that is sane and fair and has worked very well in our country's past, before the Reagan era issued in such successful programs of self-serving neoliberal groupthink / brainwashing and the sad spectacle of the corporate class persuading millions of its employees to vote against their own economic best interests and to become vociferous defenders of their employers' right to avoid fair taxation in support of the common good and to refuse to distribute a fair share of the profits made from their labor back to them in the form of decent wages and benefits.

That our population is vulnerable to being misused and exploited in this way is, among other things, a testament to the conspicuous failure of our education system, which produces graduates without enough knowledge of history and economic theory to recognize shoddy and manipulative arguments when they encounter them in political campaigns.

David Safier: to expect Hillary Clinton to deliver effective push-back against the corporate agenda for education and taxation -- rather than to pay lip service to the need to resist the corporate agenda while she is trying to persuade former Sanders supporters to vote for her, which is what she is doing -- is naive at best (if you actually believe her, which seems doubtful) and manipulative at worst (if you know she won't follow through but you want people to vote for her because you don't want Trump to win the election).

7 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by You're naive if you think Clinton can be a change agent. on 07/17/2016 at 7:11 AM

Re: “The Skinny

Cyrus Matthews announced today that Hillary is so old that she just doesn't understand emails.

You idiots!

7 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/16/2016 at 10:07 PM

Re: “Editor's Note

This makes me think that some in the media are actually inciting violence.

14 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/16/2016 at 10:04 PM

Re: “The Democratic Party's Progressive Education Platform

These are the same education progressive democrats that eliminated trade skill classes, And then shipped out jobs overseas. Corporate tax rates was the mail in the coffin that accomplished the destruction of the American blue collar tradesman.

Obama and the Clintons call it globalization. It actually reads more like treason as they enrich themselves.

5 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 07/16/2016 at 10:01 PM

Re: “Zona Politics: Matt Heinz, Victoria Steele and Steve Christy Talk About Their 2016 Campaigns We are winning.

5 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Andrew on 07/16/2016 at 3:38 PM

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