PCC is often the only option for secondary education available to many in our community. The failure of many on the current Board to provide leadership and direction, as well as their inability or unwillingness to properly oversee the former chancellor, has put PCC in a dire position. The voters made a wise choice when they elected Sylvia Lee to the Board last time, but she needs a partner who is informed and prepared to lead.
Mark Hanna is without doubt that person. For many years, he helped hundreds of students at an inner city, high-poverty high school to gain entrance to PCC and other colleges. He also helped them to navigate the admission process and find grant/scholarship money to pay tuition. He is active in the Pima Foundation and also offers valuable private sector experience from his time with Costco.
Any institution of learning exists to serve the interests of students. Mark Hanna knows better than most what the PCC Board needs to do to better meet the needs of its learners. It is truly exciting that he has stepped forward to take on this job at a critical time in the college's history.
President Obama is the one who has failed to lead on education, not the person he appointed as Secretary of Education. He made his choice as to the path he wanted to follow when he appointed Duncan in 2009. Darling-Hammond was the other contender at that time and Obama passed her over.
Democrats such as Kerry, Kennedy and Lieberman made similar poor choices when they joined with GW Bush to pass No Child Left Behind. We often forget that this horrendous legislation had significant bi-partisan support. Obama has done little to push for the massive revisions the law requires so that its punitive approach to judging schools is reversed.
Standardized tests were originally designed for diagnostic purposes. They are not intended to be used to grade schools or judge the people who work in them, but the denizens of the so-called "accountability movement" in both parties have embraced this illogical and mean-spirited approach. The schools that are continually slammed are the ones who have large numbers of students who live in poverty, significant percentages of English language learners and special education students and high mobility rates. Now that test scores are part of administrator and teacher evaluations in Arizona (per state law), there is a disincentive to choose to work in schools that need dedicated, hardworking educators the most. Arizona state law also denies students who fail to pass standardized tests the right to graduate from high school, even if they have earned all their required credits.
Arne Duncan is a convenient scapegoat for the NEA and others, but our entire political system bears the burden for taking on all the challenges that bedevil our public schools. Unless we decide to renew our commitment to the war on poverty and stop the war on public schools and the people who work in them, nothing will change. Educators bear a lot of responsibility, too. We need to commit to ongoing professional growth, evaluation systems that include peer review, individualized approaches to meet the needs of all learners and support for financial and other incentives for those who choose to work in high-poverty, high-need schools, even if that means they make more money than the rest of us.
Miller lacks the temperment and knowledge to do this crucial job. She has proven both points time and time again during this campaign. The incumbent supervisor, a Republican, does not support her and two of her primary opponents have filed a complaint against her for questionable campaign practices.
Young Wright has a long and proud record of service to our area. She is both a thinker and a doer. During this campaign, she has been head and shoulders above Miller when it comes to both knowledge and credibility.
Ideology drives Miller. Service motivates Young Wright. Voters of all political affiliations clearly see the difference between them, which is why Young Wright will win!
Mohur Sarah Sidhwa is CLEARLY the best informed and most articulate candidate in this race. She is also talking about the right issues. It will be an honor to cast my vote for her in November!
What is clear from watching the entire debate video and from listening to the four GOP candidates during the campaign is that none of them have the command of the facts and the long record of service to this area that Nancy Young Wright has. Regardless of who emerges as Nancy's opponent on August 28th, they will have to work damn hard to get up to speed with her. These are challenging times for Pima County and we can't afford to have leaders who need either remedial education, or on the job training.
Dan, your loyalty to Anthony resonates with me since I refuse to listen to any AC/DC song recorded after the death of Bon Scott. However, you have to agree that Van Halen has always been defined by David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen, much as Led Zeppelin was symbolized by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Plus, if there is a reasonable stand-in for Anthony, it is Eddie's boy. I'll be thinking about you whilst sitting in the floor seats for this reunion that I will move heaven and earth to acquire.
That was a hardhitting ad...and well-deserved. This state can not endure four more years of Jan Brewer and her addleheaded, mean-spirited policies. It is good to see Goddard take the gloves off. I hope they stay off until November.
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