jhuppent: I agree with almost everything you wrote. TUSD's capture ratio (share of TUSD resident children who enroll in TUSD) is about 65%, the lowest among Arizona's large districts. Enrollment at the other large districts has stabilized on average, while ours still falls. Our administrative spending percentage is 2.5% higher than the average for the other large districts, which equates to $11 million. We can do much better. The "good" news about the capture ratio is that there is much upside. Nobody does better than about 85%, but I believe that TUSD could gain 5,000-10,000 students back by improving the quality of its product. I agree that Chandler's management stands out among Arizona's large districts. TUSD could learn much from them. I think that Gilbert provides another strong example.
1) It is more meaningful to look at percentage declines. They paint a gloomier picture, though the current declines are still better than the big declines that occurred immediately after the two big rounds of school closures.
2) The data reported here do not match the numbers reported by the State Auditor General. In some cases the discrepancy is small and in other cases large. The 2015-16 decline is not yet available from the Auditor General, but in the previous year the decline was 857 (1.8%), not 826.
Aaron Johnson: Yes, precisely. If the U.S. had an appropriate level of commitment to education, and generally higher educational standards, then the need for foreign skilled workers would be reduced.
Scott Wilson: The h-1b guest worker program brings a great number of technically skilled workers to the U.S. Without those workers augmenting the pool of highly skilled U.S. workers, many U.S. firms would have had a hard time preserving the U.S. position of technological leadership in IT and other areas. If increasing repression in Turkey causes more of those professionals to seek the safer haven of the U.S., then I hope we welcome them. It is Turkey's loss and our gain.
I do not think that the ethnicity of the personnel of the Sonoran Science Academies is relevant to any discussion of those schools. They may be good or bad. Their curriculum may be strong or weak. But please leave the ethnic profiling out of it.
Douglas: "[Standardized] testing was never intended to be an assessment of a teacher, a school or a district." Never? For at least the last 15 years (the advent of No Child Left Behind) that is exactly what much standardized testing was meant to be.
You write: "The percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in TUSD has also gone up appreciably, meaning that the changing percentages at UHS are more a reflection of an overall demographic shift in the district than a successful effort to enroll a larger percentage of Hispanics in the school." You have not even begun to provide the statistical analysis that would be required to make that causal inference. One obvious problem is that it ignores your own observation in the previous paragraph that the students attending UHS from inside TUSD are disproportionately Hispanic, relative to the school's total student population.
Separately, concerning Rat T's comment, I don't know of any data supporting the conclusion that UHS's academic standards have slipped.
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