Teaching for Laughable Wages
While I'm sure it's unnecessary to iterate to such a highly-educated and circumspect readership, privacy laws prevent my revealing the names of award recipients. I know them well, as they sit in my classroom every day. Many of our students choose to reveal their awards at our honors ceremony, and members of the public are welcome to attend. Others will be recognized at Centennial Hall on May 25th for their achievements. My students are heading to MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and even U of A. Until AP and IB stop rewarding students who are doing college level work with lower tuition, I imagine that such high stakes tests will remain popular among students whose families will benefit most from their achievements.
Perhaps you're unaware that this is AP week. All of my students are at Santa Rita taking AP Statistics and AP World History exams, leaving me in the rare but welcome position to have time to defend my students and school on this forum. Enjoy your day.
Yes. I am currently, not formerly, a teacher at UHS. I am probably more aware of the issues involved in Safier's blog than most respondents.
One monumental difference between UHS and BASIS/CFHS is per-student funding, and when this factor is incorporated, UHS and its achievements are especially praiseworthy. As a charter corporation, all BASIS students receive more money than UHS students. Both CFH and BASIS students enjoy campuses that look more like Google tech parks than high schools. Meanwhile, UHS students struggle beneath gigantic backpacks through overcrowded hallways, sit in classrooms without heating or air conditioning and dutifully tape together crumbling books. Undaunted, they earn Flinns, Merits, and Gates Millennium Scholarships. In fact, those Merit finalists who didn't become Merit Scholars earned more lucrative and exclusive awards than the Merit. I hope that sanity prevails and UHS gets at least a half-hearted high-five from a generally unsupportive community.
A huge point missed in this discussion is that UHS students have the opportunity to participate in sports and other extracurriculars not available at BASIS, if the conversation here is limited to these two schools. UHS students learn the value of balancing rigorous coursework with other activities and teachers and staff support student athletes. Our campus doesn't look like a tech park as BASIS does and we are shamefully underfunded compared to other TUSD high schools. No one is getting rich at UHS.
It caught my eye that this wonderful drama teacher has "left the state." So many great teachers have fled the abysmal pay here. The tragedy is twofold in that the governor and legislators refuse to see the writing on the wall.
Marquez-Peterson's short-sighted and frankly shocking support of the disastrous Rosemont Mining Project which will steal revenues from Tucson to support a few temporary construction jobs and line the pockets of foreign investors really shows where her sympathies lie. The permanent damage to Tucson's drinking water isn't even the worst unmitigatable catastrophe that will hit Tucsonans if Rosemont is allowed to blast away one of the few remaining riparian areas in the state. She's a shill for mining interests who couldn't care less if Tucson is ringed by toxic mining pits blowing lead and mercury our way instead of pristine sky islands.
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