I afford you due respect as well, Mark, for your intelligence and the thoroughness with which you research TUSD matters. But telling me what I don't know does more to back up my thesis than to refute it. Instead of telling me what I don't know -- using my limited knowledge to your advantage and my disadvantage -- you should know enough about your own writings to be able to say whether you present information in a complete enough way to give others the facts they need to make intelligent, rational decisions or whether you ask yourself, "How can I convince others to see things from my perspective by giving them information that will lead them to support my conclusions"? Saying to me, in essence, "You don't know what you're talking about" when you can provide a, hopefully, honest response to my assertions is the kind of game playing I'm talking about in my column.
Mark, I didn't say you were necessarily good at it. I said politics is "played with the greatest gusto by the master gamesman on the board, Mark Stegeman, who is both a scholar and a practitioner of game theory." From my vantage point, it's hard to know how successful you are, since I can't see what goes on behind closed doors. But I do know many of your writings are purposely slanted, leaving out relevant information to make your point. But you know, someone who's playing political games, even if they don't do it effectively, can create anywhere from a nuisance to minor havoc and make it more difficult for people to work effectively.
Blended education. It's the new and untested buzzword, supposedly a way to spend less on education and get more bang for the buck. As I understand it, you combine large group computer lab instruction using packaged curriculum and a few teachers in the room to give individual help with classroom instruction. Whether it's cheaper or more effective is a big question. Some charters use the computer learning approach, but they aren't getting great results -- except for Carpe Diem in Yuma, but there are serious questions about whether the tests at Carpe Diem are doctored by staff after the students finish. It looks like Huppenthal doesn't want to find out, because the high test scores reinforce his educational ideology.
Things get more complicated after that, with the proposed "Educational Empowerment Accounts" legislation in the Arizona lege (HB2706, SB 1553) where the idea is to head toward de-schooling and a cafeteria approach to education (an online class here, tutoring there, throw in some home schooling, etc., in a mix-and-match using voucher-like state funding). This is the hot new conservative small-government approach to education.
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