Such vitriol! I wish the first post, that says that Trump is lots of smoke and very little fire was true. He is surrounding himself with people that can and will produce a great deal of fire if they receive their confirmations. It may be more productive to figure out how to put that fire out (or how to try to block those confirmations) than to fight every single other person or organization trying to do the same thing.
I don't think the wording was a mistake, and I think the article was great. I am loud in my critique of Safier for his biased reporting on TUSD, so its only fair to be equally loud in my defense of his work when it's good and insightful. This normalization of the lies and corruption that politics is accompanied by more than ever right now has been a real issue for the media. In fact I wonder how donations to the various non-profit media outlets are going (I refused to donate to a media that didn't cover ANY substance, just the b.s. surrounding the electoral period and didn't even cover AT ALL the biggest phenomena happening in the country, Bernie Sanders' campaign. I wonder how many others responded similarly).
I too have always enjoyed opening the paper and drinking coffee, but with the new management, I have almost given up. There is, essentially, no more coverage (or VERY reduced coverage) of TUSD, almost as if the guy at the top successfully scared the daylights out of both the journalist who used to cover it and the editorial/ownership staff. At the same time, there were NO recommendations for local school board or superintendent of public education races--in other words, wherever the new owners come from, its not this area, and local news is of little interest to them. But its the only reason I take the paper--if I want non-local news, the NY Times has always done a better job than simple AP repeats....I support the CONCEPT of newspapers, and I support the smell of the ink and the sound of the pages turning. And I REALLY support good investigative journalism (endangered species that it is) But its increasingly difficult to support the Star for its local news...or lack thereof.
The usual suspects vent their hate filled comments and no one (hardly) touches on the best point raised by the article which is: when you have a Bully-In-Chief, how do you teach kids not to bully? The election has just made hypocrites out of every teacher who says that one can't get ahead through bullying, being egotistical or mean-spirited. And I won't even relate that to the TUSD election, after audiences have watched a local version of this play out twice a month in the Board room. Oh, and don't forget retaliation, thats a presidential (and superintendential) characteristic that is a little hard to teach around as well.
The last time a figure approaching $35,000 was spent on a school board election was in the last school board election. Then, a winning incumbent spent close to that on a SINGLE campaign. Much of the money came from out-of-district, to say nothing of out-of-state (Washington D.C.).
TUSD has a teacher shortage because it continues to do things like hold onto teacher performance pay in order to balance its budget. Teachers who have foregone that pay for years are watching. While the teachers' association may support Juarez and Foster, it is not clear that the teachers do. The District continues to spin the teacher shortage as a terrific excuse for inaction--and statements like "we didn't know the surplus was there", or "we intended to hold on to that money to save teachers' jobs" or "we never intended to hoard all of that money" are not at all convincing, especially when they come from two District officials and a Board member who has voted annually on a document that contains that very surplus.
I am coming late to the party, but I just want to clarify one thing: I did not feel that I lost that Family Liaison position through retaliation, but maybe I did. At the time, I could not believe that a Magnet school with Title One money would have to choose between a reading specialist and a family engagement person. But there were strange and inexplicable things going on at the school at the time, and I, the principal and a person who had been the glue of the school (the Magnet Coordinator who also ran the after school sports program that produced so many district winners over so very many years) were all removed, one way or another before the following school year was very much underway. A new principal (BRAND new principal to a brick and mortars school) was brought in--ANOTHER thing that is not supposed to happen to Magnet Schools. When all of that happened, it was accompanied by a scary number of substitute teachers, (another thing that is not supposed to occur in Magnet Schools--and there was a Court order specifically about this: of course the District remains out of compliance on this too) and a number of families fled the school from the middle of the year on. That removed many of the more active families in the school. So there wasn't much of it that looked like it was good for the school. In retrospect and at the time, it certainly looked like the District was doing its best to close the school without really closing it (not the first time this has happened to that school) It certainly confirmed my thought that if you want to look for the GOOD in TUSD look to the teachers, the counselors, the underpaid people who are the closest to the kids. DON'T look to the District, where it seems that people get paid more and more the further they are from the kids. And finally, as to IECs, they are legal and completely unconnected to the campaigns they support, as David confirmed in the article. This is unlike taking money with no questions asked apparently from TUSD vendors very soon after voting in a 21 million dollar contract. That is really a testament to poor judgement and not asking the right questions, two characteristics that the TUSD Board does not need.
Thanks for this simple lens through which to view Arizona and even TUSD financial politics. It's a shell game and the details can be mind-numbing, (as attempts are made to get desegregation funds to pay for everything from football fields to additional behavior supports in the schools) but the basic foundation is NIMB.
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