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Re: “Catalina Foothills Districts Earns Bragging Rights With Its AzMERIT Scores (Or Maybe Not)

I'll be interested to see what David replies -- if he replies. In the meantime perhaps another commenter can add a few thoughts on money and test scores.

High parental income does not cause high test scores. It enables the possibility of higher test scores, when the money is applied in the right way. (Example: when a wealthy family where both parents work 70-hour a week jobs employs a nanny who does not know how to provide the right kind of educational support in the home, their money will not cause their children to have the highest possible test scores those children are capable of having. If, however, they hire a retired teacher who provides the right kind of educational enrichment and support, their money may enable (but not CAUSE) higher test scores -- if, that is (to add another significant variable) their children are willing to apply effort in school. In a poor family, both parents may have to work full time to pay rent and utilities and there may not be enough extra left over to secure the optimal kind of child care for the hours when children are not in school.)

Similarly, public funds allocated to a school district can enable but do not cause higher test scores. They will enable higher scores only if the money is applied in the right way. It is easier in wealthier districts where the families have the means to provide maximal educational support in the home. But let's look at poorer districts, where students come to school with more needs unmet and where helping them learn is harder: if desegregation and / or Title 1 funds are applied to ensure that every classroom in neighborhoods with high concentrations of lower-SES and / or minority families has a qualified teacher in it rather than to build a swimming pool or to add vaguely described "support" positions that have no clear function in increasing the quality of education delivered to students (two examples from the long and baffling history of TUSD's management of its funding supplements), increased funds may have a chance of enabling better test scores.

To sum it up: what enables (not CAUSES) maximal student success is complex and involves many variables, which would include at a bare minimum: 1) sufficient funding at home and in the school system, 2) the right kind of support in the home either from parents or from supplementary care they hire and fully qualified faculty in the schools, 3) intent on the part of school governance and administration to apply funds they control for STUDENT benefit, and 4) some level of oversight both from an active, engaged, knowledgeable citizenry and from higher level authorities within the state's educational system. Then there are always the variables of student motivation and application of effort, without which no amount of resource allocation and responsible oversight can do any good.

Some of the variables needed for maximal student success are missing throughout Arizona and others are missing in some of the institutions in this region. One political party whines constantly about what is missing statewide while ignoring or cloaking the local problems and the other denies the reality of statewide problems while failing to use the means at its disposal (state level institutions and governance) to identify and treat the regional problems.

8 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by It's complicated, and both party ideologies get it wrong. on 09/29/2017 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Fun and (Spy) Games

I thought "mother!" was the weirdest thing I'd see all year until I saw Elton John here, karate kicking people in a peacock suit. As uneven as it is, I loved this movie.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jagger Czajka on 09/29/2017 at 1:01 PM

Re: “Have a Little Faith

Peggy, there are a good 8 or 10 churches in Tucson who would love to welcome your daughter and granddaughter. We're very fortunate in that regard. Mine - Grace St. Paul's Episcopal - is one of them. But like I say, there are many!

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by bruzintuc on 09/29/2017 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Catalina Foothills Districts Earns Bragging Rights With Its AzMERIT Scores (Or Maybe Not)

David, how, in your view, does high parental income cause higher student test scores? The typical answer I get from defenders of the public education industry is that schools in wealthier districts are better funded. But if that's the explanation, the relevant metric ought to be per pupil instructional spending, right? But the state auditor report that you cited in your March, 2016 article on this subject (https://www.azauditor.gov/sites/default/fi…) shows that in 2015, TUSD spent $4005 per student on instruction, whereas Cat Foothills spent LESS: $3792 per pupil.

So, what's the causation, in your view?

9 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 09/29/2017 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Check-in Time

This building rivals the Unisource structure for uninspiring design.
Or more bluntly - ugliness.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by SonoranWinds on 09/29/2017 at 9:41 AM

Re: “Ask a Mexican!

Eso! Gustavo!

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by icecld51 on 09/29/2017 at 9:02 AM

Re: “Danehy

Why do you dislike my comments??? Because you would rather agree with his rhetoric than actually think about the possible positive affects good charter schools may have?

6 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Azmom on 09/29/2017 at 8:06 AM

Re: “Congressman in Cuffs

MY, my, my, Tucson Weekly:

Regarding Open Border Policy: What a CHANGE public sentiment from 2006, when the ENTIRE Tucson establishment was "pro-raza, cheap Mexican labor!"

Maybe its time for an objective article on this issue?

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by KitWarden on 09/29/2017 at 7:14 AM

Re: “Congressman in Cuffs

Raul the Fool strikes again. Makes you REAL proud to be an Arizonan. Probably most of you aren't from N.Y.C. ,So, you've never heard of the Tombs. The Manhattan House of Detention. I would have loved if there was a mix-up with the paper work and they stuck Raul's ass in there for a week !!

2 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 09/29/2017 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Catalina Foothills Districts Earns Bragging Rights With Its AzMERIT Scores (Or Maybe Not)

"Just like in real estate, Cat Foothills' success is all about location, location, location."

Catalina Foothills High must be built on magic dirt. Maybe we could load up a truck or two of it and send it down to Tucson High. That should help.

2 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 09/28/2017 at 8:13 PM

Re: “Checkpoint Trauma

Checkpoint USA....you are an idiot! You just provoke and when you get put on your place, you cry. Why don't you tell everyone about how you've been arrested by PCSO for your idiotic acts? You are not an activist, you are just ignorant. Have a good day. :)

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Smile and wave on 09/28/2017 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Catalina Foothills Districts Earns Bragging Rights With Its AzMERIT Scores (Or Maybe Not)

Where's the punchline, David? You know what it is, right? SES / home values and parent education levels in the neighborhoods surrounding those two schools and SES and parent education levels of many if not all of those who open enroll. If TUSD schools were integrated by SES and parent education levels, would these two schools be the stand-outs they are?

So what are you trying to highlight, TUSD's chronic failures to integrate? Its decades-long persistence in maintaining enclave schools where people who live in the right neighborhoods can get services superior to what is available even in the wealthy Catalina Foothills school district, while people who live on the South and West sides of TUSD distinctly do NOT get those test scores -- or the kind of staff and investment available in those schools -- out of TUSD? How about making one of your fabulous graphs showing teacher vacancy rates at Fruchthendler and Sam Hughes vs. south and west side TUSD schools or average years of experience of teaching staff in Fruchthendler and Sam Hughes VS. south and west side schools? Or graphs showing differences in supplementary private investment and tax credit investment in those schools vs. other schools in TUSD?

I really don't understand the point you're trying to make here. Is it that even failing TUSD can do well teaching rich kids whose parents voluntarily invest in their schools, or is it that there are some significant failures of justice in resource allocation in TUSD? Or both?

Do tell.

14 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by What's the moral of the story here? on 09/28/2017 at 1:26 PM

Re: “Cinema Clips: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

It is Amazing!! tear-jerker, slice of life, extraordinary story. 10/10 i would give this movie!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by ACER on 09/28/2017 at 12:41 PM

Re: “Sports Scandal Rocks UA Basketball Program

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

Shocked I say.....

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jim on 09/28/2017 at 12:14 PM

Re: “Straight To the Hearth

Thanks Mark Another nicely written food article. Yummy stuff

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Pamm Ferris on 09/28/2017 at 11:58 AM

Re: “Sports Scandal Rocks UA Basketball Program

The Athletic Program at the University of Arizona, as with other Universities in this Country, creates the environment for Corruption that we are currently witnessing. This is Big Business!!... providing millions of dollars for the University and, as well, are Feeder Programs for Professional Sports. The Athletic Programs, as such, must be dismantled and restructured.

The University, Board of Reagents and University Administration, kowtows to Alumni that support the Athletic Programs as they current exist. Why?...the $$$$$ that the "donate"....and...their Identity as a Person is inextricable linked to these Athletic Program providing an opportunity to participate in Home Game "tailgating"...a euphemism for a University sponsored Bacchanalia!

It remain to be seen, if the new UofA President, Dr. Bobby Robins, has the Interest, Courage, and Clout to dismantled and restructured the Athletic Program. The University is First and Foremost an Academic Institution...NOT a Feeder Institution for Professional Sports!!!

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Francis Saitta on 09/28/2017 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Sports Scandal Rocks UA Basketball Program

Despite rampant misspellings in the media, Book Richardson's name is Emanuel--one m, one n.

If you read the dates and circumstances given in the actual complaint, it's almost certain that he passed $15k to Jahvon Quinerly (not Grimes, and not his mom). In fact, the complaint explains that his mom demanded more money from Book, apparently unaware that her son had already cashed in, or yes, maybe upset that he didn't get more.

Yeah, yeah, Lute is a Hall of Fame coach, all the respect in the world. But under his leadership, Jason Terry was busted taking money from an agent 20 years ago, and later Arizona was busted for what were admittedly relatively minor infractions, but there were penalties assessed and they did have to vacate victories and an NCAA tournament appearance, which punched a hole in Lute's consecutive NCAA tournament appearance streak.

The point is that college basketball has been corrupted by the enormous sums of money swirling around it for decades. It's a multi-billion-dollar industry in which the principal employees get paid nothing, ostensibly--a recipe for corruption if I've ever heard one.

This will turn out much like the steroid scandal in baseball. The open secret will become a painfully clear fact--cheating and corruption are business as usual, especially for the high end schools.

In order for this problem to really be addressed, the mighty must fall. Louisville is obviously down already, but Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, and yes, even the saintly and untouchable Puke University, must be exposed and punished. The truth must be revealed in order to find a way out of this mess. MLB did not address steroids until some of the best players of all time had been exposed and punished.

Very sad that Arizona appeared at the tip of this iceberg and a great guy like Book took the first blow. No doubt he did it to compete in a culture of corruption and impunity that was created by the big programs mentioned above (and many others) and tolerated by the NCAA, which had no interest in staining its own brand by prosecuting its own legends. In such a climate, it's not surprising that even good people like Book got sucked into the sewer in their efforts to compete at the highest level and win championships.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by skinnyman on 09/28/2017 at 11:14 AM

Re: “Have a Little Faith

Wonderful article! I forwarded it to several young people.
Mother of a lesbian young woman and a granddaughter also lesbian.
I will be visiting your church soon.
Thank you

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Peggy Wright Foster on 09/28/2017 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Sports Scandal Rocks UA Basketball Program

so dd, you're the victim here? U of A basketball has and will continue to be great,
and....broaden your view, if embarrassment is the thing you choose to feel as an alum, meh!

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by laddderflappy on 09/28/2017 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Danehy

I dare you to actually go visit a charter school in Tucson before you write another article that is so anti-charter school. My son attends a charter high school that has a location in mid-town and one in the Northwest, and no, it is not Basis. The kids/parents choose to attend for various reasons, but many need to have jobs, so a school that has two different sessions is helpful to their situations, they can go to school and then go to work in the early afternoon. Some kids don't like or fit into the traditional culture of a high school having, been bullied by other students (which is NOT tolerated at this HS) or the they just want to graduate asap since this is possible to do it at your own pace. There are also special needs kids that the public schools can't seem to find a place for (that's my situation) and they are a lot smaller and more adaptable then the public school. So get the chip of your shoulder and go beyond your hate of Basis and see what other low profile charter schools are all about, who they serve and why they are there.

6 likes, 29 dislikes
Posted by AZMom on 09/28/2017 at 9:53 AM

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