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Re: “Danehy

And here is the bi weekly (again, thank god it's bi weekly now) Trump bash, Yawn. Hey Danehy, not all liberals are welfare cheats and meth heads, but all welfare cheats and meth heads are liberals. I am rubber you are glue.

4 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Mark Robert Heywood on 08/17/2017 at 4:55 AM

Re: “TUSD Enrollment, 2000 to 2017

The answer is "all of the above". Tucson has fewer people and fewer jobs than it had ten years ago. Thus, the competition is over a static pie. Might even be a shrinking pie. About ten years ago, the National Research Center did a survey of Tucson and only 7% of parents rated their neighborhood an excellent place to raise a child. Not likely that they are attracting parents to the community.

The next step ought to be to graph a ratio of the Mesa school district, the largest in the state to TUSD who used to be the second largest in the state. It now appears that TUSD might be falling to the 4th largest district.

When this apocalypse started, TUSD was spending almost twice as much per year per student as Mesa. They probably are still spending at least 20 percent more per student.

The Mesa School district is parent and student focused. They measure the degree of excellence perceived by their parents and integrate that measure into their performance pay system. That degree of Mesa excellence has increased from 44% in 1996 to over 65% most recently.

Mesa has enormously more charter schools around them than TUSD, yet they have held their attendance much more successfully.

TUSD is still below 40% excellence. That means that 60% of TUSD parents are actively looking at alternatives. Its almost a guarantee that TUSD will shrink another 700 students next year.

Think of what would happen to TUSD if charter schools could easily open in Tucson.

So much for the theory that money can improve outcomes.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by on 08/16/2017 at 9:02 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

Considering what "Obummer" inherited from Baby Bush, he actually did pretty well with the economy.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by AZ/DC on 08/16/2017 at 8:09 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

CW13, so how did that fist full of sleeping pills and all that prune juice work out for you?

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by JoelFriday on 08/16/2017 at 3:44 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

More wisdom from Peabrain.

1 like, 11 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 08/16/2017 at 3:05 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

What's the matter, CW13? Somebody knock the Bannon out of your mouth?

11 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Peabo on 08/16/2017 at 9:45 AM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

48 dislikes. Not bad. Not one of you 48 liberal morons could give 1 argument that the economy would better if we were still suffering under Obummer. Too funny. Too funny.

2 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 08/16/2017 at 9:25 AM

Re: “A Certifiable Strategy

Just another example of _austerity_ coming in through the back door.
It is obvious that "our betters" want less taxes allocated to the public education system. What could possibly be more convenient than laying the groundwork for a de-professionalized calling? By instituting these "low-standards-to-enter-a-profession" policy the stage is set for paying future entrants peanuts. Voila! A massive savings to taxpayers, and yet another excuse to lower corporate taxes that favor you-know-who to the detriment of future generations.
As the wealthy can afford to send their kids to Groton, Phillips, Exeter, etc., what do they care about the once proud Public Education system that for generations has turned out authentic critical thinkers and not entitled silver-spooners such as the current occupant of the White House? A revolting and shameful proposal.
Be well.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by socrates2 on 08/16/2017 at 8:21 AM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

Great list, Brian. Extra kudos for including the Parliament cut. Bagpipe soul! George Clinton et al. are also responsible for one of the most heartbreaking tributes to returning Nam vets (The March to the Witches Castle). Moving stuff. And Junior Murvin? Stellar.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Peabo on 08/15/2017 at 12:08 PM

Re: “A Look At TUSD's AzMERIT Scores

You express concern about the difference between TUSD's improvement and Arizona's overall improvement. That difference is both meaningless and highly informative.

Meaningless in the sense that it is real with statistical significance.

Highly informative in the sense that Arizona cant be successful unless TUSD hugely increases the pace of academic growth of its students.

At less than $15 per test, the AZMerit is a low security test, as compared to high security tests like Advanced Placement at more than $60 per test.

We know from nationwide test data and comparisons with NAEP that almost all of the changes in state test scores on tests like the Iowa Test of Basic skills, the Stanford 9, AZMerit etc can be ascribed to security issues. When completely new versions of the test are released, test scores plunge and then steadily increase until a new version is released. Yet, NAEP scores are flat by comparison.

In this digital age, undoubtedly thousands of teachers have complete copies of last year's AZMerit test.

We also saw these phenomena in AZ school districts with merit pay linked to test scores. They had higher erasure rates than other school districts. This is a strong indication that the behavior went over the line to absolute cheating - erasing a wrong answer and putting in a correct answer.

These security issues call into question everything about education culture. The new A to F system is completely built around growth models and the new performance funding model will be completely built around the A to F.

Back in 1992, Tennessee did what Arizona is doing now, tried to build a new education culture around growth models instead raw test scores. Didn't work. Actually backfired. Tennessee's NAEP scores fell relative to the rest of the nation.

In the Urban Institute Analysis, perhaps the best ranking of states in existence right now, Tennessee ranks 41st on an apples to apples comparison of test scores. Who copies number 41?

You indicated that the 50 plus formula A to F model was "above your pay grade." Not really. It emphasizes growth in duplicative ways and more heavily than the old model. The blizzard of formulas just disguises its simplistic nature. Does your students get two more problems right than they did last year? If so, your school gets an A, if not, a lower grade.

The formulas are creative in the sense that they go back further in history to calculate not just one year gains but two and three year gains. This increases the sample size and also makes it a little bit harder for cheaters to skate by.

I don't fault the staff who created this. When you look at it, is it the Frankenstein of education policy or the ultimate refined expression of what you might be able to do if accountability actually worked?

The blunt truth: all mass inspection tests like AZMerit "accountability" lead to a dead end and worse outcomes for students.

To best improve test scores you would put an end to AZMerit and just rely on NAEP to measure outcomes, allowing education to evolve naturally under the interaction of parents making choices and schools changing to better compete for students.

Thats what Finland did.

Not going to happen here.

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by on 08/15/2017 at 9:18 AM

Re: “A Look At TUSD's AzMERIT Scores

I wondered, as I looked at the data, exactly how it is collected. That is, as we watch from year to year, aren't we watching roughly the same kids, as they go through? 2015's 5th graders are 2016's sixth graders, right? What effect does that have on the scores? And if we know anything from the scores, its that the Districts' desegregation efforts to reduce the achievement gap are not working, no matter how much window dressing top Administration puts on it.The district has been failing its black and brown kids in epic proportions, all the while paying vast sums of money to lawyers to say "it aint so". Needless to say, that money would be far better spent in the classroom.

And then from a different direction there are possible other explanations for our district wide poor achievement. Almost the only good answer by the candidate for superintendent last night referred to the effect of Board behavior on district performance. He stated that he had read a study recently that correlated divisive, untrusting board behavior (as measured by watching videos of the Boards in action) with low scoring districts. In other words, looking across multiple districts, and observing Board behavior on video, the more the members of the Boards trusted each other, or at least acted as if they did, the higher performing the Distric, as measured by grading (A-F). It seems that TUSD voters succeed in switching Board majorities, but the divisive, cruel and manipulative way the members treat each other never seems to change much. This might be an additional place to look for WHY our District cannot seem to get out of its achievement crisis. Perhaps the adults in the room need to model better behavior as they (supposedly) focus on the children in the schools.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 08/15/2017 at 7:49 AM

Re: “A Look At TUSD's AzMERIT Scores

"They only test what's testable in a fill-in-the-bubble format" - very true, but, on average, I'd bet the students who can reason well and write well also do well on the tests. You have to measure somehow or you can never know what is improving and the state is too lazy to actually have more meaningful tests.
You can blame high rates of immigration of poor and unskilled people from countries with little tradition of education for most of TUSD's issues.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 08/15/2017 at 6:01 AM

Re: “A Needed Prescription

What a heroic photo! What a huge amount of free publicity for heroic McSally! What a total crock! This isn't reporting, its dictation, or copy and paste from press releases. It's as if McSally has no past history on this issue at all, as if she awoke one day and said, out of the goodness of her heart, "Let's fix this and be bipartisan." The unchallenged assertion that McSally is "leading" this effort is typical of the press release style of the piece. Honestly, we expect more from the Weekly.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Monica Bauer on 08/13/2017 at 10:30 PM

Re: “Results-Based Funding. The Inequity Will Increase After This School Year

This will be a fairly pure experiment as to whether money can affect outcomes in education. We have 5 years of relative growth data comparing all the schools.

Will these schools lurch up relative to all the other schools or will they lurch down from unintended and unforseen consequences of this funding technique?

Can the AZMerit test with its relatively low level of security handle the stress?

This policy is large, significant and sudden - a clean experiment that has been tried over and over again in the past.

1 like, 6 dislikes
Posted by on 08/13/2017 at 9:17 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

Brian Smith and et al leftists cannot fathom ideas which don't coincide with their distorted view of reality.
I enjoyed in college the lame communist instructor who would say "if you don't like my politics OUT."
He wouldn't have tolerated my politics. That's what communism is all about "MIND CONTROL."
So Brian, quit your foolishness and publish something worth reading that's not full of indoctrinational phrases and hate of EVERYONE who disagrees with your distorted view of reality.... Mammey

4 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by Mammey on 08/13/2017 at 1:06 PM

Re: “RIP Blood Spasm Frontman and Underground Tucson Legend ('We Got Cactus'), Bob McKinley

A kind and loving friend, Bob was a rare man with whom you could disagree wholeheartedly about politics in the state of society yet still be his best friend. He will live on through his music and his friends

30 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dragna Aoine on 08/11/2017 at 8:40 PM

Re: “The Economic and Educational Inequity of Results-Based Funding

As long as we have high rates of immigration, we will lack the social cohesion to adequately fund poorer schools. It's basic in-group/out-group dynamics. But the cheap labor industries are still in charge in Washington and have successfully brainwashed the entire left into believing that reducing immigration is equivalent to racism, so don't expect a change any time soon.

3 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 08/11/2017 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Triple Play

Rick and Juan:
The law is that if you are a registered independent, you have the right to participate in any party's primary simply by requesting the ballot of that party. The city of Tucson's primary-election pamphlet (which came in the mail the other day) says:

"If you are registered as Independent, as No Party Preference, or as a member of a political party other than Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, or Green Party, you may vote in the Primary election [by requesting the ballot for that party]. . . . By voting for one of these parties, it WILL NOT change your political party status. . . . You may only vote in ONE party's Primary Election."

I'm amazed that people don't know this, but I hope this helps other independents.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by blaze_mason on 08/11/2017 at 1:38 PM

Re: “Bloom Free

Isaac you were born to do this work. As Jocelyn Valencia was born to do hers. Give us more to see, as Sondheim said...

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by omoya on 08/11/2017 at 12:37 PM

Re: “Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr on Procol Harum's 'A Salty Dog'

I have been a long time fan of Procol Harum and seen them everytime they've played in the US. One of my favorites was, perhaps the first, at Fillmore East in New York in the early '70s. Highlight of the show was the darkened stage as a smoke machine created a low dense fog that flowed off the edge into the audience as Procol Harum did A Salty Dog complete with ships bells and seagull caws. A chills up the spine moment!

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Filterman on 08/11/2017 at 10:46 AM

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