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Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

The false mental paradigm that David and most of the commenters bring to this debate was revealed once again this week. Stanford came out with a massive, very sophisticated analysis of public school districts across the nation.

Three school districts in Arizona were revealed be among the top twenty, two were revealed be among the top ten.

Chandler Unified School District was shown to be among the top ten school districts in the nation at improving student results across grade levels.

Recognize that name? I've written about them a lot. Since 1998, the percentage of Chandler Unified parents rating their school excellent has risen two points a year.

Chandler Unified is now at 75% of their parents rating their child's school excellent, up from 38 percent in 1998. They measure that rigorously, with an independent phone survey.

That's modern school management and the Chandler School Board and administration are among the very best. Their excellence rating might easily be the highest percentage in the nation among large school districts.

Chandler has 75% market share in its district. Brutal competition has not caused them to be weak, it has driven them to be strong.

Eight percent of Chandler's students come from other districts.

Do their results just come with the territory of an upscale urban area? No, all we have to do is compare their results with that of the Chandler City Government. Since 1995, the percentage of chandler citizens rating city government excellent has dwindled from 55% to 38%.

Did Chandler just ride a national wave? No, the national wave headed in the opposite direction. From2011 to 2015, the national percentage of parents rating their child's school excellent dwindled from 36% to 24%.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by on 12/10/2017 at 3:14 PM

Re: “A ‘Dreadful’ Tax Plan

Obamacare is not universal health care, nor is it good. And obama never had the intention of pushing universal. The citizens of any european country with universal would take to their streets in protest if it was proposed to replace what they have.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Palisades on 12/10/2017 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

I see him almost daily and am so glad you wrote so eloquently about your encounter. I'm more glad there is a resource for him, a place where he can be safe and taken care of even in a minimalist kind of way.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Karyn Zoldan on 12/10/2017 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Cinema Clips: Lady Bird

I saw it at the loft a few weeks ago, and enjoyed it. More funny, mature, and down to earth than most high school comedy dramas.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Palisades on 12/09/2017 at 5:44 PM

Re: “Ed Sec Betsy DeVos on School Choice, College Costs

How does the sentence "Hopefully, your commenting days are coming to a close" constitute as a threat? There's nothing hidden in that sentence, the meaning is just as it is presented...a hope. I'm allowed to have hopes and dreams, right? You were really stretching when you came up with that one.

You never cease to amuse me. You keep on citing the rules yet you break one of them with practically every tome you post. My guess is that you're not reading the policy all the way to the very end or you feel as if you're above it all. If you go back and read the policy, you might notice that the last rule regarding comment removal states: "Comments that harass the reporters and newspaper staff." It's true! I'm not making this stuff up. I actually copied and pasted all those words between the quotation marks to prove it. I promise you that I did not add, alter or change any words.

Because of this rule which you choose to constantly ignore, you have exposed yourself as a hypocrite. By the way, that's not name calling, nor is it a threat; it's a cold hard fact. You need to learn how to play nice and follow the rules which you expect others to follow. If you heed this sage advice, you may actually convince those who abhor your arrogant and long-winded rants to consider the information you provide as being sensible. Until then, you lose.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by The "comments policy" applies to everyone, including you. on 12/09/2017 at 4:26 PM

Re: “A ‘Dreadful’ Tax Plan

How about all the people who lost their insurance or now pay 3 times as much? As far as my ignorance goes, up yours.

2 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 12/09/2017 at 3:58 PM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

Democrats have created the situation in which Republicans have formulated policy that allows exit from public district schools. They did it by treating public district schools as their fiefdom and not respecting the reality that community schools in a pluralist society needed to be places tolerant of and respectful of a diversity of beliefs, not just secular liberal orthodoxy. They did it by allowing all kinds of abuses on the part of the governing board politicians and administrators affiliated with their political networks. They did it by hiring unqualified people in the network who delivered poor services. They did it by neglecting the tedious citizen advocacy tasks that keep public institutions healthy.

It would be better if they had had enough civic virtue, honesty and tolerance of diversity not to have created this situation. But they did create it and now they blame everyone but themselves for it. In Southern Arizona we sit in our cities and our schools in the cesspool they've created in their public institutions and listen to them rant about the evils of PRIVATIZATION. They'd be a lot more credible if their own public sector didn't stink to high heaven of every kind of thing they like to call evil when they see it in the private sector: greedy and self-serving behaviors, promotion of in-groups and business interests at the expense of citizens, neglect of poor minority populations.

One of the main ways they get away with their BS is by preaching to and mobilizing a crowd of Democrats who have retired here from other states and who don't have on-the-groud experience of how local Democrat-controlled institutions are actually run. Comparing the propaganda in blogs like this with what is actually going on in local governance and in the schools highlights the hypocrisies of this network of "humanitarians" and is more than enough to cure anyone of the belief that anything worthwhile in the social justice arena can be accomplished by affiliating with or listening to Southern Arizona Democrats. If given the reigns of state as well as local governance, they will run this sad shambles of a state right into the ground.

9 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Former Dem on 12/09/2017 at 3:50 PM

Re: “Ed Sec Betsy DeVos on School Choice, College Costs

This will be my last reply in this stream because I think this dialogue has long since done its work in illustrating the points I've been trying to make.

In closing, I note that Tucson Weekly's comments policy states that the following will be removed by their administrator:
"Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language." It states, "Name-calling will not be tolerated."

Calling someone mentally ill is a personal attack and an insult. Using the term bitch is name calling, and a nasty form of it at that. And now we have, "Hopefully, your commenting days are coming to a close."? What is that? Threatening language?

Why has Tucson Weekly not removed the posts in this stream that violate its policies? Could it be because people can't reasonably expect civil discourse to be protected here, by this crowd, any more than they can reasonably expect their children to be protected from injury and abuse in a district like what TUSD has become? I hope not, but my doubts only increase every time another abusive reply is added and it remains up, un-deleted by those who are the policy enforcers at Tucson Weekly.

0 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by "Comments policy" seems to be an un-enforced scam on 12/09/2017 at 12:15 PM

Re: “Student Housing Shakedown

I used to live in this neighborhood and it is a catch-22. Goodman's projects have doubled the population density as it is and there is a lot more noise, traffic, etc. BUT this neighborhood, Feldmans and Bronx Park/Sugar Hill area are all much safer than they were 10-15 years ago. There are more parties but fewer break ins, assaults, rapes, gang crime, etc. Goodmans properties are the nicest maintained in the area, even if they are ugly.

Goodman might be garbage as a person and profit oriented but the city should not target him just because they don't like him. It sounds like that is exactly what is happening. This could open up more lawsuits and cost us money. Put this project under an architectural review process to ensure its not cheap and ugly and allow smaller bedroom units. This was the mistake the city made with Goodmans other properties and we ended up with giant yellow stucco 10 bedroom homes because they were code compliant when building 3bedroom triplexes would not have been. The city has already tried fighting and the community lost. Now they should try working with the developer to get something positive for everyone.

The pressure to live in this area is only growing. These apartments are the only chance these neighborhoods have at becoming single-family owner occupied residents again. Right now, Feldmans is probably 40% rentals and students which is way too high. Building apartments will take the pressure off of these neighborhoods in the long run, increase rents and property values and encourage people to turn these homes back into owner occupied residents. Right now there are just too many slum level homes that people can rent out at super high prices because there is not enough supply in the area. Fuck these people, the city should not be protecting them.

On another note, the city has already destroyed more historic homes along Broadway than this project will destroy and for what? Widening a road that every analysis says doesn't need to be widened? Adding nothing to the tax base? Come on. At least this project adds people and businesses to an area that needs it. Just make it look good and ensure that it's not a party tower. This is not rocket science.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by HumanBean on 12/09/2017 at 9:45 AM

Re: “A ‘Dreadful’ Tax Plan

In response to CW13, for your information, the Republicans passed a bill under George W. Bush which DEMANDED that the Post Office Employees build their retirement funds to take care of all retirees 75 years into the future. Before that bill the Post Office finances were always in the black. Since that bill the Post Office has been in the RED. This was just another Republican
attempt to destroy a U.S. government agency so they could privatize it and hand it to one of their cronies. The bailout of the Auto Industry saved thousands of jobs. To see the ripple effect of losing a major manufacturing company the losses are felt thru out the country . Every civilized country in the western world has some form of Universal Health Care except the United States. What kind of an idiot doesn't see the value of having a good health care system that is available to all. Just like most Republicans you rely only on your ill informed opinions, prejudices, propaganda and ignorance regardless of the subject at hand.

12 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Beneal Good on 12/09/2017 at 6:30 AM

Re: “The New, New Jim Crow

Two points regarding Prof. Alexander's book, which is a must-have tool to signal your liberal virtue from your coffee table, by the way. First, mandatory minimums for crack offenses where enacted at the urging of urban black community leaders, whose neighborhoods were turned into crack fueled war zones in the 1980s. Second, Prof. Alexander focuses on drug sentencing, while largely ignoring violent crime, which puts a huge number of black people behind bars. Here is UCLA's Prof Forman's critique of Prof. Alexander's book, if anyone's interested.…

4 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 12/08/2017 at 5:50 PM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

It seems like the underlying assumption is that Republicans are bad and Democrats are good. But some of the worst school districts in this country are bright blue. Think Newark, Chicago, Baltimore, LA, Atlanta etc etc. Yes they jack up the budgets. But the money goes to educrats current and deferred income. Pensions bloat and condo owners in retirement communities rejoice. As I recall per pupil spending in Baltimore is more than the tuition of some of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. So if it is about students and not the educrats, you may want to go beyond the lefty talking points.

13 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by bsinn on 12/08/2017 at 5:36 PM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

So that sounds like we're right back to blaming something else, much like Al Franken tried yesterday. Pension plans must go. Tenure needs to be eliminated. Non classroom positions need to be reduced by 50 %.

Then we can talk.

5 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Mona S on 12/08/2017 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Ed Sec Betsy DeVos on School Choice, College Costs

I ask myself why you keep commenting here also. Hopefully, your commenting days are coming to a close. Unless, of course, you can be more civil about how you do it.

If you don't like David's theme recycling, then quit reading. If you think you can do better, get a job like he has or one similar to his. Otherwise, you should STFU.

My guess is that you were/are an educator that feels like you got burned somewhere along the way. You come across as being butt hurt. Your posts have a very self conscious and pathetic undertone to them. It doesn't matter how many different names you post under, you are instantly recognizable.

Your arrogant, rude, snide, condescending and holier than thou remarks have no place in what should be civilized conversation and/or debate. If you can't play nice with others, head over to a corner and play with yourself.

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Still don't understand why anyone is here for an argument... on 12/08/2017 at 4:39 PM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

In response to Wayne Olson's comments. I accept the fact the not everything can be afforded and I certainly agree that we should cut the unnecessary spending. We could start with our defense spending; like we spend more than the total of the next 5 or so countries. Bottom-line, given that the U.S. is the richest nation on Planet Earth, we have the wealth to provide the richest education on Planet Earth. The reason we don't is greed, not the cost of providing an education for the children of illegal immigrants.

The purpose of public education is to maintain, and hopefully enhance the quality of life (QOF) for the individual and for the society as a whole. Is the QOF of an American child more important than the child that was brought to the US illegally by his or her parents. Does that mean that we shouldn't provide public education for any American child whose parents are criminals? Is an American child more deserving of decent education than a Mexican or Iranian or Syrian child? Note that a child doesn't choose it's parents, it's citizenship; nor is a child responsible for the actions of it's parents, it's country, etc., etc.

Finally, our focus should be on providing a sound education for all of the children, rather then attempting to NOT provide an education for a selected group, just to save a few bucks.

13 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by DennyG on 12/08/2017 at 3:28 PM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

2018 is an electoral off year with voter turnout historically hovering around 40-50% in a state dominated by Republicans. So, no, the election is not going to be about education. It's going to be about sound and fury signifying nothing. Republican turnout will be higher than Democratic turnout, with predictable results.

The key to a possible Democratic victory is the even larger electorate of independent, non-aligned voters who the Democrats assume will join them as a protest against the Republicans led by Trump. This is the same miscalculation that cost them the election in 2016.

Someone wrote in the NYT today that the Democrats arrived at a gunfight armed with a fistful of kale. This is in response to throwing Franken under the bus in the pursuit of ideological purity. In this state, they - the Democrats -rarely show up at all with a message and a messenger attractive to the largest bloc of voters in the state. "It's the schools, stupid" is not the message and neither Farley or Garcia are the messengers needed to shake things up.

19 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 12/08/2017 at 2:03 PM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

Michael S. Ellegood -- you are correct that there are shocking shortfalls in what teachers have to work with, but you don't acknowledge that there are two problems, here, not just one:
1) overall funding levels too low
2) in some LARGE school districts, what money there is does not get to the students and teachers as it should.

Your party fails in statewide election after election because the majority of voters in this state focus on problem 2) rather than problem 1). That problem is just as real as problem 1), but your party's candidates never acknowledge it, never address it, never come up with feasible policy plans that can fix it.

Tucson is a Democrat-majority city. There has been relentless press coverage of public school funding shortages here, but TUSD could not pass a bond in the last election. Why is that?

I wish Garcia and / or Farley would address BOTH sets of problems honestly and effectively, but somehow I doubt they will do so.

Too bad. If they don't have anything to say other than the standard-issue "MORE MONEY IS NEEDED," and they fail to add "AND WE KNOW HOW TO ENSURE IT WILL BE APPLIED FOR THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS" their bid for the governorship may go the same way the last TUSD bond initiative did.

16 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by It is about money AND about how the money is applied. on 12/08/2017 at 10:51 AM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

Unadjusted education spending per student: $7,528…

How much should we spend? maybe if we had not decided to educate the illegal population and deport the lawbreakers we could afford education for American children.

First you must accept the fact that not everything can be afforded. Please cut the unnecessary and then see what you have to work with.

5 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 12/08/2017 at 9:41 AM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

The never ending comments about "throwing more money at public education" fail, as the same commenters and legislators have no problem "throwing money" at for profit charters and private school vouchers.

18 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 12/08/2017 at 9:14 AM

Re: “The New, New Jim Crow

Thank you What, and well said I might add. I forgot to include the link. Let us also be mindful that they have banned Christian displays on campus. It appears to many that it is more than just an inconsistency.

We have watched the last four years or so where the IRS and FBI have targeted opponents of their agenda party, so all motives of the government must now be questioned.

Much of it is simply about buying votes with our money. That's why our roads are falling apart. Politics.

8 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 12/08/2017 at 9:05 AM

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