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Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Before we decide to spend more money on pre-K, we might want to look at the Head Start data and last year's Vanderbilt study. The research on pre-K benefits is, at best, equivocal. The correlations that Safier asserts as causal relationships might be due to the fact that involved, high-IQ parents (who tend to have high-IQ children) also tend to send their children to preschool, and not due to the preschool itself.

3 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 08/07/2017 at 1:56 PM

Re: “Beating Cancer How You Live

Pardon, note that the wording "his believes" ought to be "his beliefs" or in context "what he believes", thank you.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Johnson on 08/07/2017 at 8:45 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

" research agrees that the benefits of early childhood education starts when the child enters school and continues into adulthood. "
This is simply not so. Plenty of research seems to show that the effects of preschool wear off or could even be negative.…
Only in low income and neglectful homes does the research seem to agree. In those homes removing the child from the home helps simply because they're no longer neglected. In that case CPS should step in and remove them.
The best place for children below the age of 5 is in the home with a loving parent. I absolutely don't want my tax dollars wasted on what amounts to a baby sitting service.
Why is cradle to adulthood (and beyond) care by the government always seem to be the goal of liberals?

2 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 08/07/2017 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Isn't this initiative a system where Vouchers are provided to send kids to Private School. Albeit that it is locally produced. But if the Public Tax Supported Voucher system starts with Preschool, how much more would it take for Vouchers to become the norm for All Students. Maybe the City should look at PreSchool supported by the existing Public School system?

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Charles Smith on 08/07/2017 at 7:37 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Link please, John, for your kindergarten study, and if possible point to the conclusions section? And a link and quote verifying that $140 million was spent collecting data for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study? If you want me to trust, or even understand what you're talking about, you need to verify.

14 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 08/07/2017 at 7:21 AM

Re: “Pleasantly Punjab

I live nearby but review doesn't sound like the restaurant we went to at that location. The restaurant is not very clean and the food obviously preprepared from a food service or Lee Lee's. the food is bland and not well prepared with inferior ingredients. The staff often seems completely oblivious to the customers.

They have the most yelp reviews disputed I have ever seen for a restaurant. The reviews where customers complain about being sick after eating there have mostly been removed. I know mine and my wife's were.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by VerusX on 08/07/2017 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?


The $140 million came directly from the Institute of Education Sciences as a public records request, the oversight entity for the ECLS.

Your adult impacts almost certainly came from the famous Perry Preschool project - a sample of only 64 students followed from preschool till adulthood.

By comparison, the ECLS was a random sample of 20,000 students randomly drawn from 2,000 different schools and randomly drawn right from within each classroom.

They found that all day kindergartners lost ground on prosocial, antisocial behavior and motivation. And, the damage appears to be permanent - they lost ground to half-day kindergartners every year after kindergarten all the way till the end of the study.

A similar but smaller longitudinal study of 600 students found the same outcomes for preschool.

Everyone talks about "fade out" but it is not fade out - it is damage - slightly higher cognitive gains in one year at the expense of permanently lowered attitudes.

It hasn't been understood to be damage because few studies are as comprehensive as ECLS and few have followed students as long.

As far as Perry Preschool project it should be understood as mythology, not research. If you assign a trail guide to 64 students and his life outcomes depend on their well being, they will do well. It has little or nothing to do with the trail they follow.

5 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by on 08/06/2017 at 1:09 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

John, I usually don't bother responding to you, but my God, what are you talking about? Your data, if it means anything, goes through 8th grade. I wrote about research on high school graduation, earning power, family stability and lack of negative confrontations with the law. It followed people years beyond high school graduation. And I wrote about two years of preschool for 3 and 4 year olds, not the difference between half day and all day K's effects on academic achievement. (Some studies on the effects of preschool say the reading and math gains level out by the 4th grade, but they see lifelong benefits which go beyond test scores).

If you wish, I'd love for you to link to the study or studies you're referring to. Please point to where it says $140 million was spent collecting the data.

29 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 08/05/2017 at 12:27 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Katie, in the interest of presenting both sides of the argument accurately, I stated the anti-Strong Start concerns in a paragraph which said clearly that it was their argument, not mine. I don't think summarizing their views is putting out "misinformation." I did say, "Their concerns are genuine," because I believe they are, though, as I go on to say, they are minor compared to the value of the program. I then went on to address their concerns one by one. I also say in the introductory paragraphs and at the end that I am a supporter of Strong Start.

As we get closer to the election, both sides will likely become more visible and vocal. I think it's valuable to put both arguments side by side and see how they line up next to one another.

25 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 08/05/2017 at 8:34 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Yet the vast majority of research agrees...

Not so fast. Yes, their are hundreds of studies waxing poetic about the benefits of preschool and kindergarten.

And, then there is the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. A random sample of 20,000 children, the best tests ever designed to measure young child cognition, measurement of affective outcomes from every perspective, the student, the parent, the teacher. Measurement of motor skills. Recording every aspect of student's life so that all things can be held constant.

$140 million dollars spent just collecting the data.

Separation of data gathering from data analysis to prevent bias from corrupting the data collection.

Followed the students for 9 years, all the way through 8th grade.

Result: at the end of 8th grade, all-day kindergartners are behind half day kindergartners by .1 standard deviations - the equivalent of the entire 12th grade.

The ECLS is the Hubble telescope of education studies. You never hear about it because Education culture prefers its myths.

The ECLS data exactly parallels a similar longitudinal study done on preschool.

The National Reading Panel began their work by spending $10 million analyzing over 10,000 reading studies and ended up concluding that 96% of them weren't worth the paper that they were written on and the other 400 had weaknesses.

Why would early childhood research be any different?

8 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by on 08/05/2017 at 7:00 AM

Re: “Arizona's Un-Credential. Is It the Beginning Of the End Of Teaching As a Profession?

The short answer is, "Yes."

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Huppenthal is still a public school hater on 08/05/2017 at 6:40 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Mr Safier, many of the concerns/questions you raised are easily answered on Strong Start Tucson's website... please don't keep spreading the idea that we "don't know" more about this initiative. Local nonprofits will bid to be the one to oversee it (that only happens after it's passed) and quality is clearly defined on the website as a 3,4 or 5 star rating from first things first's Quality First rating system. I posted on fb, too - just don't want more misinformation out there!

8 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Katie Paschall on 08/04/2017 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

If you like it I know it has to suck.

13 likes, 31 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 08/04/2017 at 3:19 PM

Re: “Distill My Heart

You can't say anything about the Independent is untrue because the people behind its origins have taken their names away from the place.You also can't blame the writer because the "truth" is the truth of the people who are now running it.

12 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by galinked on 08/04/2017 at 1:48 PM

Re: “House of Blues

Wow, an inspiring depiction of my uncle Dave who is the warmest, most welcoming of family men, on top of all his talent and accomplishment.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gina Grant on 08/04/2017 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Distill My Heart

The article on The Independent Distillery was untrue. The hard work, accomplishments and "true story" behind those who actually built the brand, distilled the spirits and designed the bar were missing entirely and/or misrepresented.

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Justine Wadsack on 08/04/2017 at 10:53 AM

Re: “Arizona's Un-Credential. Is It the Beginning Of the End Of Teaching As a Profession?

Response to Mumford P and Retrov on California's ranking

The RAND corporation did three major studies in the 90's and very early 2000s which ranked the states. These studies used NAEP data and six different census variables to very carefully control for demographics, family income, family marital status, etc.

California schools finished dead last in all three studies while Arizona ranked 21st in the most recent of the three (2002 data) and 19th and 30th in the two earlier studies.

Just recently, Matthew Hingus of the Urban Institute did what amounts to an update of the RAND studies using 2015 NAEP data.

In his ranking, Arizona ranked 13th and California ranked 47th.

Hawaii, the state with one school district and 19% of parents rating their child's school a "D" or "F" ranked dead last.

3 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by on 08/04/2017 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Distill My Heart

Uh what??? The whole piece on Independent is completely wrong hahaha does this writer even live here??

9 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Weeklyfan on 08/04/2017 at 10:14 AM

Re: “Arizona's Un-Credential. Is It the Beginning Of the End Of Teaching As a Profession?

This debate, whether certified teachers outperform non-certified teachers, is important. If the research reported by Mr. Huppenthal is reliable (I believe it is) and there is little difference, what are to believe?

In my estimation, we need to look hard at both the teacher certification/degree programs and the students who enter and graduate ostensibly prepared to begin teaching. A hint: take a long look at preparation of the teaching cadres in countries that are succeeding. Entrance into the teacher profession is heavily screened admitting high achieving students into demanding programs with significant field experience and assigned mentors (master teachers). The pay scale is attractive to students wanting to work in the field, not seen as a cross to bear or a base to build on with additional part-time work. Teachers in these countries are not autonomous but are heavily involved in decision-making in their schools and professional organization. Essentially, the opposite of what teachers in this country experience.

So, if certified teachers here fare not much better than their counterparts, it just could be that our teacher training and certification mills are working with average material in a virtual vacuum while expected to produce able practitioners willing to work for a pittance. What could possibly go wrong?

16 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 08/04/2017 at 7:13 AM

Re: “Arizona's Un-Credential. Is It the Beginning Of the End Of Teaching As a Profession?

Response to Retrorv

Your study doesn't disagree with me- read it carefully. In your study, Darling-Hammond is disagreeing with a prior study which, using NELS data, found that certified teachers did not outperform non-certified teachers in the areas of mathematics and science.

This is the key sentence in the entire study:

When experience was controlled, both education degrees and
levels of experience had positive but smaller influences on student achievement (page 21).

Yes, as a group, certified teachers outperform non-certified teachers by a smidgen - that's what I stated in my post above.

But, almost half of non-certified teachers outperform almost half of certified teachers. The variance is quite large so there are large gains to be had by allowing districts freedom to choose the best.

The districts with the overwhelming majority of our students are well equipped to sort this out.

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by on 08/04/2017 at 6:29 AM

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