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Re: “Koch Brothers Infiltrate Pima County Schools With a High School Econ Course

Good for the Kochs! Now somebody should fund a revival of Civics classes so our students aren't political idiots when they graduate.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Was a Teacher on 10/17/2017 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Koch Brothers Infiltrate Pima County Schools With a High School Econ Course

Any new curricular adoption should be approved by the board of a democratically controlled district in a public process, with opportunity for public review of curricular materials and public feedback. If this process is not used, the public is not being given the opportunity to understand what is being taught in a "public" institution, and you cannot advertise "transparency" as a virtue that makes public school districts superior to other forms of education (charters, privates).

Yes, it has become pro-forma in TUSD and perhaps in other districts that there are many non-transparent ways of making decisions which should be made at the Board level: for example, by embedding them in district administrations or in Site Council meetings which almost no one other than Site Council members ever attend, and which get little or no coverage from the local media. These are practices that need reform, and not only in instances where the Koch brothers have used them (just as some assert that the creators of MAS used them) to slip politically tendentious classes into the high school curriculum.

David Safier will always turn any concern with process around to try to find a way of saying a process can only be declared wrong when it is used to forward the cause of his political opponents. In this, HE is wrong. And the saddest thing about his dishonest and irresponsible method of argument is that in being selective about defending proper process and transparency, he and others like him utterly wash away the ground on which we should all be standing together as citizens when we object to interest groups manipulating our public institutions.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Looking for Consistency in Process & Transparency on 10/17/2017 at 10:18 AM

Re: “Board of Supes Set To Discuss Christy Proposal for Countywide Sales Tax for Roads

As long as it also supports other modes of transportation. Car-scaled infrastructure is too expensive to maintain in the long run.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by bslap on 10/17/2017 at 7:13 AM

Re: “Koch Brothers Infiltrate Pima County Schools With a High School Econ Course

Betts, my understanding is, the course was approved, not by the board but by the office of the assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum. Based on my experience as a high school teacher, that's not surprising. Teachers often recommend new courses they want to teach. If they're approved by the school's curriculum director and principal, they're sent to the district administration for approval, which is generally granted. That process makes sense to me, both for efficiency and for empowering individual teachers and schools. I don't know the process that went into approving the course at the other three local districts.

I don't think the problem is with the process, or with TUSD and the other districts. The problem is, the system was gamed by the folks at the Freedom Center. They exploited a normal trait in school districts to slip a course they created into high schools. Now it's time for the boards to take a hard look at the courses and decide if they belong in their district curriculum.

I would rather have something like this happen, then correct it, than tighten up the procedure of approving new courses and take power and authority away from the individual schools by making them jump through more administrative hoops to gain course approval. If the procedure is tightened up, it should be in a limited way -- say, if there are red flags about the suggested new course originating outside of the district, then it should be looked at more carefully and the board should be involved.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 10/17/2017 at 6:52 AM

Re: “Board of Supes Set To Discuss Christy Proposal for Countywide Sales Tax for Roads

Maybe we should just add a special sales tax to automobile / truck & other vehicles that use our roads. While we are at it make it high enough to finance PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION that might actually get a few of the single occupant gas guzzlers off the road.

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Adif4entMIND on 10/17/2017 at 6:44 AM

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