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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch: Last 7 Days

Re: “How's the New 'Anyone Can Teach in Arizona' Law Working Out So Far?

This state has had a Republican legislature for the last 24 yrs, and a Republican governor for 20 out of the last 26 yrs. Public education is not a priority for them, and the GOP here in AZ is not smart enough to figure out that strong public schools help create a vibrant economy and attract business. The voters keep sending the same kind of people to the legislature, so unless those people change, nothing will change.

36 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Pima Mujer on 06/22/2017 at 4:09 PM

Re: “How's the New 'Anyone Can Teach in Arizona' Law Working Out So Far?

I think this is a worthy experiment, and we should probably give it time to play out before declaring failure. The basic problem is that teaching pays so much less than, say, engineering, so I have difficulty understanding why someone who had the test scores to be admitted to and worked hard to successfully complete an engineering programming would want to accept so much less pay than their market value. I might see people do that for lifestyle reasons, or as a sort of semi-retirement, but not right out of school with student loans to pay back.

Perhaps the solution to Arizona's teacher shortage is to start bringing in immigrant teachers on H-1B visas (at least for STEM fields). There may just not be enough Americans to fill these jobs. Accessing a deep pool of immigrant teaching labor would also help level the balance of power with the teacher unions.

9 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 06/22/2017 at 2:46 PM

Re: “How's the New 'Anyone Can Teach in Arizona' Law Working Out So Far?

I suppose they can claim that supposedly "qualified" college graduates who can't get jobs in their fields can now go to work teaching, thereby being a full-employment program for the state. Fat chance!

12 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 06/22/2017 at 2:35 PM

Re: “Laughing Stock: Where Does Comedy Come From?

I just read about another local restaurant that is closing. The owner said it was due in part to slow times but the increase in minimum wage finished them off. Is that part of this problem also? This is no laughing matter.

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Coulrophobia Is Real on 06/22/2017 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

I see the League of Women Voters of Arizona has signed on as a supporter of the misleadingly titled "Save Our Schools" campaign:

Another sad sign that the AZ League, in spite of its professed concern with EQUITY, doesn't actually know what the term means and / or is led by people who haven't the faintest clue what is going on at the ground level in TUSD.

I detect the influence of some of our local "Supporters of Public Ed." They may be able to mislead the Board of the League of Women Voters of AZ by pouting and telling fairy tales about financially transparent, democratically controlled and uniformly deserving public school districts whose only obstacle to delivering "GREAT EDUCATION to EVERYONE !" is lack of funds, but a lot of people locally see through campaigns based on the false notion of public school districts as bastions of an "EQUITY" that has never existed and will never begin to exist in districts like TUSD, even if funding is increased.

Equity cannot begin to exist in TUSD in part because some of our better known "Supporters of Public Ed" don't care to advocate for it. They remain silent when the factual findings of people like Sylvia Campoy are disparaged by the district's representatives. They remain silent when the Superintendent re-allocates millions of dollars from improving services to underserved students to paying three different sets of expensive law firms to pick fights with the desegregation judge. They remain silent when their friends on the TUSD Board vote twice in support of a patently inequitable plan to funnel students directly from wealthy-neighborhood-Fruchthendler-Elementary to wealthy-neighborhood-Sabino-High-School, bypassing a middle school where Fruchthendler children might have to attend school with (shudder) less privileged TUSD students.

Did I miss the "Supporters of Public Ed"'s conspicuous advocacy on these topics, David Safier? If so, please send me a link to where I can see these public-spirited, compassionate campaigners using their influence in the community to defend EQUITY in TUSD.

(In general, I will say that it's best when education policy analysis and education policy initiatives are created by people who've taken the time and trouble to study for a few years under the tutelage of experts in education and / or education policy. Right now the policy initiatives produced by our local "Supporters of Public Schools!" are not, and while they continue to market their own particular brand of hypocrisy and ignorance to the electorate, what they are actually doing is a lot of damage to the credibility of and soundness of management in public schools in this state.)

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by P.S. on "Supporters of Public Ed!" and EQUITY. on 06/22/2017 at 11:39 AM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

Does a public school district like TUSD serve and promote EQUITY? Should we do what "Supporters of Public Schools" (Ann Eve Pedersen, Jen Darland, etc.) ask, oppose SB1431 and, by so doing, ensure that people who want to transfer out of some of the district's lower performing schools and enroll their children in private schools do not have the economic means necessary to do so?

Consider these things observed by constituents with students enrolled in TUSD:

1. Parents at both Sam Hughes and Fruchthendler Elementary Schools, the schools which Ann Eve Pedersen's and Jen Darland's families used, raised private money and tax credit funds and used the funds to significantly augment the resources available to students enrolled in those schools, creating conditions quite different from what might be available to students attending, for example, TUSD schools in less affluent neighborhoods on the SW side. Parents not only raised the funds, which is relatively easy in affluent neighborhoods like the neighborhoods surrounding those schools, they got TUSD central, in spite of its professed concerns with "EQUITY" to permit them to apply their funds in areas where they wanted them applied, including:

Hughes: Playground equipment, a piano, fine arts programming, a librarian, a first grade teacher, classroom aides, project-based-learning professional development and curricular support, a counselor, a P.E. Teacher, a chess teacher, reading specialists, 36 computers

Fruchthendler (a partial list, including only staff positions funded) PE coach, track coach , Spanish teacher, computer teacher, Kinder-2nd grade tutor, 3rd -5th grade tutor

On the topic of how that permission was obtained, one of the well-connected fundraisers involved with the Hughes efforts gave the impression that part of the trick was supporting campaigns "the district" was running by knocking on doors and persuading constituents to vote for them. Were these just campaigns for bonds and overrides (and, more recently, perhaps for the dubious Ducey-concocted initiative, Prop 123), or were they also political campaigns supporting certain candidates for the district's Governing Board? Who knows -- though it's interesting to note that Ann Eve Pedersen was Jen Darland's campaign manager when she ran for the TUSD Board in 2014. Darland is a Democrat who gave the appearance during her campaign of being closely associated with sitting Board members Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster. During Darland's campaign, questions were raised about whether Pedersen had improperly used a district employee e-mail contact list to invite people to a Darland campaign event at her home.

2. Jen Darland's family, like former Superintendent HT Sanchez's family, used TUSD's Fruchthendler Elementary. Not just once but twice during the 2013-2016 period when the TUSD Board was controlled by the majority Grijalva-Foster-Juarez, proposals were passed by the TUSD Board that would create a pipeline directly from Fruchthendler Elementary to Sabino High School, allowing Fruchthendler parents to bypass Magee Middle school, a middle school serving a more socio-economically diverse population than the Fruchthendler neighborhood. Evidently Magee was good enough for other TUSD students, but not good enough for the friends, neighbors and classmates of the children of Ms. Darland and Dr. Sanchez. The desegregation authority twice vetoed the plan as one that would increase inequity in the district. No doubt the desire to install the Fruchthendler-Sabino direct feed pipeline was one more reason the Superintendent and Board majority 2013-2016 used desegregation funds -- the main purpose of which should be to improve services to underserved students -- to pay expensive lawyers to try to resolve the desegregation case and get out from under court oversight. If they could get rid of oversight, there would be no one to say "No" to plans like the Fruchthendler-Sabino pipeline.

3. Wasn't it Senator Bradley who introduced the idea of public school tax credits in the AZ legislature? Did his family utilize a private school K-8, and then University High School, the TUSD school with competitive admissions, extremely high test scores, and (after public school tax credits were passed by the legislature) the highest public school tax credit net in the district?

Do your internet research, David Safier, and phone some of your well-connected friends to fact-check. Research ALL the obstacles to and perversions of EQUITY (and who is responsible for them) and inform the public. That's your goal here in this blog, right?

So, bottom line: is the sadly misled, factually inaccurate commenter #1 above correct in stating that we should sign the SOS petition to save the public schools that "belong to us all"? One could say that TUSD schools like Utterback, a very "flawed at the moment" institution serving a low-SES population which recently lost its magnet status in part because of the poor quality of its programs and deficiently qualified staff, may "belong to" anyone who wants to enroll it: it will always have plenty of open seats. But schools like Fruchthendler, Sam Hughes, and University High do not belong to anyone who wants to enroll. The first two belong first to people who live in their designated neighborhoods, which have prohibitively high home values. After that, if there are spaces, they are open to those who apply to "open enroll." Through what mysterious process or algorithm TUSD's central office authorities determine how some who apply get in and some do not, we do not know. What we do know is that there are not enough spaces in the "good" schools in TUSD like Sam Hughes and Fruchthendler for all those who would like to attend. As for University High School, it is only available to students who have high GPAs and high scores on tests of cognitive aptitude. It serves a lot of relatively affluent, relatively well educated Tucsonans, including several well-connected Democratic "Supporters of Public Schools!" who sent their kids to more affluent public districts and / or to private schools K-8 and would only condescend to enroll a child in TUSD if the child passed the admissions test to University High School. You know: the sort of people who scream "EQUITY!" and "WELFARE FOR THE RICH!" when less affluent families want to take their their per-pupil funding out of some of the low functioning schools in TUSD and, through ESA legislation / SB1431, transfer it to the kinds of private schools many of these equity-concerned (?) folks used for their own children.

Perhaps Ms. Pedersen and Ms. Darland might want to give a pass on ESAs to those TUSD residents who have applied to "open enroll" in Hughes and Fruchthendler, but did not get in. Perhaps Senator Bradley might want to give a pass on ESAs to those who have applied for admission to University High School, but did not get in. Perhaps not. Do they actually care about TUSD residents who don't happen to be able to access the little enclaves of privilege some TUSD constituents have managed to carve out for themselves in the midst of a massive dysfunctional district where only the privileged and people with "pull" get their advocacy goals met, a district which, nevertheless, serves primarily people without "pull," the children of the poor? Their opposition to SB1431 would appear to suggest not.

10 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Opposing SB1431 is not supporting "EQUITY." on 06/22/2017 at 10:36 AM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

Kathryn was worthy of the utmost respect. She helped humanity. And Mr. Again and Denise Allen...what have you done lately to make the world a better place???? Typing hate on the internet is not exactly honorable.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by MariaElena Amaya on 06/22/2017 at 7:30 AM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

"Empower the police to eradicate it."

Yeah, that's the answer. Thanks, Kathy.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Observer on 06/22/2017 at 4:52 AM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

Gentrification at it's finest. I bet they rent the place for next to nothing.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Abble on 06/21/2017 at 6:15 PM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

On that note it is really sad what is happening to Tucson neighborhoods because of drugs and crime. Crime and drugs? It's the old chicken or egg argument. I wish that our elected officials would shine the light on the problem and empower the Police to eradicate it.

What do they gain by ignoring it?

5 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Kathy E. on 06/21/2017 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening


The stories a few officers I know have told me about that area are enough to keep anyone away. They have multiple stories of people stabbing and robbing strangers directly in front of them. Even the presence of a police officer is not enough to dissuade some of these junkies. It wasn't that long ago that the liquor store just west of that Circle K was busted for selling prepackaged free-base kits, no joke. Maybe Amy's is counting on the all those junkies having a sweet tooth and extra cash but a 24 hour business model in that area? Good luck. I hope none of their employees get hurt in the inevitable robberies. Adjusted for population density, this is one of the most dangerous spots in the entire city.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 06/21/2017 at 4:33 PM

Re: “Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr on Esther Phillips' Brilliant Take of 'Home is Where the Hatred Is.'

What a Difference a Day Makes is one of my favorite recordings. I was fortunate to see her in concert at Bridges Auditorium at Pomona College. What a power house and what a lost to her fans.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Hermi Cubillos on 06/21/2017 at 3:40 PM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

@rcmitchell - i used to buy gas at the Circle K next door but was harassed by panhandlers so much I found another station. I complained to the Circle K regional management who promised to get a security guard for that store but they never followed up.

No woman traveling solo should risk doing business anywhere in that area, including the "great" new Walmart store. Or maybe you need to open carry ... and I don't mean beer.

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by SonoranWinds on 06/21/2017 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Dems Ask Judge To Knock Indie Candidate from November City Council Ballot

Uh...the union is backing the democratic status quo. They need to get the account balances up on the pension plans first. Then they might allow some money to go to pothole repairs. How many motorcyclists must die first? No telling.

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Can Tucson Ever Change on 06/21/2017 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Dems Ask Judge To Knock Indie Candidate from November City Council Ballot

A firefighter is claiming he can raise money for legal representation? I find that hard to believe. Firefighters are the most aggressive organizers. The question should be why he's not getting help from his union.

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Steve M on 06/21/2017 at 9:02 AM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

Excellent article in The Atlantic. Thanks for the link.

What a scandal it would be for students to be allowed to apply their per-pupil funding in a school where they might learn, as some students in Tucson do, that Cesar Chavez agreed with the formerly expressed opinions of Obama, Krugman, Greenwald and Sanders. Or that Dorothy Day, an icon of the left, was not "pro-choice." Or that they should think for themselves and try to discern the truth on every issue rather than swallowing every item in a party platform whole.

Lots of manipulations these days to try to "manufacture consent," distort the truth on issues, and / or mislead the voting public. Self-interested, serve-the-money-interests and win-the-election-by-pandering-to-an-ignorant-electorate behaviors are pervasive on both sides of the political spectrum as Lessig and others have taken the trouble to document.

The TRUTH remains something independent of the agendas of political parties and interest groups, including the charter lobby, and including the "Supporters of Public Schools" group, which can be observed locally actively producing misleading impressions about legislative initiatives they oppose and trying to suppress awareness of what conditions actually are in some of our largest public districts.

Think for a moment: what does this manipulative, dishonest behavior toward the electorate imply about what kind of citizens "Supporters of Public Schools" will be trying to produce in the "educational" institutions they champion? Will they ask these institutions to form citizens capable of self-directed research and critical thinking independent of a party line? Forgive me, Supporters of Public Schools, for answering that question honestly and saying it plainly: having observed your local operations for several years now, it seems to me very unlikely.

There's a reason why "Independent Schools" chose that name and that stance for themselves. In the final analysis, it may be the only stance that is capable of producing valid educational programs.

14 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Supporting Public Ed Means Abandoning TUSD on 06/21/2017 at 7:45 AM

Re: “Dems Ask Judge To Knock Indie Candidate from November City Council Ballot

Those Dems, all for free, fair, and transparent elections, until their power is threatened.

16 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 06/21/2017 at 5:39 AM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

Unlike the very negative comment above, I think its great that they are improving this neighborhood with some creativity, entrepreneurship, and flavor. Good for them, will definitely try them out.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by rcmitchell on 06/21/2017 at 1:36 AM

Re: “Dems Ask Judge To Knock Indie Candidate from November City Council Ballot

Let him run. Let him run.

15 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Let him run on 06/20/2017 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

They put it right in the middle of Methsville. A horrible location and an overpriced donut shop? What's the over under on them closing this location? 2 years?

9 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 06/20/2017 at 7:17 PM

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