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

Re: “McSally Silent on Roy Moore Accusations

She said she wanted to be "a leader" on ridding the military of sexual assault, but then opposed reforms. There were House hearings yesterday on sexual assault in the Capitol - apparently that wasn't a priority for her either? We were promised a "woman warrior" - boy has she not lived up to the hype.

49 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Teresa Zimmerman 1 on 11/14/2017 at 2:38 PM

Re: “McSally Silent on Roy Moore Accusations

Interesting to always note how she promotes "women" when it makes her look good, but her votes and positions don't back it up. We have a whole website dedicated to this. www.representmeaz.com/issues

53 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by azlover on 11/14/2017 at 2:21 PM

Re: “Chris Bannon: 'We Are Coming For You!'

Who is giving this award?

18 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 11/14/2017 at 1:59 PM

Re: “Trusting Entrepreneurs to Improve Education: A Cautionary Tale

Bill Gates has put many hundreds of millions of dollars into education improvement schemes, with minimal success."

Wrong, absolutely, verifiably wrong.

In 2015, combined math and reading NAEP scores, under the overwhelming influence of "Race to the Top", a Bill Gates brainchild, went down for the first time ever.

your quote should read:

"Bill Gates has put many hundreds of millions of dollars into education improvement schemes, with negative results for almost the entire country and especially for minorities."

And, he still has not backed off from the policies that caused the downturn.

We also know the effect of computerization of schools. We have thousands of one to one schools, schools with a computer for every child. The effect is zero. The onus is on Gates to prove that his new approach is something that really works.

Gates should take a lesson from Plato's Socrates - "I know one thing, I know nothing."

Gate's work defining problems is brilliant but he appears brain-dead at making the correct conclusions about his data and implementing solutions. For example, his hundreds of millions of dollars he spent analyzing classrooms came up with amazing data showing that even the very best teachers have a huge variance in the quality of their classroom performance. Even they stink in a large percentage of their classroom hours.

We are a society that knows a lot about reducing variance in performance. The logical outcome of Gate's data would be a school district in which you very carefully pull random samples of classroom quality by wiring or wifi ing every classroom to a central point and providing teachers a positive feedback loop on quality.

Tucson Unified with their 40,000 or so hours of weekly teaching could be very accurately measured with a random sample of 300 hours. That's the beauty of statistics.

Right now, we rely on physical observation in the classroom to provide feedback on quality, voila- the dog and pony show that seldom reveal the problems needed to be worked on and solved.

Deming's rule number one for quality- get rid of inspection and go to random sampling.

And, you create a central support team whose job it is to support the hell out of those teachers to ensure that they are as prepared as possible every single hour.

We know what the consequences of such a system would be, a school district that improves 1 to 7 percent a year, depending on how effectively and positively you tied the system into performance pay.

Ten years from now, you would have a school district where over 90% of the interactions with students would be positive and teacher engagement would be over 90% and time on task would be over 90%. These are imminently achievable goals, not pie in the sky at all.

But, it can't be achieved overnight, people don't change quickly. But, with the right feedback loops, teachers will change and feel really good about being one of the very best if not the best.

You would have massive cultural resistance to this change unless you required the schools to volunteer. Then, very quickly teachers would be saying, why do they get to do it and not us?

Terrence Scott, a researcher in Kentucky, has done brilliant work showing that the typical classroom teacher operates in the failure zone with both low levels of teacher engagement and toxic levels of negativity in that relationship. David Garcia did similar studies showing incredibly low levels of time on task in Chicago Public schools for his post-graduate work in Chicago.

But, in traditional public education, nothing ever changes and you can be sure, Tucson Unified will lose another 500+ students this year.

3 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 11/14/2017 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Trusting Entrepreneurs to Improve Education: A Cautionary Tale

The intention of the ALT platform seems to be supporting students in becoming self actualized and critically informed through a thoughtful approach of personalized education and real world learning experiences that are enhanced by student driven data - not sure where the hidden agenda of breaking up teacher unions, exploiting information for consumerism and designing zombie robots is coming from...better resize that aluminum hat and do a little more research.

The sale of the platform is a "no brainer" - last time a checked our government was not handing out bushels of cash to revolutionize the education system. You can only subvert a dominant paradigm by offering an articulate and compelling vision of the future and steps to reach that reality. I will digress momentarily to create an analogy even those that are ill-informed can understand. The average salary for a pro football player is 1.9 million annually. This monetary abundance has lead to helmet technology that has revolutionized the game and enhanced the player experience. I am not contending that throwing gobs of money at a problem is the ultimate fix nor did I ever imagine using shmootball to emphasize a point related to education. However, the monetary discrepancy and cultural priorities must be addressed. The average salary for a starting educator is 35 k with five preps, one plan and no bathroom break. Do you see my point? If education evolution means raising venture capital, selling tech that elevates the student experience and testing out new ideas and opportunities then so be it. We may just end up with something that becomes a "game changer" No one is making you subscribe to this model this is simply one of the attempts being made that is more public.

The fascinating thing about these on-line conversations and articles is that no one stops to examine the steps being made to elevate the student experience...remember it is ultimately about them not the underpaid teachers, the crippling bureaucracy or the wealthy technocrats, its about kids! Everyone wants to throw rocks, yell and scream because that gets attention. This is the least common denominator with regard to intellectual banter that signals arrested development from around age 12. (Seems like I might have a little)

It may be valuable to consider that we are all searching for the solution to an outdated industrialized model of education. Each attempt, initiative and lesson plan that gets us closer to this is a success. Rather than throwing rocks you may find it valuable to investigate the multiple agencies and organizations that are trying to support better education and see what can be lifted, hacked, reimplemented and employed.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by john dewey on 11/14/2017 at 10:19 AM

Re: “Trusting Entrepreneurs to Improve Education: A Cautionary Tale

Sorry Betts, but we trusted the so called education experts and the radical teachers union with our kids education, and we have all been ripped off.

And quite honestly, for your vultures to take advantage of future consumers, they must have productive employment with spendable income. Something Tucson government and public education struggles to produce.

I will take my kids and my chances elsewhere.

5 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 11/14/2017 at 9:41 AM

Re: “Trusting Entrepreneurs to Improve Education: A Cautionary Tale

Mhmm ... thats right! Careful how you do these things folks. There are thousands of FB police taking reports of inappropriate behavior in live feeds. Which is handy for ferreting out the perverts that troll the live feeds on the #metoo march. Its kind of brilliant on the one hand and creepy on the other. Limit your time on the computer. Go outside and play too!! Experience humans up front and personal... touch the actual world first hand. #robotsinthemaking

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Karen McLane on 11/14/2017 at 8:13 AM

Re: “Trusting Entrepreneurs to Improve Education: A Cautionary Tale

Please, to the usual chorus of commenters on David's posts who often chime in about how much TUSD would be improved by such a strategy because of how awful (they think) it is, put your child where your mouth is. Whether intended or unintended (I tend to think the former: I don't care what political party the tech giants belong to) this is just the latest idea to break teachers' unions, privatize our schools and turn our kids into one giant pool of future consumers for the vultures to take advantage of. Such use of our public school kids should be called what it is: information age child abuse.

14 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 11/14/2017 at 8:11 AM

Re: “The Weekly Take: DeAndre Ayton leads Arizona into tonight's season opener against NAU

I got to see him play yesterday and he will transform this team into an unstoppable force. Welcome to Tucson Mr Ayton.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 11/13/2017 at 11:41 AM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

" Libertarians have nothing useful to offer this challenge but a narrow ideological justification to continue fueling the fire, funded and delivered by those whose narrow self-interest is served."

Excuse me but that sounds a lot like indoctrination and discrimination of thought.

5 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 11/13/2017 at 11:36 AM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

Dianne, can I assume that you're also opposed to MAS because it lacks intellectual diversity?

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 11/13/2017 at 10:48 AM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

Introducing high school students to the field of economics using a fringe slice of economic ideas as the correct perspective on complex issues is not education, it is indoctrination, plain and simple. Balance does not arise from indoctrination. Why not a survey course grounded in economic pluralism--the full spectrum of economic thought? One of the key threats to our democracy is the unprecedented concentration of wealth and income. Libertarians have nothing useful to offer this challenge but a narrow ideological justification to continue fueling the fire, funded and delivered by those whose narrow self-interest is served.

25 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Tom Rhodes on 11/13/2017 at 7:34 AM

Re: “The Weekly Take: DeAndre Ayton leads Arizona into tonight's season opener against NAU

Enough with the use of freak??? What century are you from? That young man is somebody's child!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Marvis Williams Sylvers on 11/13/2017 at 5:27 AM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

Do really want to be a state where high school students have a constitutional right to "raza studies", but Friedman and Hayek incite a book burning panic? Trust me, if you're a baja AZ progressive, libertarianism should be the least of your worries. Wait till the kids start passing around Evola, Spengler and (UA alum) Yockey under the bleachers after class.

4 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 11/12/2017 at 10:08 PM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

Eisenhower became President of Columbia after using his diplomatic skills to chart victory in Europe. He had a vision of facilitating intellectual and research pursuits. He came out saying all a college President did was grub for money fulltime. Now most universities do the same thing, who#es for money. Football games are 4 hours long at midnight grubbing for TV money. Even coal waste pile money is acceptable in the pursuit of libertarian, corporate dictatorships. Of course objective research on societal effects of Ayn Randism is impossible in the Freedom Academy.

22 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 11/12/2017 at 7:46 PM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

Yeah that general welfare thinggee is working out just fine isn't it?

4 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Jonathon K on 11/12/2017 at 6:38 AM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

If pushed to the limit, libertarianism is autocracy. The Koch's philosophy of greed is convincing Americans to dispense with a government that promotes the general welfare of its people and replace it with one that re-establishes feudalism. Their self-indulgent excuses for greed are taking over educational institutions across the country, from Arizona to FSU to GMU and many points in between. I'm sorry but not surprised to learn that they have infected UA like they have my own UVA.

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by poddar1 on 11/12/2017 at 5:45 AM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

Intellectual diversity is a good thing. UA's Economics dept includes liberals, conservatives,and libertarians. Let's have that dept rather than the Philosophy dept teach high school economics. The Phil 101 course is problematic because it lacks intellectual diversity. And for many students it will be their only exposure to economics. Don't they deserve to hear the range of viewpoints in contemporary economics? Instead students are being given only the Koch view.

24 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Dianne Horgan on 11/11/2017 at 8:28 PM

Re: “A UA Prof Chimes In on the 'Freedom Center'

Let's review again. How did the Koch brothers become involved in public policy? In the 1930's their father went to Russia to help them build refineries with the very latest technology and efficiency. As he worked there he formed friendships with many communists and then three events happened - first he observed the 80% collapse of economic production under communism and its horrific impact on ordinary families, then he observed the purges, first his friends being expelled from the communist party and their loss of jobs and then their murders.

Then, he was assigned a "handler" who laid out in detail their plans to do the same thing in the United States. They had to murder millions to gain acceptance of their hateful system in Russia and they were planning to do the same thing in the United States all the way until Reagan's economic results and star wars program convinced them that communism was irretrievably inferior to capitalism and they gave up.

The ultimate irony is that Koch industries is set up under a communistic system, a healthy positive one, not the hateful thing that Marx designed. In Koch industries, supervisors and managers are regarded as servants and evaluated by their subordinates. They also view their companies as servants to their customers measuring customer satisfaction with every single service and product.

Their intellectual approach works, over 100,000 people have chosen to work for them, one of the 50 largest empires in the United States.

By comparison, our university system is a totally corrupt arteriosclerotic pile of dung and the University of Arizona represents the worst of it. They can't even comprehend that their students are their customers- they totally reject measuring the percentage of students rating their education excellent, a number less than 25%, the typical university student shows no cognitive gains after two years of college and there is no evidence that the UofA is any better.

The idea that professors would evaluate Deans would never be considered. The idea that the presidents would be rewarded for the percentage of students rating their education incredibly great would be regarded as completely culturally bizarre.

No wonder that they panic at the idea that this little breath of fresh air and innovations, Koch centers would enter their intellectually corrupt and sclerotic establishment.

Time for another enlightenment.

8 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 11/11/2017 at 8:10 AM

Re: “Prop. 204: Planting Preschools in Daycare Deserts

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1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fernand carron on 11/11/2017 at 5:48 AM

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