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

Re: “14th Grade Is the New 12th Grade

That's odd. SS, Unemployment and Medicare make up 60% of the budget. Defense is 16%.

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Make America, Don't Take America! on 06/14/2017 at 9:35 AM

Re: “14th Grade Is the New 12th Grade

"As a nation we are $20T in debt. many of you fell for this and are responsible."

The biggest contributor to the debt is the military spending, which our president just boasted about raising.

25 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Palisades on 06/14/2017 at 6:01 AM

Re: “14th Grade Is the New 12th Grade

Perhaps the reason that 14th grade is the new 12th grade is because standards have dropped. Remember this article that made the rounds of the web a few years back? It's called "An 1895 8th Grade Final Exam: I Couldn't Pass It. Could You?"

Here are a few of the questions:
"Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters." (If you're reading this, this means you, Francis Saitta.)
"Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph."
"District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?"
"Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent."
"Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt."
"Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion."
"Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?"
"Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?"
"Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays." (Hardly anyone on the Internet can answer this one anymore.)
"What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?" (I bet Scott Pruitt can't answer this one.)
"Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco"
And so on. Can the average eighth-grader still pass a test like this? Can the average high school graduate? A lot of people under 35 nowadays seem to complain about the difficulties of "adulting," and while some of their complaints are indeed quite valid, especially considering how much more complicated modern life has become, the people who complain about not being able to figure out how to pay a bill at the age of twenty-five kind of leave me scratching my head. Meanwhile, over 120 years ago, a thirteen-year-old had to know how to do it. So is higher education really teaching anyone anything now, or is it just making up for all the ways in which the educational system failed our youth while they were underclassmen? In other words, should 14th grade *have* to be the new 12th grade? Is 12th grade no longer up to par in terms of curriculum? Why am I seeing classified ads that require a high school diploma in order to obtain a menial custodial job?

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Ex-Arizonan on 06/13/2017 at 9:45 PM

Re: “14th Grade Is the New 12th Grade

As a nation we are $20T in debt. many of you fell for this and are responsible. Please begin to look for solutions or it will be your retirement and health insurance that they need to take away.

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Make America, Don't Take America! on 06/13/2017 at 2:26 PM

Re: “14th Grade Is the New 12th Grade

Human Bean:

What are the average wage rates, benefits packages, and social safety nets available for someone who has foregone college to work in a trade in Germany? How do they compare with the average wage rates, benefits packages, and social safety nets available to someone in the same position in the U.S.? What has Germany done with its manufacturing base? Has it been outsourced to foreign countries, as much of the U.S.'s base has been? The U.S. won't benefit from adopting some aspects of the German system without adopting other components of that system that make those aspects livable and acceptable. It's unlikely that those features of the German system could be transferred here, given our current economic and political situation.

David Safier:

At the roots of the college funding problem in this country are the student debt industry and the tuition discounting consulting industry:

We will not be able to address the problem and stop the indenturing of the next generation without confronting the vested interests that profit from loading students up with debt. It seems unlikely that these interests can be confronted successfully without campaign finance reform, so your proposed policy solution is treating the symptom, not the cause. If the proposed policy is adopted, the cause will be unaffected and the symptom will simply shift its demographic range slightly and target a slightly different set of victims (those not utilizing the public system). Meanwhile, there will be new problems created in the public system when it becomes the only portion of the higher ed system that has no costs associated with it.

As for your friend David Garcia, it seems unlikely that he will solve any of our problems in this state. He has far too many ties to the malfunctioning portions of the Democratic Party in Southern Arizona. And the Democratic party here and elsewhere has too many ties to the financial industry and its loan peddlers. Quite a tricky problem, isn't it, finding campaign promises that will lure enough people to the voting booth to get your candidate into the driver's seat, while distracting voters from the fact that those promises entirely fail to address the real problems and confront the real villains? It's a trick too many Democrats are adept at playing these days.

21 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Real solutions treat causes, not symptoms. on 06/13/2017 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Who Has the Best Sonoran 'Dog and Chorizo in Town? One Contest Settles It.

"Here with the babe?"

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Claudia F on 06/13/2017 at 12:05 PM

Re: “14th Grade Is the New 12th Grade

Very well said HB.

8 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Dave W on 06/13/2017 at 12:02 PM

Re: “Who Has the Best Sonoran 'Dog and Chorizo in Town? One Contest Settles It.

I don't need to go to the Desert Diamond Casino to find out who has the best Sonoran Hot Dogs in Tucson. It's Aqui Con El Nene, hands down!

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by JCC on 06/13/2017 at 11:51 AM

Re: “14th Grade Is the New 12th Grade

There is no such thing as a free lunch. A university education is not for everyone and it should not be. There is nothing wrong with that! As a society, we should be more invested in creating high level apprenticeships and trade schools opportunities, to open doors for the tens of thousands of kids being pushed down a path towards college that does them more harm than good.

Our education system is failing because of the flawed ideal that all students should go to college. The end result of this philosophy has been a massive increase in demand for seats at universities, subsidized by loans, which has caused the cost of higher ed to bloat. Look at the number of university students in Arizona who have to take remedial math and English as freshmen and sophomores, it is staggeringly high. Look at the drop out rates. Look at the debt load placed on those who drop out because they did not belong there in the first place.

Why do we insist on putting square pegs through round holes? A university education is only one path and we need to lay down alternative paths to good employment for the majority of Arizona students who do not belong at a University in the first place. A great place to start is K-12 where the 'university only' culture is strongest. Germany provides a great model on combining education with trade school and apprenticeships at the high school level and post high school level.

A free University education is just another step in the wrong direction and ignores the real issue: fixing K-12 and creating opportunities for those who do not belong in a purely academic setting. If we can fix K-12, create a system of high school and post high school level trade schools and high level apprenticeships, well then, and only then, should be begin to talk about about making it university free.

Until then, I refuse to subsidize an education policy that is detrimental to the economic well being of our state. I will vote against this clown the same as I will vote against Ducey. Two sides of the same coin. Of course none of this makes for a good sound bite, 'Free University' sure does sound good, especially to those blinded by ideology or unfamiliar with the implications and true costs. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid David.

9 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 06/13/2017 at 11:11 AM
Posted by Nintz on 06/12/2017 at 9:22 PM

Re: “In The Flesh: Killer Hip-Hop Show With Von and Edge, The 9 Boys, Roman Rhymes, and TXM at Classic's Barber Shop

Can someone please contact the editor and correct my name ROMAN RHYMES

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Alejandro Roman Valencia on 06/12/2017 at 7:11 PM

Re: “In the Flesh: The 4th Avenue Pack Attack: 'Eight Bands, Three Venues, One Night.' Lenguas Largas! Dad Jokes! Lots of Dudes on Stage!

Cool , next time give a heads up ,make yourself useful, rather than telling us what we missed! Frickin weekly!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lawrence Fawcett on 06/12/2017 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Libraries Trump Hate

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2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by geography tuition on 06/12/2017 at 8:56 AM

Re: “Organ Pipe Desert: A Collection of Water Tanks to Save Lives and Migrants' Belongings Left Behind

WTF!! Why are we trying to save lives of those breaking the law? They are illegally here period.. send them home.. either alive.. half alive or dead.. who cares!!! They want compassion.. let them come to the Country by the legal matter.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Smith on 06/12/2017 at 4:04 AM

Re: “Doug Ducey, CEO

Prop 123, inadvisably, had no restrictions on how the money could be spent, so a 3% increase in spending does not necessarily mean a 3% increase in salary. Take a look at news coverage of the brouhaha in Southern Arizona about whether and to what extent TUSD chose to spend its 123 funds on teacher salaries.

Lots of interesting data on the NEA website:

Estimated average salaries for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 for Arizona are $45,406 and $45,477. There was a great big average raise of $71 per annum between '14-'15 and'15-'16, about a 0.2 % increase? That information is available on page 92 of this report:

How to explain the difference between that "average" salary and the compensation levels witnessed in some districts in Southern Arizona? I suppose the NEA estimated average salaries include districts that use other resources (besides state funding) to augment teacher compensation?

Here's some additional data from NEA's 2015 rankings of states:

Adjusted for inflation, 35 states saw real declines in average teacher salaries over the past decade. The following [11] states had average salaries declining 6.5 percent or more:


Arizona (-7.6%),


The U.S. average per student expenditure in 201415 fall enrollment was $11,709.

Arizona ($7,461), Utah ($7,711), Indiana ($8,034), Oklahoma ($8,043), and North Dakota ($8,518) had the lowest per student expenditures.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Data & Links on 06/11/2017 at 5:12 PM

Re: “Doug Ducey, CEO

Response to Expressing incredulity:

The National Education Association, the source for teacher salary numbers, lists Arizona average public education teacher salary at $45,406 for 2013-14. Since then, prop 123 passed which was about a 3% increase in public education funding.

1 like, 14 dislikes
Posted by on 06/11/2017 at 4:37 PM

Re: “Doug Ducey, CEO

The "AVERAGE" pay for teachers in Arizona is $46-$49K per annum? Could you provide your sources for that figure? When I served on a public school Site Council in Arizona, in a school with unusually high faculty retention rates, with teachers who had been teaching for decades, some of them not too many years from retirement, there were no salaries on the salary schedule we reviewed that were higher than the high $40s. And you say that's the "average" salary?

"All this talk about salaries is about something with absolutely no meaning to education other than to distract. A much more meaningful discussion would be to determine why teacher job satisfaction in this nation has plummeted over the last 10 years?"

Let's pay physicians what we pay teachers. What would that do to our health care system? We would see, as we've seen in teaching in this state, a drastic drop in the number of people willing to do the job. But perhaps that analogy may not be acceptable to state level decision makers, in a context where many of the assumptions underlying their education policy seem to be fantasy-land throwbacks to outmoded forms of family structure and non-existent conditions in family economics.

Talk to teachers. They can't even offset the expense of working with what they are paid. Many of them have stayed home with their own children during the preschool years to support their children's optimal social, emotional, and intellectual development -- an expensive choice. When they consider returning to the workforce, they often find themselves back at the bottom of the salary ladder for teaching jobs, with no credit granted on the salary scale for previous years worked in the field. When they take into account the services they would have to pay for to replace the labor they are removing from their households if they take a teaching job, the salary is barely break-even. It's a net loss if they do what most I know do -- pay for some of the unfunded supplies their students need out of their own pockets. There is ZERO or LESS THAN ZERO financial benefit to doing the job. So if they find they are in a position where they need to contribute to the family's savings for the children's college educations (and fewer and fewer these days find themselves NOT in that position) they take on higher paying work in another field.

Perhaps the teachers our state legislators like to talk to are the wives of plutocrats. Those are the only teachers who have the luxury of taking only job satisfaction, not salary levels, into account when deciding whether or not to fill one of the thousands of open teaching positions in this state. Sorry to disappoint RE the likely results of recent reductions in credentialing requirements, but given what the current income distribution is in this state, I think you'll find that there aren't enough college-educated wives of plutocrats around who can afford a net loss in the salary vs. expense ledger and want to do work as difficult as teaching is, even when you make it easier for them to do so by ensuring they don't have to "waste" time in any of the teacher preparation programs which seem to be regarded by our state legislators as bastions of lefty group-think rather than as dispensers of valid professional knowledge.

It's hard to make out what kind of a value system and world view is behind education policy in this state, but it's definitely not real world economic analysis that fuels it. Connections could be drawn between our education policy and the desire to return to Father-Knows-Best and Leave-It-to-Beaver land, when women whose husbands were the main wage earners might choose to work in exchange for "job satisfaction" rather than in exchange for the type of salaries college-educated professionals in other fields earn. But in those days higher education costs were much less as a percentage of average family income and the only jobs available to women were teacher / nurse / secretary, drastically and artificially limiting available options.

"The legislature can only control the average salary, not the shortage salary?"

This statement doesn't even make sense. The legislature controls how much funding is available to schools. The legislature's budget cuts are part of the background behind insupportable, destructive cost-saving measures like outsourcing substitute teacher labor and destroying long term subs' ability to qualify for benefits, what we saw recently in TUSD, a district serving more than 40K students in schools with an unusually high number of permanent teacher vacancies. The legislature can't "control" that? They caused it and / or permitted and / or encouraged it, both through budget cuts and through disastrous failures of oversight and regulatory negligence and through the encouragement of privatization practices.

Is there any use in responding to some of the talking points in these streams? Perhaps not, but it's hard not to express incredulity.

15 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Expressing incredulity. on 06/11/2017 at 3:15 PM

Re: “Doug Ducey, CEO

No, the vacancy rate does not "speak for itself." At the average pay for teachers in Arizona, $46,000 to $49,000 there would absolutely be no shortage of teachers. If placed in an open offer, people would line up in long lines to participate in that salary. There would be no shortage of teachers.

That vacancy rate takes place when teachers are paid $26,000 to $30,000. The legislature can only control the average salary, not the shortage salary.

All this talk about salaries is about something with absolutely no meaning to education other than to distract. A much more meaningful discussion would be to determine why teacher job satisfaction in this nation has plummeted over the last 10 years and how we can create more value and job satisfaction for teachers.

We don't even know which school districts have the highest teacher job satisfaction and how they achieve it.

1 like, 11 dislikes
Posted by on 06/11/2017 at 12:04 PM

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