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

Re: “McCain Returns to Senate To Push Mystery GOP Healthcare Bill Forward

What they will debate are all ideas. And to do it right they need to hear directly from those that the ACA harmed, so they don't screw up again.

5 likes, 37 dislikes
Posted by Healthnut on 07/25/2017 at 6:23 PM

Re: “Tour Diaries: XIXA Day 8: 'Gabe Heard and Saw Me Reset My Knee From Across the Room.'

"We keep it smokey." Great photo!!!

Posted by joanmc53 on 07/25/2017 at 12:53 PM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

So, where exactly are you getting these figures from Postimpressionist?

I see that you have posted a link, but I get the feeling that link is phony.

Seems to me that you're getting these figures from out of your ass. What you have posted proves that you're surely thinking from there.

26 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Hey Hey My My, Postimpressionist Commentary Needs to Die on 07/25/2017 at 8:39 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

"Hard wire" would mean mental capacity.

The entire history of Affirmative Action has only succeeded in raising college graduation for minorities by LESS than 1%! It seems that if you didn't have AA they might have done better.

Can you teach a child with an IQ of 79 Trigonometry ? This is the question you must ask yourself. Mental Capacity due to national/cultural isolation may not be something that can be changed easily.
Average IQ of Mexico is 89
Average IQ of Mexican/Americans is 89
Average IQ of Guatemala 79

IQ 80-89 Below average
Most violent crime is committed by males from this range. When the modal I.Q. of a group is in this range, one may expect trouble with many male members of that group. When the modal I.Q. of a society is below this range, raising it may increase violence (more police in schools). The causal mechanism behind the (statistical) relation between crime and below-average I.Q. is likely that lower I.Q. levels inherently tend to go with having
1. less impulse control,
2. being less able to delay gratification,
3. being less able to comprehend moral principles like the Golden Rule, and
4. being overstrained by the cognitive demands of society.

How fast and how high can you rise an IQ?

2 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Postimpressionist on 07/25/2017 at 6:26 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

They are not getting smarter, they are getting dumber:

Report by the Migration Policy Institute, 57% of limited English proficient adolescents nationwide are U.S. born. Up to 27 % of all LEP adolescents are members of the 2nd generation, and 30% are 3rd generation, meaning that many students educated exclusively in U.S. still cant speak English fluently.
http://www.proenglish.org/projects/english-a-immigration.html#sthash.zNiYJWiF.dpuf

54.9% of Special Ed students are Hispanic .
http://www.kidsdata.org/topic/97/special-needs-education-enrollment-race/table#

0 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Postimpressionist on 07/25/2017 at 5:52 AM

Re: “Tucson Streetcar Facebook Parody “CLITT” Page Has City Fuming

The waste of Tucson taxpayer's money on this silly streetcar is entirely more problematic. How about an investigation of that?

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Don2 on 07/24/2017 at 8:06 PM

Re: “There's Election Integrity, and Then There's Election Integrity

Hillary was terrible candidate and that is true. She was not liked for a long time. The media and SNL and RW radio and blog-monsters have been mocking her since the 1990s without letting up, and I am so glad she is off the stage and makes very little or no news at all these days. She is a dead letter politically, with no chances at running again. Now it's Trump's turn. He makes news every day all day. And he lies. He lies about small matters and he lies about important issues and he lies about people and he stifles the truth with more lies. I guess what bothers me the most these days is that when someone informs some Trump supporters that the man tells lies, they take it personally, as if they are being attacked. Well, that's a shame because Trump is still a liar. The Democrats know it. The Republicans know it. His pants are on fire all the time and, without the Constitution's balance of powers, he will burn our house down.

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by D & D D on 07/24/2017 at 7:14 PM

Re: “There's Election Integrity, and Then There's Election Integrity

It is apparent (to me, at least) that the biggest problem facing the Democrats is not Trump and his "agenda" (it changes hourly). It is not the Republican congress. The biggest problem facing the Democrats is the Democratic Party and its leadership. I read Schumer's nonsense this morning and came away convinced the Dems are poised, once again, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. When your team is in last place with the longest losing streak in history, it is time to shake things up beginning with management and begin building a farm team with solid recruits.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 07/24/2017 at 12:15 PM

Re: “There's Election Integrity, and Then There's Election Integrity

...and that is a lot like OJ saying he just bought a big knife and he wants to date your daughter. No mas por favor! Mucho el floppo.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wond Enero on 07/24/2017 at 12:08 PM

Re: “There's Election Integrity, and Then There's Election Integrity

...and here's a 7/24/2017 update on the Democratic agenda from none other than Chuck Schumer, in an Op Ed in the NYTimes:

"Americans are clamoring for bold changes to our politics and our economy. They feel, rightfully, that both systems are rigged against them, and they made that clear in last years election. American families deserve a better deal so that this country works for everyone again, not just the elites and special interests. Today, Democrats will start presenting that better deal to the American people."

He goes on to list the lame band-aid policy solutions his party proposes to put on the gaping wounds in this country, policy solutions which do NOT happen to include developing a single payer health care system, putting reasonable limits on the costs of higher education, or properly regulating the banking system. His approach insults the intelligence of the American public and cheapens the value of words in our public discourse ever further, if that is even possible anymore.

Here are excerpts from some of the top "readers' pick" comments on the article:

"And how about health care? Will the Dems fight for Single Payer, which virtually all analysts agree is the only way to provide reasonably priced health care for all Americans?"

"There's an easy solution: follow the Bernie Sanders plan. The Democrats are too close to Wall Street, K Street lobbyists, the ultra rich, and the very forces responsible for the current predicament. It's a contradiction and frankly, corruption - you can't be a people's party with close ties to Wall Street. I would go to say that it is an outright betrayal of the New Deal."

"Sounds like more of the same Rube Goldberg-like ideas which brought us the AcA."

"It is hard to believe that this program will be able to gain traction in a Congress whose members depend on contributions from the wealthy to gain office. To reorient the government to work on behalf of the people, we need election finance reform."

"Chuck Schumer, this is a very thin broth you are offering to hardworking Americans starving for a better future for their children and grandchildren:
- The only mention of affordable healthcare are controls on the pharmaceutical industry?
- We need to continue to respect and protect the environment
- The inordinate roll of special interest Big Money needs to end
- The US needs to regain supremacy in energy and transportation technology and the jobs to support it.
- We need to create meaningful, challenging jobs to fill the massive void left by productivity improvements
The loss of farming and manufacturing jobs, primarily due to technological changes which drastically reduced the workforce, compounded by the, outosurcing of employment and stagnant wages has left the bulk of employment in rural areas in the low paying, low benefit and SHRINKING retail sector. This is not a viable future for our people. Democratics need a sharper vision than this lame "Better Deal"."

"Today's three big ideas to help American workers are: (1) asking venture capitalists why they want higher drug prices, (2) making corporate mergers more complicated, and (3) giving tax breaks to businesses? Senator, with plans like these, the leadership of the Democratic Party must be trying to ensure that Republicans retain control of Congress after 2018. This plan does nothing that will convince workaday Americans that you've learned anything from your time in the political wilderness."

In short, the majority of "Readers Pick" comments give a good indication that the majority of NYTimes readers know the difference between what the Democratic Party found itself able to stand for in the past (e.g. the "New Deal") and this so-called "Better Deal." (What is that, "Better Deal"? A shortening of the full-length title, "An incredibly lame policy agenda that is still a Better Deal than what Trump and the plutocrats will offer you"? Not buying it. Have had enough of bad and worse, in a context where the only legitimate selling point of of "bad" is it's "better than worse.")

The Democratic Party, if it cannot do BETTER than this, will find itself about where the "Know Nothings" are today: nowhere, with no base, no credibility, no Presidency, no majority in Congress or the House, the NOTHING party they have chosen to make themselves with their corporate donations and their special-interest-pandering agenda. Complain about Trump all you like: a lot of people realize that THE DEMOCRATS are the ones who, by selling out and abandoning their natural role in the American dialogue and their natural constituency, left labor at the mercy of the false promises made by and scraps tossed from the table of Trump and his ilk.

9 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by More dismay: Schumer's lame & insulting policy agenda on 07/24/2017 at 10:56 AM

Re: “Tour Diaries! XIXA Day 9: Show Rocks, Then Laundry Day in The Swiss Alps.

Years ago, while in Zurich, (traveling in Europe--) we threw our stuff in the laundromat & went across the street to mini-mart to kill time. We were going up & down the aisles looking at all the cool & unusual stuff, packaging, etc. --picking it up, but not buying anything, when we were pulled aside --Bill by a guy, me by a woman (non-english-speaking) --& escorted into side-by-side booths & strip-searched. They thought we were shop-lifting :)

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Glenna Sanders Davolt on 07/24/2017 at 7:49 AM

Re: “In The Flesh: WTF AF with The Exbats, Jade Helm and Dani Boi at Club Congress

Speaking of the exbats, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1998141222/the-exbats-second-album-i-got-the-hots-for-charlie Last week!!

Posted by Firsttimecaller on 07/23/2017 at 12:47 PM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

Reply to So Broken, "And this is exactly why, year after year we go nowhere."

In 1870, Dr. Semmelweiss became the first scientist to not only discover the germ causation of disease but to solve it by having his doctors immerse their hands and arms in a chlorine solution before delivering babies. Instantly, his hospital's baby death rate dropped from 10% to 3%.

Instead of achieving fame, he was mocked and ridiculed by the medical profession and literally driven to insanity, losing his job and dying a horrible death in an asylum.

The medical profession was culturally trapped. Empirical data and logic can't overcome culture, culture is just too strong - it is the body of iron rules that determine our values, beliefs and guide our behavior. Our brains are hard wired to follow to these rules, even though we don't know where they came from.

In this year's AzMerit test, the academic gains from 3rd grade to 8th grade were 25 points per year in math.

But, what if you redesigned the classroom, this 2000 year old artifact from the middle ages? What if you plunged your hands and arms in chlorine? What could you achieve?

My research suggests 100 to 200 points per year as a typical possible outcome for children in poverty and minority children. This would reverse the ethnic achievement gap in one year.

We know what not to do. Education culture assembled its best and brightest rolling out Race to the Top. Result: math scores went down for the first time ever, reading scores, previously on an upward trend, did not improve.

Will we allow education culture to spend another 100 years torturing teachers and the education system with "reform?"

5 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 07/23/2017 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Dr. Word Says: Trump Tries His Hand at Poetry

There is a man is the White House...someone that we all know...who has the you know what of a Mouse. As often as he tried....as often as he cried...this poor little thing would NOT Grow.

27 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/23/2017 at 7:19 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

Francis,

I will bow out with the Simple Observation that your Initial Call for a National Curriculum Required for Our National Security is, on the face of it, a Far Cry from simply supporting the Common Core. If, you are simply arguing in favor of states aligning learning objectives without Federal overight and intervention or bribery, that is good enough for me. No harm, no foul.

The Common Core was a fine idea but nothing new, poorly designed and implemented. It was prone to attracting the worst of the worst, those hucksters including publishers, test developers and "school reformers" who would profit from the buckets of cash associated with the effort. Without further infusions of cash, the movement will continue to spiral out of existence and become another footnote in the history of US public education. Our National Security will not be effected.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 07/23/2017 at 7:14 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

And this is exactly why, year after year we go nowhere. Too many so called experts can agree on nothing. And you guys mock Congress?

5 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Public Ed Is So Broken on 07/23/2017 at 5:43 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

"States that fund their schools adequately get good results."

I.e., all it takes to solve Southern Arizona's conspicuous problems with education delivery is add more money to all public districts, including a conspicuously malfunctioning and mismanaged one, which unfortunately also happens to be the largest district in Southern Arizona, "serving" close to 50,000?

No, sorry, it would be nice if the problems we face were that simple and that easily solved, but that's not accurate. It's not sufficient to look at what's going on in the schools. You have to look at the Board meetings and how decisions are made about where available funds will be applied. And that is a time consuming endeavor in a context where you will not only have to contend with changed order of agenda items and significant business buried at hour 4 and 1/2 of a five hour meeting and agenda items postponed from one meeting to the next because the Board President decided to absent himself from discussion and vote, but in order to get a complete picture of the budget you may also have to submit public records requests and engage in the equivalent of forensic accounting to figure out, for example, what was done with 301 and 123 funds, etc.

It's time consuming business being a well informed citizen with enough knowledge of what's going on in our education systems to be able to say with any confidence, "Just add more money and that will solve ALL the problems!" I'd be willing to venture that 99.9% of all the people locally who make that their constant litany have not put in the time necessary to know whether what they are saying is actually valid or not.

14 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by You can't solve the problem if you don't understand it. on 07/22/2017 at 6:13 PM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

Francis. I'll be brief, blow it out your ass !!!

4 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 07/22/2017 at 4:44 PM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

Mr. Spanier: As you probably know, our "Founding Fathers" knew all too well that the Viability and Long Term Survival of our Republic is Directly Related to a Viable/Successful System of Public Education; teaching Citizens "to take the measure of a Man"; to Critically Evaluate Candidates for Public Office!!!

I never suggested that the Federal Government or Agency develop and impose "... a national curriculum from the federal agency level to the states and LEAs.

What I did suggest is that Constitutionally, Congress by providing for the "General Welfare" and the Executive's National Security Responsibilities MUST step in if a State/Local District fails in efforts or is not providing it's Citizens with a Quality Education. These problems must be Diagnosed and Remedies Instituted.

Efforts such as Common Core must have the support and encouragement of the Federal Government...."National Curriculum/Assessment Examinations"

29 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/22/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

Agreed, Rick Spanier, on NCLB, RTTT, and on the inadvisability of a national curriculum.

The way to get valid education is not by creating top-down mandates, it is by getting fully educated people with a genuine mastery of and love of their subjects into classrooms. You don't get that by paying them what teachers are paid in too many states, and, though certification requirements are better than no certification requirements, in the current "system" they are no more a guarantee that valid education will necessarily be taking place in every American classroom than machine graded standardized test results are a guarantee of same.

We believe that all our citizens should be fully educated critical thinkers -- our enlightenment-concocted political structure and the ideology behind it requires it, demands it. But when you look at what "fully educated" properly means and how that is achieved, and then you look at the conditions in our society and in our schools, you know it is not currently possible. Four administrations worth of scorched earth federal policy have degraded and damaged educational programs and faculties in every state. Worker protections that guarantee families raising children some kind of economic stability have been undermined. Same with social safety nets. Several state level governance operations have gone completely off the rails (AZ, WI, KS, NJ...) and excellence in local governance is the exception rather than the rule. At this point, with these conditions, a system of universal public education that can produce a uniformly fully educated, critically thinking citizenry is an unrealizable dream, and the current federal administration seems likely to take conditions in a direction that will make that dream less realizable rather than more so.

What to do? Hard to say, in a context where neither major party is presenting policy proposals that are realistic or viable. Choice without any meaningful standards or oversight won't work and cutting off access to alternatives to the public district system won't work because large portions of the public district system are not working. One thing is certain: the Southern Arizona political strategy of lying to the public about what is really going on in public schools and how bad conditions and outcomes have actually become will only make our schools and our communities worse. Decision making by the electorate needs to be done based on facts, not ideologically driven propaganda and politically motivated lies. People who lie to voters or systematically suppress relevant information are not treating the electorate with respect.

"You will smile here at the consistency of those democratists, who [...] treat the humbler part of the community with the greatest contempt, whilst, at the same time, they pretend to make them the depositories of all power." (Burke) A very good gloss on much local political behavior relating to education governance, unfortunately.

11 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Federal, state, & local: all failing at education. on 07/22/2017 at 3:01 PM

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