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

Re: “Got a Bachelor's Degree? There May Be a Public School Teaching Job Waiting For You.

John, the irony in your comment is that the MVD never worked better than when Phoenix car dealer Ev Mecham was Governor. As soon as the democrats regained power, it fell into total disarray.

And that is so hard for the public to hear.

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by History Repeats Itself on 05/09/2017 at 5:00 PM

Re: “Got a Bachelor's Degree? There May Be a Public School Teaching Job Waiting For You.

Response to R's and D's get it wrong.

I just completely disagree. Two weeks ago, I had to go to MVD to get a new Title to a truck I was selling. While I was in the legislature, I put in untold hours working to get better MVD service. Eventually, we got it down to an average wait time of less than 20 minutes. We put in comprehensive systems to improve service and speed. Not bad, when I first visited MVD offices in 1993, there were people in there with sleeping bags. Average wait time - 3 hours.

I was dreading going for two reasons, I didn't want to witness the degradation I was certain I was going to observe. MVD has suffered 10 consecutive budget cuts.

It was a stunning surprise. The office had put in a new wrinkle. When I came into MVD, there was a "cart girl." She had every form a person could possibly need. She was also able to check as to whether a person had all their paperwork in order.

From the time my hand hit the door to open till the door closed behind me - 16 minutes. The customer focus was palpable. It actually added value to my day everyone was so pleasant.

Who would have dreamed it? MVD - Motor Vehicle Department.

A friend of mine had just come back from New York. You know Nirvana for the liberals who inhabit this blog. She took a disabled friend of hers to MVD in New York. What she described was exactly what I observed in 1992 in Arizona. After waiting 3 hours, she demand special consideration based on the disabled status of her friend and got it. Before leaving, she witnessed one poor soul cursing the employees after having been sent from MVD to Social Security to MVD back to Social Security each time having waited 3 to 5 hours and still not having his issue involved.

Governor Ducey takes pride in working toward excellent service. He actually cares about it, MVD is living proof of it. You just don't need to have expensive government to have effective government, MVD is proof.

2 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by on 05/09/2017 at 4:41 PM

Re: “Got a Bachelor's Degree? There May Be a Public School Teaching Job Waiting For You.

What is needed is GOOD government: neither too small nor too big, efficient, effectively serving the common good, ensuring high quality service delivery, and protecting citizens from abuse.

Unfortunately, in this state the Rs seem to want NO government, and the Ds seem to want to continue excusing BAD government. We have no broad-based, widely recognized political party or advocacy group focused on exercising the citizenship oversight and public participation skills necessary to keep government institutions honest and responsive.

More's the pity.

6 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by In AZ, both the Rs and the Ds get it wrong. on 05/09/2017 at 3:03 PM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

Prehaps Abbie G should engage in some critical thinking herself before she accuses people of having kneejerk reactions due to a lack of comphrension about actions of Republican congressmen. I was well aware of the original provision that her link concerns, before I made my comments. Sarah Kliff reported it on 03 May, where MacArthurs office confirmed that his proposals would not apply to members of congress or their staff. Only after she exposed it did MacSally engage in an ass covering exercise by introducing her amendment.

Regardless of the this, the Act is effectively a tax break for rich people, and I suspect that MacSally is going to do very well financially from it herself. She will not be worried over insurance companies making insurance unaffordale to people with pre-existing conditions as she will have plenty of extra income to meet such surcharges.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Hego on 05/09/2017 at 2:07 PM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

Just to be clear many of you don't know enough about the actions of Congress to do anything but have kneejerk reactions. Did you see her legislation that passed?

Congress is losing their plan when this passes the Senate.

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Abbie G on 05/09/2017 at 10:31 AM

Re: “Ducey's 'Education Budget,' Part 1: A 25 Cents an Hour Raise for Teachers

I would contend that if education were the number one issue to Tucson residents, TUSD would have been closed by now. They clearly aren't paying attention.

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Teachers Are Trapped on 05/08/2017 at 4:57 PM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

Republicans cannot comprehend that the situation detailed in "Vox" article will ever happen to them. Newsflash, it can happen to anyone.

15 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Hego on 05/08/2017 at 4:44 PM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

Not sure how James Stewart will have more choices if he has the misfortune to develop a condition that will effectively make him uninsurable i.e. an existing condition. Developing a serious illness can strike anyone, even those who lead healthly lifestyles etc. He will find his "Choices" will be slim to non existent.

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Hego on 05/08/2017 at 4:18 PM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

56 countries have better child mortality rates than the United States, so it would seem a lot of people do not subscribe to "Hard Work Pays Off" philosphy of caring for each other. Lot of people are "Pro Life" as that costs nothing but as soon as someone makes the unwise decision to be born to poor parents, and their health care would cost the same people some money, its
"fuck Em".

18 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Hego on 05/08/2017 at 4:08 PM

Re: “Got a Bachelor's Degree? There May Be a Public School Teaching Job Waiting For You.

I actually agree wholeheartedly with your first two paragraphs. My observation and conclusions from the data exactly. It is obvious to me that schools that focus intensely on test scores don't seem to be making progress academically. There are potential exceptions to this rule. However, look at the paradox. Test scores reveal that focusing on test scores doesn't work to improve academic results.

However, test scores reveal that focusing on quality increases test scores.

In the end, measurement helps inform policy. However, policy discussions remain at the kindergarten level so to speak. Of what good is it to be sane in an insane asylum?

The largely untested, unregulated portion of the spectrum i.e. kindergarten through 4th grade is improving academic results much much faster than the highly tested, accountability intense portion of the spectrum - 4th through 8th grade. In fact, the productivity of 4th through 8th grade appears to be plunging.

There are heavy caveats to this observation however. All day kindergarten has been proven to have a delayed negative reaction. In other words it boosts results in k through 3rd grade but by the end of 8th grade, full day kindergartners are a full one-tenth of a standard deviation behind half day kindergartners and full day kindergartners appear to be on a permanently negative arc relative to half day kindergartners. You can see a complete analysis of this on the RAND website.

A good part of Finland's success against us might be due to a delayed school start.

Education is a complex business.

Your simple assertion that what Arizona is doing doesn't work is belied by the facts:

Since Arizona started on the school choice path in 1993, murders by juveniles have dropped from 70 to 7 despite a tripling in our at-risk population. A recent, scholarly, Urban Institute study ranked Arizona schools 13th in the nation in academics. Local districts like Chandler Unified, Mesa, and Vail have seen the percentage of parents grading their childs school an A rise from 38% in the 1990s to 75% currently (Westgroup). Every scientific indicator suggests that Arizona is on the right path.

The media rankings based on things like Wallet Hub lack a scientific foundation. Compare us with Wisconsin for example. Our Black 8th graders outscore their Black 8th graders, decisively. Our Hispanic 8th graders outscore their Hispanics and our whites outscore their whites. Yet, Wallethub rates them higher than us academically. Wallethub is not scientific, they are policy morons, they and their "statistics" are a joke.

This blog honors all things that lead to more expensive government. But, we know that more expensive government destroys jobs and job creation. Running extremely frugal government is the most powerful indicator for job creation. The most frugal states in the nation double the job creation of the high spenders.

3 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by on 05/07/2017 at 3:38 PM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

Martha McFOLLY likes to "say" she "represents" district 2, but she's nothing more than a toady for Paul Ryan. Yeah, easy to ruin our access to health care when the military has her covered.

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Helen Gex Greer on 05/06/2017 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Got a Bachelor's Degree? There May Be a Public School Teaching Job Waiting For You.

Huppenthal -- Are you familiar with Campbell's Law?
"The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."

This is very much what any one who has gotten close to publicly funded schools under accountability regimes observes to be going on: the tests used to measure academic merit are distorting and corrupting the educational processes they are intended to monitor. You can't get away from testing's effect by having a figure in upper level governance de-emphasizing it. It is in the system, in the ABC ratings, in NCLB, in Race to the Top, in US News and World Report rankings, etc., ad nauseam. People ignorant of education need some means to put gold stars on some programs and to stigmatize and shame others, most often those serving the disadvantaged. Administrators looking to accumulate resume-able accomplishments and / or success stories the media will print to give the public the impression they are "excelling" schools will exploit students and degrade what happens in their classrooms in order to get their data where they need it to be. It is not the case that good scores are a sign that "quality" (motivated teachers and students, engaged parents) is firmly in place. They are often a sure sign that the program in question games the system and disregards more valuable educational experiences for relentless test-prep regimes. Cf. Basis, cf. University High School.

On another topic, if you think Arizona teachers are leaving the field "not because of pay but because of job satisfaction," you are not talking to enough teachers. Pay is a large component of our retention and vacancy problems in this state. Compare teacher retention and vacancy rates in other states with those in Arizona. All states are dealing with some of the same problems relating to destructive accountability regimes, but most states have nowhere near the problem retaining teachers and filling teaching positions that we do here. Why? Some states, like Vermont, pay teachers in a way that makes sense considering the difficulty of their work and the value it contributes to the community.

Yes, state level leadership is "doing something different in Arizona." It is different from what works, different from what produces an educated citizenry, and different from what builds the health of the community and the economy. But they will keep doing it, no doubt, until someone stops them by voting better leadership in. Bargaining with them and collaborating with their debauched schemes TUSD-style and Darland-style is not a winning strategy.

10 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by It's "something different," but it doesn't work. on 05/06/2017 at 2:25 PM
Posted by SloRide on 05/06/2017 at 11:59 AM

Re: “Mother Hubbard's Recognized as One of the Top 12 Diners in the U.S.

Mother Hubbard's has changed hands and frankly the sausage is at best average and the menu has changed.

Posted by Gene Spesard on 05/06/2017 at 11:25 AM

Re: “Got a Bachelor's Degree? There May Be a Public School Teaching Job Waiting For You.

We are doing something different in Arizona. We are deregulating, getting rid of regulations that simply haven't worked to improve the quality of education.

How will we tell if this experiment is working? The National Assessment of Education (NAEP) progress is widely held as the gold standard for comparing states. So far, so good. RAND, perhaps the nation's premier think tank, did 3 analyses of NAEP data, ranking the states based on 1990's NAEP data. Recently, the Urban Institute, using a statistical technique very similar to RAND, ranked Arizona 13th based on 2015 data.

Not good enough, but very much an improvement over the average ranking of 21st by RAND.

The rankings you in this blog and other media, quoting sources like Wallethub, have no scientific foundation at all.

5 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by on 05/06/2017 at 9:10 AM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

@David Sahadi:

Charming. Your mother will be so proud when she reads your comment.

8 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Miss Manners on 05/06/2017 at 8:14 AM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

I am pleased that Colonel McSally voted for the AHCA.

Obamacare is a failing bureaucratic mess, its mandates and discriminatory taxes are intolerable to me, and I want more choices in what I need in my healthcare insurance. Pregnancy/maternity care and "free" contraception coverage are not among my needs.

Best, James Stewart

8 likes, 38 dislikes
Posted by James Stewart on 05/06/2017 at 8:02 AM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

Take your religious BS and cram it.

25 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Hard Off needs a little more than a bitch slap on 05/06/2017 at 7:34 AM

Re: “Back When Arizonans Cared About Public Education, and Were Willing to Fight For Their Initiative Rights

Why do people who believe more money is not ther answer to better education, believe that less money is?

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Vietnam Vet on 05/05/2017 at 10:06 PM

Re: “AP: McSally Urges Colleagues To Vote for This 'Fucking Thing,' aka Zombie Trumpcare

Waiting for someone to explain how the billions of tax breaks for the top 2% benefit anyone in Tucson. McSally voted for a huge tax cut for no one she represents. This bill had very little to do with health care, except taking it away from, mostly, Trump supporters. Fortunately, it does not have a snowflake in Hell's chance of becoming law.

33 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Vietnam Vet on 05/05/2017 at 9:54 PM

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