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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch: Last 30 Days

Re: “Introducing '1989 Miles of People & Change,' A Border Exploration with American Babylon

This sounds very one-sided so far. Try to get some balance and then it may be useful.

1 like, 6 dislikes
Posted by Kathleen DeBoer on 10/25/2017 at 5:12 AM

Re: “Flake: "Mr. President, I Rise Today To Say, 'Enough'"

Agree with Mary - probably making a run for President. As one of the 2 or3 liberal Republicans left in my shattered party I wish him well and hope that other leaders of character join him.

27 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Frank on 10/25/2017 at 5:09 AM

Re: “Results-Based Funding: The Transition From Test Scores To School Grades

And, in Tucson, they are considering whether to move a lower-grade bunch of students from Catalina so that the higher-grade University High can have its own campus. On a tour last week, the campus looked like it should for minority/immigrant children -with lots of vocational and other educational opportunities and in their neighborhood. Seems like it would be better to join U High and Catalina - a move that would be good for both worlds. Back in the late 60s, Catalina had more than 2K students and worked okay without split shifts. Why not make it Catalina-University and just do it?

Posted by MaryE2 on 10/24/2017 at 11:32 PM

Re: “Flake: "Mr. President, I Rise Today To Say, 'Enough'"

My take is that Flake is beginning a run for the presidency - memorable speech and a published book. I haven't seen him break from the straight Republican ticket on Senate votes.

32 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by MaryE2 on 10/24/2017 at 11:22 PM

Re: “Flake: "Mr. President, I Rise Today To Say, 'Enough'"

To his credit, Sen. Jeff Flake, in deciding not to seek re-election and his continued criticism of Donald Trump, has put the viability of our Constitutional principles, the very fabric of our democracy, above the Republican Party's support of Donald Trump.

Congress must use its Constitutional authority is assessing the threat that Donald Trump has posed and continues to pose to our inherent diversity and protected freedoms, as well as the threat he poses to our national security.

Mr. Trump, I my view, is NOT fit to service in the Office of President of the United States. He is Mentally Unstable and has undermined the very nature of our Constitutional Democracy with Three Co-Equal Branches of Government, as well as our Independent and Free Press. His statements regarding His Russian Mentor and "Friendship" with the Thug Putin threatens the National Security of our Country.

It remains to be determined the nature of the contacts He and his Minions have had with Russia before, during, and after the Presidential Election. His statements during the Election encouraging Russia to hack Servers of the DNC and Mrs. Clinton are sufficient, in my view, in making him Complicit in undermining the validity of this Election and are sufficient Grounds for His Impeachment. This, of course, is a decision that Congress will make when these Congressional Investigations are Complete.

All Partisanship Must be put aside in the evaluation of the evidence and in determining if Donald Trump should be removed from Office.

Notwithstanding, Donald Trump, in my view, must be removed from office forthwith!

38 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 10/24/2017 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Flake: "Mr. President, I Rise Today To Say, 'Enough'"

"Cowardice asks: Is it safe? Expediency asks: Is it politic? But Conscience asks: Is it right?"
--William Punshon

Unfortunately, for America and the world too many in Washington, from both sides of the aisle, are more concerned for their own political power and amassing of personal wealth.

As a tribute to the basest form of capitalism, we have been sold to the highest bidder and the dreams of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans are slipping away.

It was not the barbarians at the gates we needed to fear, but the barbarians that were "elected" to office.

40 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by sgsmith on 10/24/2017 at 4:16 PM

Re: “Flake: "Mr. President, I Rise Today To Say, 'Enough'"

No doubt they all had to watch baby fingers eat his three scoops.

31 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Peabo on 10/24/2017 at 3:13 PM

Re: “Flake: "Mr. President, I Rise Today To Say, 'Enough'"

Wonder what happened during that lunch with the Orange Terror.

24 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by SonoranWinds on 10/24/2017 at 2:43 PM

Re: “Flake: "Mr. President, I Rise Today To Say, 'Enough'"

Flake obviously saw the internal polling writing on the wall. "You can't fire me; I quit!"

Great news for Dr. Ward. No bruising battle against Flake, and likely full NRSC support in the primary.

2018 is shaping up to be the year of the populist. MAGA.

19 likes, 43 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 10/24/2017 at 2:30 PM

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

Good write, Dave, as always.

19 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Jimmy Zuma on 10/24/2017 at 1:45 PM

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

The FANTASY Safier and his friends keep promoting is that more taxes and more public funds will translate automatically into better education and better public services for local residents. In some places in the U.S., with different cultures in their public institutions and different kinds of regulatory oversight, they may. But like it or not, the REALITY in Tucson is that until we get more sunlight and healthy public scrutiny on the workings of our institutions and until we clean up some of the ingrained bad behaviors "the Old Pueblo" suffers from, "MORE MONEY" will probably continue to translate into "more waste, more constituents poorly served, more scandals."

I read recently in one of the histories of this region published by the University of Arizona Press that an early Jesuit missionary had written of what he observed in the behavior of the commanders of the Presidios, who "decided which local merchants the troops...usually [the commander's] kinsmen through blood, marriage, or godparent relationships. Most, if not all, commanders received tidy kickbacks from this arrangement." Fast forward 250 years: some of the same problems in the power networks, some of the same commentary coming from quarters where people DO care about constituents being well served, but little has changed.

Pretending these kinds of behaviors don't exist in our public institution and that the next big allotment of funds will miraculously start to achieve real good without the accountability and oversight mechanisms that are not properly in place in Proposition 204 (and weren't in place in the last BAD DEAL Proposition Safier promoted, 123) will only dig Tucson deeper into its sad history of dysfunction and sub-standard education.

Vote no on Proposition 204 and on every Proposition that doesn't come tightly bundled together with sunlight (transparency requirements) and disinfectant (regulatory oversight and quality control).

The local networks will keep treating the public like chumps just as long as the public keeps falling for the kind of ludicrous "poor little children" guilt-trip propaganda retailed in this blog, and just as long as the public keeps voting for the un-transparent, Tucson "business as usual" schemes these people put forward.

9 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Tucson Public: Stop acting like chumps. on 10/24/2017 at 1:11 PM

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

Ah, the dishonest "guilt trip" technique of political persuasion in full force. On the pro side: happy, adorable preschoolers being well-served by uniformly high-quality education. On the con side, greedy self-serving naysayers willing to cheat little children out of educational opportunities because they're too cheap to vote in favor of a tiny little 1/2 cent sales tax. Clearly, if you don't vote for this, you are an OGRE.

But Safier's patently unrealistic images of what the proposition will achieve, "giving three and four year old children the kind of educational start in life which will give them the best chance of being successful in school and throughout their lives" are just words: there is nothing in the proposition that puts in place the real-world, on-the-ground, the-money-doesn't-flow-unless-the-services-are-really-high-quality mechanisms that can guarantee that it's children -- and not irresponsible providers of low quality services and / or cronies of those dispensing funds -- that will necessarily benefit from this funding.

And on the con side, we have not just what Safier represents, lame and baseless speculations and "worst case scenario[s]," we have the actual reality of what has happened and what continues to happen in some of Tucson's public institutions to large allotments of government funding: desegregation funding, Rio Nuevo funding, 301 funding, 123 funding.

MORE magic ponies for sale here! Anyone still buying?

11 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Magic ponies for sale here! on 10/24/2017 at 1:07 PM

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

Thank you, NO.

Head Start, the most sacrosanct federal education program, doesnt work.

Thats the finding of a sophisticated study just released by President Obamas Department of Health and Human Services.

Created in 1965, the comprehensive preschool program for 3- and 4-year olds and their parents is meant to narrow the education gap between low-income students and their middle- and upper-income peers. Forty-five years and $166 billion later, it has been proven a failure.…

4 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 10/24/2017 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Introducing '1989 Miles of People & Change,' A Border Exploration with American Babylon

We've interviewed and spoken with a widely divergent subset of people who live and work along the border:

But then you didn't talk to the drug user that would have his supply of illegal drugs shut off. Nor did you talk with the families that have dealt with murder of their loved ones, by illegals in the US.

Funny that you would skip them.

5 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 10/24/2017 at 1:01 PM

Re: “Board of Supes Set To Discuss Christy Proposal for Countywide Sales Tax for Roads

Steve, why did you vote against chickens?

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by SonoranWinds on 10/20/2017 at 11:26 AM

Re: “Libraries Trump Hate

Pima County is funding the Pima County Public Library system to the tune of $29,000,000 a year which is very generous of the property tax owners of Pima County. The city of Tucson contributes not a dime to the running of the county libraries and the State Library federal funding function is just a fraction of money spent on public libraries in this country. Funding is not the problem here folks and I should know I worked for the Tucson Public Library - Pima County Public Library system for 25 years and this is not an argument ever used by the library when run by the City!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Speaking Truth to Power on 10/20/2017 at 12:14 AM

Re: “Results-Based Funding: The Transition From Test Scores To School Grades

Response to Nathan K:

The ceiling effect you describe likely does not exist, in fact, the actual effect may be the reverse of the way you describe.

There are two systems for calculating growth in the letter grade system. The student growth percentiles which are calculated using quantile regression of batches of students with similar score histories. Quantile regression is just a fancy way of creating a distribution table of outcomes for these similar students. In a theoretical world, you would expect no correlation between student growth percentiles and academic achievement. However, that is not what you observe. There is a significant correlation, meaning, no growth ceiling, in fact, reverse growth scoring effect.

These complex technical issues have never been discussed because policymakers and, even to a degree, the statistical wizards who analyze school results have been unable to grasp the complexity of the whole picture.

There are at least 50,000 of our tested students above the 90th percentile. If as a school, you are fortunate enough to have 1,000 of them sign up for your school, how would their test scores compare at the end of the year with the other 49,000 students distributed across all of the other schools in the state?

Do you still feel entitled to an A grade even if your results were below the average of the other 50,000 students? Would you feel entitled to an A even if your results exceed just 60% of these other 50,000? What if you look and find out that the average grade of the schools where those 20,000 top ten percent students whose results exceed yours was a B?

Nathan K- if a ceiling effect exists, it exists for all 50,000 students. It doesn't. The vast majority of these students are well below the upper end of the measured spectrum, even at the most elite schools.

The second system, the progress towards standards, is based on a yardstick known as scale scores, scores just like SAT and ACT for measuring and comparing the test outcomes.

Every standard at every grade level was turned into a scale score by a mumbo-jumbo committee of really smart people. However, only God knows what principles they used. Year to year, some of the standards are 18 points apart, other years, they are 3 points apart. There is very little relationship between the average (standard?) growth of all students in a year and difference between standards across that same divide.

This has profound implications for teachers. A major part of the challenge for a teacher is defined by the scale score difference between that year's standards and the starting point for each student in their class. Some teachers have to move their typical students a Mount Everest 100 points, others can put it in cruise control - all of their students are already above the standard on the first day of school. They just need to refresh their students occasionally.

The growth measures, both the quantile regression which calculates the student growth percentile and progress towards standards give full credit to a student who is at the upper end of the spectrum for quantile regression or who just maintains if they are above the standard in the progress towards standards system.

Consider this, there are 100,000+ tested students already above the standard on the first day of school. All they have to do is to not regress to be in the money, for them, no growth is considered to be above average performance.

If you specialize in collecting these students, life is different for you.

By comparison, other teachers walk into a classroom with their typical student, in fact, every student four years below the standard. Even if they are a wonder woman and Superman, they are guaranteed to be slapped in the face by evaluation systems at the end of the year. The speed of light in education is two academic years in a school year and less than 3% of all teachers keep that pace year after year.

So, even if they achieve that spectacular two academic years in a calendar year for their average student, every student will still be below standard at the end of the year. What's worse, you can be sure that they will lose the two students who perform best in their class, have the highest gains. So the gains they do achieve will be counted on some other schools and some other teacher's scorecard.

That's why spectacular teachers migrate away from highly at-risk schools. They are smart, intelligent people and the systems victimize them. They want to be in systems that reinforce them and make them stronger over time, not tear them down.

You can see this phenomenon by carefully comparing all of the students of a school with their identical academic twins across the state. Quantile regression is supposed to do this but it fails miserably as you get to the ends of the spectrum that David talks about.

1 like, 8 dislikes
Posted by on 10/19/2017 at 1:26 PM

Re: “Board of Supes Set To Discuss Christy Proposal for Countywide Sales Tax for Roads

Seattle increased minimum wage to $15 and businesses moved away, taking much needed revenue from them. So now they raise taxes on everybody to help pay for their little socialist experiment. Once again, expect it to fail.

Then we can all get excited about copying it here. Right lefties?

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 10/19/2017 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Board of Supes Set To Discuss Christy Proposal for Countywide Sales Tax for Roads

Lets watch Seattle and see how it does with the income tax they passed last election.

Then truly those that benefit and use the roads that maintain the infrastructure and reap the most can bear the cost.

3 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Robert Ruckman 1 on 10/19/2017 at 7:18 AM

Re: “Koch Brothers Infiltrate Pima County Schools With a High School Econ Course

The words of a student who underwent this subversive right wing indoctrination.

[He] understands that, ultimately, successful businesses in a free economy are virtuous at their coremeeting people's needs and doing so through ethical and mutually beneficial practices. In the end, [he] says, businesses that lack either virtuous purpose or ethical practices won'tand shouldn'tsucceed."

7 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Don Wheatley on 10/19/2017 at 5:54 AM

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