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Re: “Editor’s Note

No, TUSD is not unique. There are other public school districts locally and nationally that have some of the same problems:



It remains to be seen how well Amphi will do with Jaeger at the helm, but many who know TUSD did not find the fact that he and another TUSD veteran (Abel Morado) were finalists for the same superintendent job at Amphi confidence inspiring:

There are some high functioning public school districts. Flowing Wells is often mentioned as one. No one doubts that public districts can, in some circumstances, provide good services. But not all of them do, and reforming troubled school districts is not something anyone locally or nationally has found a good way to do. Interventions of various kinds are attempted, and these institutions tend to limp along, many times getting worse rather than better under state control or mayoral oversight.

Applying tax dollars in support of students' enrollment in private schools would seem to many of us to be a much better investment in the future of the students in question and in the future of the communities where these students will work and live than applying those same tax dollars in more than one of our local public school districts. Why should the state subsidize the cost of students attending troubled, low functioning schools that don't meet their academic needs, but not high functioning schools where students' needs will be better met? That's a question voucher opponents should take time to answer, honestly considering the state of some of the schools in the public district system. I've yet to see a voucher opponent successfully doing it.

Care to give it a try, "False Equivalence, Again"?

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by TUSD is not unique. Vouchers solve real problems. on 04/28/2017 at 12:01 PM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Skeleton Crew

Brian, I have been following this photo series and have often wondered why you don't report some of the big messes to Code Enforcement. Many of our Tucson Neighborhoods and residents have been negatively impacted by illegal dumping and other conditions that diminish quality of life.
To file a complaint phone 791-5843 or go online to Environmental Services has information on Brush and Bulky at 791-3171 or online at and a great deal for anytime pick up of $55.00 for 10 cubic yards. This is a great deal for residents and landlords who have no way to haul the junk away.
Mayor and Council implemented the Arizona Dept. of Correction, Illegal Dumping program in late November 2016. To date 1239 illegal dumping cases have been reported and 1229 have been abated and closed. It's sad that we are called "Trashy Tucson"!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kyarter on 04/28/2017 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Editor's Note

I've enjoyed the Weekly during your tenure, Mari, and I'll be sorry to see you go. The YWCA is doing great things and I'm positive you'll be a strong force for good with that organization. Buenos suertes!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Wizard on 04/28/2017 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Editor's Note

Best wishes - the YWCA is lucky to get you!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by SonoranWinds on 04/28/2017 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Once Again, It's Time to Deconstruct the U.S. News "Best High Schools" Rankings

David Safier is a retired professional educator who has a great deal of direct experience with what does and does not help students prepare to succeed in college. His analysis of what factors do and do not affect placement in the USNWR rankings is helpful and a necessary corrective to poor coverage of these rankings which occurred elsewhere in the media. I wish David Safier (and other education policy analysts locally) would take more interest in educating the public about to what degree AP cram schools should properly be considered "college preparatory" programs, but, disappointingly, that is not a topic he has chosen to address, though I believe he would be well prepared to address it if he chose to do so.

The previous commenter states, "I sincerely doubt that either UHS or Basis would put a top rating from USNWR over more tangible measures like college readiness, acceptance, matriculation and graduation."

From what I saw of UHS as a parent, UHS has no measure of college readiness other than AP scores. They do not plan their curricula based on the faculty's judgment about how to develop students' ability to read complex texts, write essays or research papers, conduct independent research, or identify a strong area of interest which they wish to pursue in college or professionally. They planned their curricula exclusively based on maximizing students' scores on AP exams which measure your ability to cram and memorize content more than they measure the kinds of abilities students will actually need in college and in most professions that involve the exercise of independent thought and judgment.

At the time that I had a student enrolled in UHS, the institution was not and had not been at any point during its history keeping longitudinal data on its alumni. There was no one connected with UHS or TUSD who could provide comprehensive, systematic data about the matriculation, graduation, or professional success of its graduates. During the time that I attended Parents' Association and Site Council meetings, there was a LOT of attention paid to USNWR rankings and much celebration every time they went up. There were policy changes made by the Site Council that were distinctly aligned with keeping up with Basis in the USNWR rankings, including ensuring that seniors registered for a full course load which, given the course offerings available, would include many AP courses. There were attempts to use undesignated tax credit funds that were originally intended to support extracurriculars and fine arts to pay for AP exam fees for families that did not qualify for free and reduced lunch (no doubt the move in this direction was intended to increase the number of students taking the AP exams that affect the rankings). There was absolutely no systematic communication with alumni or the colleges they attended which could support meaningful reflection taking place on whether an AP-intensive curriculum actually enabled students to succeed in college. There are many UHS students who get significant support and guidance from their families that supplement the deficiencies in what the institution provides, and many UHS students who pay private college counselors to help them in ways that UHS is not prepared to do. Many of these students will do very well. But there are also UHS grads who struggle to figure out how to do what top-tier liberal arts colleges are asking them to do in the way of research and writing, UHS grads who leave UHS with no sense of direction about what they want to study in college or do in life and end up interrupting their college enrollment and taking leaves of absence from college to try to figure out, and UHS grads who change their intended professional course because their coursework at UHS has not prepared them for what college level work in that discipline will require of them.

The League of Women Voters observed UHS Site Council for a number of months in 2016 and their observation report is available here:

Public governing bodies like school site councils are required to follow Arizona's Open Meeting Law, which requires that records of meetings be publicly accessible. For any one who is interested in basing their opinions about what UHS is and is not on reality rather than speculation, the policy changes made by UHS Site Council and some record of discussions of the rationale behind them can be reviewed by reading minutes on the UHS Site Council website:

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Are AP cram schools genuine college preparatory programs? on 04/28/2017 at 9:44 AM

Re: “Danehy

Wink Wink. You wouldn't an idea if it bit you on the ass.

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Posted by CW13 on 04/28/2017 at 8:08 AM

Re: “Danehy

Include me in. We'll make it a threesome!

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Posted by CW15 on 04/28/2017 at 7:39 AM

Re: “Editor's Note

Alisha J:

Take your meds before making stupid online commentary.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rat T strikes again under yet another alias. on 04/28/2017 at 7:28 AM

Re: “Editor's Note


Wow, we have known each other for almost 9 years this coming fall when you covered students leaders at the UoA that published in the fall of 2008. Indeed so much has happened in between from going forward as a country to the current situation we are in America....I am happy to see you taking a big step to fight for all of us so our government can work for us instead against us especially when it comes to immigration issues. We are a nation of immigrants and those of us that came as late immigrants do contribute for the success of this nation every single day although we are less appreciated these days:(

Thank You!

Zeke Gebrekidane

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Zeke Gebrekidane on 04/28/2017 at 7:19 AM

Re: “Danehy

Oh, Mr. 14 honey. How sweet. Maybe you and Mr. 13 can do it all the time in the Arena of Ideas!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wink, wink on 04/28/2017 at 3:57 AM

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