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Re: “The Chicago Way

The original Rosati's opened on Tanque Verde rd. In 1998

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by ccbaby on 09/19/2017 at 5:23 PM

Re: “Looking at Tucson Unified's AzMERIT Scores: Another Approach

David, I don't know what you learned in grad school, but the first thing I learned was a healthy skepticism about our ability to "know" (in the strict sense of the word) what the cause of any given effect may be. "Correlation DOES NOT prove causation" was drilled into us about as much as Strunk drilled "Omit needless words" into EB White and others.

You can compare test scores and break them down according to race, income, parental educational achievement, etc. until the cows come home and you will never be able to demonstrate anything other than that some of the factors you are examining are co-occurring variables. Perhaps one causes the other and perhaps two of them are caused by some third variable not examined in the study. Whatever the case, no causal relationships can be proved. Political writers frequently take advantage of the fact that many members of the general public can be tricked into assuming consistent correlation implies causation. It happens on both sides of the political divide. You're always pulling correlations between poverty and low test scores out of your bag of tricks. Huppenthal regularly mentions correlation between increase in school choice policies in AZ and a drop in the juvenile murder rate.

Given your political affiliations, you no doubt hope to show in your forthcoming study that there is no statistically significant difference between the test score performance of districts serving the same kinds of populations. That proves nothing about what causes similarities in testing outcomes, and, more importantly, it is entirely irrelevant to the main thing worth examining, something that CAN be empirically studied and KNOWN a posteriori, but by means you do not like to employ, i.e. the tedious and maddening job of attending Board meetings, examining budgets, and submitting public records requests. What is that thing you can get at by days and weeks and years of the kind of tiresome work you do not like to do?

HOW THE MONEY ALLOCATED TO EACH DISTRICT IS BEING APPLIED. Is it being applied to benefit students and support teachers, or is it being applied to enrich already overpaid central administrators, lawyers, public relations consultants, and perhaps some private contractors like ESI? It's a simple question, no doubt too simple for a sophisticate like you.

So enjoy noodling around on your computer in the comfort of your home office and best of wishes with the pending analysis of effects and attempts to imply that you are demonstrating something valid about causes. While you work on that, people who care more about improving services to students than they care about making excuses for irresponsible politicians will continue focusing their attention on the differences between how money is being applied (e.g., in Tucson "Unified" (?), on PR and "rebranding") and what funding applications would be if the district's budgeting were prioritizing giving students the basic raw materials needed if optimal learning is to take place (e.g., having adequate supplies, textbooks, and permanent, fully qualified teachers in every classroom).

(And please note that I did not say "give students the things that will cause them to learn optimally." I said "give students the basic raw materials needed if optimal learning is to take place." Some of us try to be cautious not to imply knowledge of causes that we know we can never have. We'd rather focus on advocating that students and teachers receive the support needed to do their respective jobs of teaching and learning as well as they possibly can, given the various circumstances we cannot or should not control. Public budgets, on the other hand, are things that the public can and should control or, at the very least, influence to the greatest extent possible, for the benefit of students enrolled in public schools.)

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Still not the kind of analysis needed to benefit STUDENTS on 09/19/2017 at 5:15 PM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

Stop giving them good news. It's not what they want.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Wayne Olson on 09/19/2017 at 3:54 PM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

Response to Constant Voter: you say "At the bottom of all 50 states, our schools continue to sit, a fact"

No, a falsehood. Here are a few facts:

1. In the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, our 8th grade African Americans scored number one in the nation, up from 6th in 2011 in math.

2. Our Hispanics ranked 11th, up from 35th in 2011.

3. Our white students ranked 6th.

From 2011, 4th grade to 2015 8th grade, Arizona's combined Math and Reading gains on NAEP ranked number one in the nation, primarily because the rest of the nation tanked under the flaws of "Race to the Top."

In the most recent National Center for Education statistics, Arizona ranked first at increasing the number of high school graduates, no other state was even close.

Nationwide, the percentage of parents rating their child's school excellent dropped from 36% to 24%, a point away from a 47 year low. Numerous districts, such as Chandler Unified, hit all-time highs at 75%.

Murders by juveniles in Arizona dropped from 70 in 1992 to 7 in 2012, the largest such drop in the nation.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by on 09/19/2017 at 10:49 AM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

This is fluff.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 09/19/2017 at 10:20 AM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

Maybe that'll get them out from under the Deseg order. Hahahaha.
TU will remain, like TUSD, a cesspool where the adults play political and social engineering games and the kids get screwed.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 09/19/2017 at 6:25 AM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

At the bottom of all 50 states, our schools continue to sit, a fact always worth noting: near the very bottom of all 50 in every category. We stay there because of hard core bickering by politicians, charter school proponents and citizen grouches who never go near schools and resent every cent spent on someone else's kids. Voting in the affirmative doesn't seem to matter. The super majority of politicians in Phoenix has proven they will nullify election results they don't like. People actually can be public school superintendents and despise the idea of public education. Not what the founders envisioned.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Constant Voter on 09/19/2017 at 5:56 AM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

Let's pull four numbers:

1. The overall student growth percentile of Tucson Unified;
2. The percentage of teachers saying that they are Very Satisfied with their job;
3. The percentage of parents saying they are Very Satisfied with the quality of their child's education;
4. The percentage of students saying they are Very Satisfied with the quality of their education.

Really, the only four numbers that count in education. Tracking these three numbers, we will be able to see if this new Superintendent is someone who can make a difference - someone who can unify the district.

All four of these numbers have fallen dramatically for the nation 2011-2015, but not in Arizona - we went up significantly.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by on 09/18/2017 at 4:41 PM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

"We are not a dump!" Might have been more fitting if you are trying to fool all the people all the time.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 09/18/2017 at 4:39 PM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

Since the district has and is already spending the money to re-brand itself, how about a name that says it all, to the parents, the students and the teachers who are actually trying to make a difference.

Instead of Tucson Unified -- which sounds like a British Football Club -- I give you the succinct "TUC U!"

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by sgsmith on 09/18/2017 at 4:26 PM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

What an absolute joke.

One of the worst school district in the state should be worried more about the shitty quality of education in its lousy classrooms, rather than marketing.

5 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Danehick Sux on 09/18/2017 at 2:20 PM

Re: “It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

"The feeling the public has about the district matters," David? That is a revealing statement, and perhaps the best way to describe the motivation behind how some interact with the district and the media, i.e. working against reporters' and members of the publics' efforts to communicate honestly with the electorate about what conditions in the district actually are.

But what the district ACTUALLY IS matters more to the soundness of students' educations and to the overall quality of our community than "the feeling the public has about it." People who take the trouble to track budgets have already seen too much money wasted on rebranding and PR, money that could have been applied to make genuine progress in the all-important bedrock reality, the quality of services delivered to students.

Perhaps you can start helping the STUDENTS in the district by reporting on what matters to them: not name changes and attempts to paste "Unified" over the very real discord, turf wars, and infighting which have too often characterized how the district operates, but, for example, what percent of classrooms in TUSD have fully qualified teachers delivering instruction to students and how subs are managed. (Outsourced? Underpaid?) If Trujillo starts to make beneficial change in those areas, we will have some REAL achievements, worth celebrating and reporting. Reporters and bloggers could do some genuine good if they contributed to UNIFYING the public behind those worthy goals.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by What it IS matters more than how we FEEL about it. on 09/18/2017 at 12:17 PM

Re: “Stateless Fear: An Asylum Story

I am a stateless alien I was born in Germany and family is from former yugoslavia. I came to the USA when I was 9yrs old with my family as a refugee. I've had a troubled teenage years now I'm on order of supervision and can't even get an id let alone a job it's very hard I don't have the connections I want to apply or even Kno how to apply for asylum can any body help me please I beg of you u can contact me on my face book page I live in Tucson Arizona any lawer or advocate or advice for what to do next please email me or send msg on face book

Posted by Lale Sadikovic on 09/18/2017 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Business Leaders Say, Raise Taxes to Fund Schools

Business leaders usually are rich & often funnel taxes to their interest

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Grandma Suzy on 09/18/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Business Leaders Say, Raise Taxes to Fund Schools

Michael S. Ellegood, I agree completely. I've written about Arizona's position as one of the eight worst states in terms of the burden of taxation carried by people with the lowest incomes. I wish to hell Democrats would have the courage to make "Tax the rich!" a catch phrase they haul out every time people say we don't have enough money for a good program and all you liberals want to do is raise taxes. In Arizona, the rule that it takes a 2/3 majority in the legislature to pass new taxes could be changed by referendum or initiative. Without a change, any tax aimed at the highest income Arizonans will never happen.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by David Safier on 09/18/2017 at 9:07 AM

Re: “Business Leaders Say, Raise Taxes to Fund Schools

You touch on it, David, but the issue deserves more emphasis. Every time we bring up school funding, someone walks out Prop 301 and calls for a sales tax increase. Arizona already has one of the high sales tax rates in the nation, in fact, 11th from the top. We have the lowest property and income taxes, 5th and 6th from the bottom. Ducey and his predecessors claimed lowering income taxes would drive the economy, it has not. So, yes we need more money in education, but we need to raise revenue, an increase in income tax makes more sense that again increasing the sales tax.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 09/18/2017 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Business Leaders Say, Raise Taxes to Fund Schools

Taxes should not be raised until tax credits are recaptured first. Not more tax credits for individual donations to Private School Tuition Organizations. Not more corporate tax credits for donations to Private School tuition organizations. Many more of the 30 some tax credits need to be recaptured. One thing is sure, all this tax cutting, going all the way back really to the tax rates of 1978, have done nothing for economic development except starve needed services, and money to public schools. In reality the State is supporting three school systems, public schools, privately operated charter schools (don't you dare call them public schools), and now private schools with tax credits, and back door vouchers (maybe).

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 09/18/2017 at 8:48 AM

Re: “Business Leaders Say, Raise Taxes to Fund Schools

What ever happened to the Money, that the courts said that the State Owed Education as a result of the lawsuit that Ducey lost while State Treasurer. I know that he felt that Prop 301increased funding, but it seems like the $3B from that lawsuit just evaporated and the State has never paid it. 301 did not have anything in it that would absolve the State of the obligation. What happened

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Charles Smith on 09/18/2017 at 7:42 AM

Re: “Cinema Clips: Columbus

Wonderful movie, beautifully filmed.

Posted by ronko on 09/18/2017 at 7:39 AM

Re: “DREAMers Deferred


We don't care about you, but your mother and father are a different story.
Do they live at the address you listed on your DACA application?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Juan Valdez on 09/17/2017 at 11:32 AM

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