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

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Wow the comments on this thread are amazing for taking on straw dogs of their own creation. It isn't any political party's responsibility to show anything about public education: the Dems who mismanage are no better or worse than the Republicans that run the state and so drastically underfund our public schools--80% of the school-going population--and then continually find ways to cut up the ever-shrinking pie so that its funds can be shunted to charters. Yeah, charters and private schools that supposedly will now be able to help the lower SES population--except that they don't. Charters do not show up as any better than public schools in academic terms, and private schools don't either--and the famed vouchers have been shown to only help those who can almost pay for the school year themselves--hardly the poorest of the poor that commenters seem to keep advocating for.

To the extent that our public education system has become a political football, our kids have suffered. In fact, let us not forget that the Dems and the Republicans together voted for Prop 123, that will guarantee that there are less public school monies long into the future. And apparently in the meantime, even that small amount that is supposed to go to help the 80% will be diverted. If we looked at this in another country we would be able to see it as effectively offering less and less to more and more students. Instead we make up benefits to "choice" that fit neatly into the pocket of ALEC and the Goldwater Institute and in general do little to benefit who those groups promise will be benefitted. I mean honestly, when was the last time those two organizations championed ANYthing for the poor?

19 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 04/17/2017 at 8:05 AM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Now, close to 100% of our schools are open to the public. Unlike other states, and the situation you want, where every school is closed to 99% of the public.

We are getting very close to a public school system instead of a district system.

The district system was designed with the specific intent of excluding Catholics and minorities. It is a bigoted and racist institution. It is an abomination of language to call it "public."

5 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 04/16/2017 at 5:50 PM

Re: “Zona Politics: The Latest From Capitol Hill in the Age of Trump From Reps. Grijalva & O'Halleran

How would you know anything about liberals or Christians?

You're neither one.

22 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by What, Again is a true racist, not a true Christian. on 04/16/2017 at 12:17 PM

Re: “Zona Politics: The Latest From Capitol Hill in the Age of Trump From Reps. Grijalva & O'Halleran

Ha ha ha! If What, Again saw Christ in the desert he'd call ICE on him.

22 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Peabo on 04/16/2017 at 12:07 PM

Re: “Zona Politics: The Latest From Capitol Hill in the Age of Trump From Reps. Grijalva & O'Halleran

Well I knew it couldn't be a church because there's nothing that Tucson liberals hate more than Christians.

Happy Easter! Christ has risen.

3 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 04/16/2017 at 11:10 AM

Re: “Zona Politics: The Latest From Capitol Hill in the Age of Trump From Reps. Grijalva & O'Halleran

Actually it's a movie theater on East Speedway. Of course, I wouldn't expect a Russian troll to know that.

22 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by JoelFriday on 04/16/2017 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Zona Politics: The Latest From Capitol Hill in the Age of Trump From Reps. Grijalva & O'Halleran

Is that the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx in the background?

3 likes, 29 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 04/16/2017 at 8:35 AM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Why would the public district system disappear? Keep in mind that in addition to troubled districts that may see an increase in exits now that ESA policy has been increased, there are many high functioning, well-managed districts where the majority of parents are satisfied with the services they receive. It will still be the easiest, most convenient, least expensive thing to do to use your local public district school if that school is meeting your child's needs. If that school is NOT meeting your child's needs, the ESA bill enacted makes it less cost prohibitive to transfer to a private, but the amount of the ESA won't fully cover tuition in any reputable private, and in addition to a portion of tuition, parents still have to be willing to bear the expense and trouble of transportation. It would seem possible that the distribution between public district schools and privates might change slightly as the result of this bill, but not much. The public system will not disappear. The most likely effect of the legislation on the public system would seem to be that it will further decrease enrollment in low functioning districts.

It falls to the Democratic Party to explain how being locked into low functioning schools that are not meeting their academic needs benefits the students who want to leave -- not how it benefits the political machines connected with low functioning districts, and not how it benefits the students who may be left behind in those districts. It's the district's role to figure out how to meet the academic needs of the students enrolled in it. It's not students' roles to persist in a school that is not meeting their academic needs in order to make the teachers' and administrators' jobs easier by reducing the concentrations of students who struggle academically or behaviorally. Parents have to choose a school that enables their child to learn at a reasonable rate and that provides a safe, supportive environment. Those who think that every public district school is capable of doing that for every child within its catchment area are simply not living in the real world, looking at real conditions in the schools. Nor are they being realistic (or just) when they propose to say, "Sure, you can transfer out of this school that is not meeting your needs, but if you do so you lose the right to have the tax dollars the state has available for you applied in support of your education."

11 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Free public ed will not disappear. on 04/15/2017 at 6:18 PM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Follow the dots - A) All parents get vouchers for their kids' education. B) They spend them at the public school of their choice C) Vouchers don't increase D) School operating costs increase E) public schools are forced to ask parents to make up the difference F) School vouchers decrease - in real terms if not nominal terms G) Parents are asked to make up more of the difference H) Parents can't afford to send their kids to public education; so they don't I) Free public education for all is gone, and kids are not educated unless their parents are well-off.

Vouchers for all looks fair on the surface but is always going to favor those who are economically well-off at the expense of the middle class and the poor as well as our businesses who need educated workers.

21 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Marian Hill on 04/15/2017 at 4:40 PM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

My dear, dear friend, Kathryn, I can't believe you are gone! You gave so much of yourself to so many! The day you walked into my classroom to introduce yourself as my new substitute, I knew we would ALWAYS BE GREAT FRIENDS! My heart is so broken, as are all of her family-her loving, caring husband and beautiful spirited sister as well as her many friends! She was a true hero to so many, her devotion to our friends walking the desert was shear love of humanity itself! Oh my dearest Kathryn whatever are we going to do without you?!? YOu will forever be our Bass Ass Warrior Woman! Protect all our immigrants in the desert !!!!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rolande D. Baker on 04/15/2017 at 3:23 PM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

How about someone who opposes ESAs answers the question, "Why is it bad if a diverse range of Independent Schools are strengthened and if kids coming from a wider range of socioeconomic backgrounds have access to them?"

That might bring us around to the real motive for opposing ESAs: though "Democrats" have no objection to the plutocracy buying itself any form of education it desires, they want the middle class locked into public district schools to keep them "functional" and to ensure that all students whose income is under a certain level (not ALL students, regardless of income level) are offered exactly the same kind of educational services. They don't give a damn whether public schools meet the full range of learning needs within that cohort, or whether, as ARS 15-779 tries to require, students who come into public district schools with above-average academic ability are afforded the opportunity to make "otherwise attainable progress" in their classrooms. It's all about raising the bottom SES range's educational attainment somewhat and the middle's participation is needed to ensure that can be done. Increasingly, unfortunately, what this "noble" social experiment seems to be deteriorating into is locking both the bottom and the middle portion of the SES range in this country into classrooms where massive low quality curricula adoptions that profit corporations force these students to grind away at rote memorization and regurgitation of canned content on multiple choice tests. Meanwhile, the "Democratic" party lets the high SES range entirely off the hook. They can buy themselves any kind of education they want, and no Democrat will take issue with their right to do so. The plutocrat Democratic Party campaign funders are certainly not compelled to participate in the great "EQUITY" (?!) experiment the Party is trying to run in this country's tax funded "educational" institutions.

Sadly, this is the doublespeak-hypocrisy otherwise known as Democratic "education" policy. Any "Democrat" who peddles this shoddy merchandise, which has little or nothing to do with excellence in education or any legitimate, meaningful form of "equity," should be forced to disclose whether at any point, their own children have been enrolled in private educational institutions. If so, they have no right to pitch policies to the public that decrease rather than increase the percent of our population that can access educational institutions that offer alternatives to what is served up as "education" in too many public district schools.

(And by the way, reputable private schools are non-profit. And their teachers and administrators have lower salaries than public administrators do. So let's get rid of the idea that they're all being run by greedy capitalists trying to make a profit on public funds. That is a mischaracterization of the private sector meant to fuel ill-informed support of a particular political agenda which includes keeping the maximum # of students, with their per-pupil funding, locked into a public system that benefits political machines but in too many cases cannot meet the full range of academic needs of the students it enrolls.)

11 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Let's translate the doublespeak, shall we? on 04/15/2017 at 3:09 PM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

Truly a woman of integrity, Kathryn's loss came unexpectedly. Not only Tucson but all of Southern Arizona is in tears.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jake on 04/15/2017 at 10:43 AM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

I didn't meet Kathryn, But from these posts. she was a great Human being. Good, Loving. and Caring people are what we need more of. RIP Kathryn Ferguson

17 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paul MH Ornelas on 04/15/2017 at 7:22 AM

Re: “Diane Douglas Got Trumped. And DeVosed. And Maybe Duceyed. And It's a Damn Shame.

I am so impressed with your perseverance in the face of all the graceless and crude remarks. I have to say, I deeply appreciate your presentation of the facts and read you faithfully, frequently tweeting your comments to my followers (few). As a former teacher, now retired and writing the stories of what it's like to teach with no budget, crap for pay and a constant barrage of slander, I like to keep focused on what the unbridled plunder of our neighborhood schools does to our kids' future.

Keep up the good fight!

20 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Shirley Willis on 04/14/2017 at 11:41 PM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

How disingenuous. What's happening here is the 8% are finally being offered what the 92% have always gotten: tax funded support for their educations, and you twist that around to make it sound as though the 8% are stealing something from the 92%.

Enrollment in privates is down because fewer people can afford them. Been inside any privates in Southern Arizona since 2008, David? Most are struggling financially and many would go out of business if not for the need-based scholarships they are able to offer because of tax credit programs, which enable a broader band of SES to attend than would otherwise be able to. If a diverse range of high functioning independent schools are strengthened because of ESAs, why is that necessarily a bad thing? The policy change won't decrease the per pupil funding in public district schools, and no one who doesn't want to transfer to the alternative sector will be forced to do so. Some who wouldn't have been able to afford it will now have the opportunity to access forms of education they would not have been able to access. Why is that bad?

Another question is: Can we really afford to let these alternative institutions go out of business, which is absolutely what would happen to many of them if tax-based subsidies disappeared? Many of them are what might be called "reservoirs of educational best practice" in a context where skill-and-drill / teach-to-the-test / boil-it-all-down-to-what-can-be-expressed-in-a-multiple-choice-corporate-produced-machine-graded format is increasingly taking over our public schools. What will we point to in the future as evidence that reading and writing and researching are the best ways to learn to read and write and research, not doing worksheets and taking multiple choice tests on how to read, how to write, and how to research? Sadly, worksheets and machine graded tests are what you find in too many public district school classrooms, even supposedly "college prep" programs where the AP monster is increasingly destroying students' ability to do anything but cram and regurgitate facts a corporation has selected for them to memorize. (Talked to any college professors about AP curricula, David? In my experience, they are not fans. I have yet to find one who believes they are anything resembling a college course, or even suitably prepare students for a college course, much less serve as a suitable "credit earned" replacement for a college course.)

If you believe in coercion, forced centralization, top-down administrative chains of command, bureaucratized and corporatized "education," standardization, one-size-must-be-made-to-fit-all, and children as widgets, and would like to see the few remaining havens from these attitudes and practices diminish or disappear, then by all means get rid of those nasty ESAs. If you'd like to see more than 8% of the population having access to better education -- and perhaps better educational methods spreading from an expanded and strengthened private sector back into the public district sector from which they have largely been banished, support the expansion of ESAs.

19 likes, 43 dislikes
Posted by In other words, Safier supports coercion & standardization? on 04/14/2017 at 4:46 PM

Re: “Diane Douglas Got Trumped. And DeVosed. And Maybe Duceyed. And It's a Damn Shame.

CW13, still projecting I see.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kenneth Groves on 04/14/2017 at 3:39 PM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

Pay no attention to the trolls. They, like Trump, are traitors. They're most likely being paid by Russia.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by urnumber6 on 04/14/2017 at 1:11 PM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

Why is it that you feel the need to shit on everything Wrong, Again?

You are, without any doubt, the most pathetic troll to ever infect the TW site. The hate and bullshit that lurks inside of you is off the charts.

You don't even have the common decency to show respect for those who can't defend themselves, such as the deceased.

You probably enjoy shitting all over disabled people also.

20 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by AZ/DC! on 04/14/2017 at 7:43 AM

Re: “Diane Douglas Got Trumped. And DeVosed. And Maybe Duceyed. And It's a Damn Shame.

The data releases are very selective. I asked for data, fairly simple request, and was referred to the PIO. He was very cheerful and said my request was for good information, let me see if I can get it and call you back. Never heard a call back. I called again, asked for him personally, left a message, never heard a word. It probably was inconvenient data regarding teacher shortages, numbers, and certification requests, and temporary certifications. It was for Statewide bulk data not individual information. Not a call back ever. I found the numbers through other more difficult sources that certainly revealed the extent of the teacher shortage and the extent of the certification problems for international and out of state teachers. But Douglas's office either can't compile it, or found it inconvenient to give it out. Is data only selectively give out to support a predetermined agenda?

36 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 04/13/2017 at 7:45 PM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

Very sad news. RIP Kathryn. You will be missed.
Thanks for coming to our concerts and for having so much compassion.

21 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Orkesta Mendoza on 04/13/2017 at 2:58 PM

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