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

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

This is a joke, Francis, right?

You want THIS president and THIS congress to intervene in the states' Constitutional right to provide public education under the guise of a national security threat?


Will the nation's students be forced to sing the Internationale each morning and worship Putin?

Too funny.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 07/22/2017 at 10:20 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

So you say!!!...and....a failing System of Public Education is a National Security Issue that both the President and Congress have the Constitutional Authority to Address.

27 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/22/2017 at 10:10 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

Mr. Saitta,

US Constitution, Article 1; Section 8, Paragraphs 1 and 18. will not work as a means to override the 10th Amendment. That argument will be dismissed as tautological and the primacy of the 10th amendment will be upheld.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rick Spanier on 07/22/2017 at 8:18 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

Mr. Spanier: FYI: US Constitution, Article 1; Section 8, Paragraphs 1 and 18.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/22/2017 at 7:58 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

National Curriculum? Unconstitutional and dangerous.

We are a republic. The tenth amendment of our Constitution is clear, any power not given to the federal government is to be exercised by the states. Nothing ambiguous there. There cannot be a national curriculum or federally constructed assessment exams any more than states can declare war on a foreign nation.

The abject failures of NCLB and Race to the Top are glaring reminders of the outcomes to be expected when the federal government decides to flaunt the Constitution with poorly conceived schemes to make an end run toward establishing a national curriculum.

Take away the constitutional issue and consider what a federally mandated national curriculum would look like given the wild swings in administrations (Obama, Trump) and Secretaries of Education (Duncan, DeVos). Imagine a national curriculum developed by either of the above Secretaries of Education or dominated by right wing ideologues or left wing activists; Texans or San Franciscans.

Like I said, we are a Republic and for good reason. The disturbing notion of a federally designed national curriculum presents one good example of the brilliance of our revolutionary founders in designing our Republic and writing our Constitution.

32 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rick Spanier on 07/22/2017 at 7:26 AM

Re: “There's Election Integrity, and Then There's Election Integrity

Hillary does matter. She and the faction within the Democratic Party she represents are responsible for the 2016 presidential election results. So when you roll your eyes over Trump's idiocies, remember to thank her. And the DNC. And the NYTimes, that bastion of impartial journalism that treated the Sanders campaign in a very biased, profoundly dishonest way.

It is clear to anyone who has been paying attention that the power players in the Democratic Party have been enablers of the financial sector's malfeasance in this country. Their "solution" to the 2008 crisis -- bailing the banks out at taxpayer expense and failing to prosecute those responsible for the sub-prime loan debacle -- was an unbelievably corrupt betrayal of people who work for a living in this country. To most citizens, money is not a toy they gamble with. It is what they use to keep a roof over their family's head, to feed and clothe and educate their children. To crater their home values and then use their tax funds to bail criminals in the banking system out, while jacking up the cost of higher ed and asking the children of the middle class to indenture themselves to the banks to get qualified for professions is a profound and unacceptable betrayal of the citizens whose labor keeps this country and its institutions running.

Many noticed, and many were unwilling to vote for someone as obviously tied to the damage to their wellbeing as Hillary Clinton was. The remedy for your dismay is to take a good, hard look at the Democratic Party and ask it to clean itself up. Not to piss and moan about Trump. He is not the root of the problem. He wouldn't have been able to get into the presidency if the Democrats had not failed so miserably, from the Bill Clinton deregulation-and corporate-enabling presidency on, to defend the interests of ordinary citizens.

14 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by Dismayed that so many are blind to who's at fault. on 07/22/2017 at 6:50 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

"Whenever students are taught how to take a specific test, the results are thrown into doubt...."

Teaching to the Test is a bogus argument. In fact, if the Curriculum/Assessment Examination, AzMerit, covers the necessary body of information per Subject Area required for a Student to achieve their Career Goals as well as a measure of Teacher/Administrator Accountability, then by all mean...Teach to the Test!!!

Local Control of Public Education, generally, has been a dismal failure!!...hence the move, by Parents, of their Children, to Charter/Private Schools. We need to turn this around via a National Curriculum/Assessment Examinations. AzMerit is a move in the right direction.

27 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/22/2017 at 5:36 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts on the New AzMERIT Scores

The fourth grade NAEP tests lack the significance that you apply to them. Those fourth graders were in first grade when the scores you compare them with were racked up. They are completely different students.

However, the 8th graders were in fourth graders in 2011 and we know what their test scores were. We are comparing largely the same students. Arizona had the largest gains in the nation from 2011 fourth grade to 2015 8th grade.

Our Black students placed number one in the nation in math as 8th graders after placing 6th as 4th graders. Our Hispanics placed 11th after placing 35th as fourth graders. Our white students placed 6th after placing 20th as fourth graders. We did pretty well in reading too.

Probably the best indication of our school system was done by Hingus at the Urban Institute. His analysis placed Arizona 13th in the nation.

5 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by on 07/21/2017 at 8:25 PM

Re: “Tour Diaries! XIXA in Fun, Fun, Fun on the Autobahn. Detained!

Amen to the "keep right except to pass." Drives (no pun intended) me crazy here in the U.S. Enjoying your diaries and want to see you live when you return to Tucson.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jet on 07/21/2017 at 8:32 AM

Re: “The Weekly List: 13 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days

Would love to hear some local bands. Sedona
Eric Zamg percussionist, midddle Eastern, from Phoenix

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by beachlover31 on 07/21/2017 at 5:53 AM

Re: “Flake Loves Him Some Cruzcare

FLAKE IS A CLOSET DEMOCRAP, he supported everything the traitor that lived in the while house did for 8 years. I hope he looses the next election and a real conservative is elected.

0 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by AZPaul on 07/21/2017 at 5:20 AM

Re: “Tour Diaries! XIXA in Fun, Fun, Fun on the Autobahn. Detained!

Forgive the typo, it's actually Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Posted by WW on 07/20/2017 at 6:37 PM

Re: “Flake Loves Him Some Cruzcare

Francis, just in case you hadn't noticed, what you are advocating for is already available in the US. It's called the VA. My family knows all too well what the government can do to our healthcare. The military has been abused for decades, and now you want to include all Americans in the abuse.

1 like, 23 dislikes
Posted by Just Try To See A Doctor on 07/20/2017 at 3:08 PM

Re: “Dr. Word Says: Trump Tries His Hand at Poetry

There is some Trump coverage that would be useful: e.g., taking the campaign promises he made that persuaded working class and middle class people to vote for him and investigating -- entirely without ridicule, without snark -- to what exact extent his policies, appointees, and actions in office are delivering on those promises and to what exact extent Trump's administration is actually benefiting Trump's economic class at the expense of labor.

That is the Trump-related reporting that needs to be done. Not Russia conspiracy theories, not "Ivanka took his seat at the G20 summit," not "Kushner looked stupid in his bullet proof vest," not "Melania isn't living at the White House," not "he was childishly delighted with the military displays in Paris" and certainly not "here's a metrical analysis of one of his Tweets." How can the constant mockery and condescension and the inability of distinguished media titans (NYT, WaPo, even WSJ) to report on him using the tone usually reserved for discussions of the U.S. President do anything but confirm in the minds of ordinary people who voted for him that the "mainstream media" doesn't see or understand the economic issues they believed Trump would address? It seems likely that the approach being used will just confirm their belief that the "mainstream media" should not be trusted because they are on a non-stop, mean-spirited, elitist witch hunt.

The economic threats this generation of Americans face are real. The unreported story which, nevertheless, many people who work for a living understand, is that since Bill Clinton's presidency, the Democratic Party has not only failed to better the lot of the working and middle classes, and it has failed to defend them from abuse and damage in debacles caused by failures of regulatory oversight like the housing market crash and the pending student loan debt crisis. A significant percentage of working Americans have home mortgages and a growing number have burdensome, even crushing, student loan debt. 2008-2016 made clear the extent to which elected representatives of the people were failing to put reasonable checks on the financial sector, as Obama presided over an unprecedented bailout of the banking system at taxpayer expense and the Justice Department's failed to prosecute those responsible for -- and profiting from -- the disaster: you know, people like the banking executives who proposed to pay themselves bonuses with taxpayer-funded bailout funds, within a year of crashing our economy with worldwide repurcussions.

In this context, ridiculing Trump won't persuade people who voted for him based on his promises to increase their prosperity, opportunity, and security to jump on the bandwagon pulled by the Democratic donkey who looks more and more like a self-involved JACKASS every day. It will probably just intensify their hatred of "the elites."

Job well done, David Safier et al. Keep up the good work.

15 likes, 31 dislikes
Posted by In Trump coverage like this, the donkey seems a jackass. on 07/20/2017 at 2:53 PM

Re: “There's Election Integrity, and Then There's Election Integrity

Forget Hillary. She lost the election and does not matter anymore.

I do not understand continuing support for Trump when so many lies are proven, and "Yes, I do," accept responsible journalism over Trump Tweets.

So try:…

If you refuse to believe these examples, then keep voting for the man and all he represents.

31 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Discouraged & Dismally Dismayed on 07/20/2017 at 12:49 PM

Re: “Dr. Word Says: Trump Tries His Hand at Poetry

"A man has got to know his limitations."-Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by The Russians Hacked My Email Again on 07/20/2017 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Dr. Word Says: Trump Tries His Hand at Poetry

...because there certainly aren't any serious policy issues about which the American public needs to receive valid facts and analysis. Most citizens have little leisure time available to consume commentary, and what time they do have available, they should be asked to fill with scoffing at Trump's various high-profile idiocies and analyzing the meter and literary devices in his Tweets.

Still waiting, David, for your "compare and contrast" of higher ed financing in various developed economies and for your explanation of why our efforts to create universal health care in the U.S. did not produce a single payer system. But perhaps competently addressing those policy topics would undermine your goal of promoting Democratic policy compromises that produce better yields for the banks, the insurers, and the pharmaceuticals than they do for the citizens who are asked to vote for "Democratic" politicians.

(If I thought it was worth my time, I would calculate the % of NYTimes and Washington Post news alerts I receive that begin with the word, "Trump." But it is NOT worth my time. Neither reading the articles, nor calculating the degree to which our media "watchdogs'" time is spent avoiding reporting on wages, entitlements, worker safety protections, regulation of the banking system and other paltry matters that reporters seem to think are of such negligible importance to the citizenry. It'll be interesting to see what's left of the country three years down the road after so much of the citizenry's attention has been wasted on Trump, as though we could afford to waste time available for advocacy in a country this troubled and on a trajectory this disturbing.)

13 likes, 31 dislikes
Posted by What's missed while the media indulges in Trumpomania? on 07/20/2017 at 11:31 AM

Re: “Flake Loves Him Some Cruzcare

What Jeff Flake wants most is some Koch money. Every organization he has listed on his web page leads back to Koch and then there is DeVos who "had him at charter schools." She has one mission, to privatize education and more specifically to turn it over to religious schools, while a company she owns hounds college students to pay the outrageous interest rates on their student loans that have disaster in the fine print. Two TUSD schools nearby have been turned into subdivisions with houses so close together you can hear your neighbor cough as charter and private schools continue to drain education funds out of the state budget for education. California has outlawed it. Something we can learn from them along with encouraging people to use solar power instead of punishing them for it.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by soundcloud on 07/20/2017 at 8:56 AM

Re: “Dr. Word Says: Trump Tries His Hand at Poetry

Colbert did a bit of satire on that tweet last night! ;)

33 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Gary McCormick on 07/20/2017 at 8:14 AM

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