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Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Jana Happel: Im sure you can come up with something more intelligent and more fair than that cheap shot.

Are you defending the way TUSD has been managed? If so, lets see what evidence you can muster that it delivers Fruchthendler-or Sabino-quality education to kids on the south and west sides. I once heard an opponent of vouchers admit that while sending their kid to a good Catholic school would undoubtedly be the preference of many of the constituents underserved in those south and west side public schools...still voucher policy needed to be blocked.

So lets be honest about whats at stake here: its a struggle over who gets to use public funds to serve a certain population in Southern Arizona, isnt it? And frankly, those who believe they know better than the parents themselves about which schools parents should be allowed to apply their own tax dollars in have some explaining to do about their real motives and why they believe their preferences for how other people educate their children should prevail. That is especially the case when the schools in question are part of a well established, well funded, non-profit, academically viable school system with a long and distinguished history which in most cases produces excellent results for its students.

Separation of church and state, you say? Give me a break. No one who understands the way those principles and clauses evolved in our nations founding documents believes that public support of students ELECTING to enroll (not being forced or required by the state to enroll) in a school with a religious affiliation violates what the separation of church and state was intended to be and what it was intended to protect against, something that was taking place in England at the time: discrimination against those who refuse to practice a state-sponsored religion. A bowdlerized, misunderstood version of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!! is a flag the ignorant like to wave when they run out of excuses for trying to deny fellow citizens their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of religion, or the right to be free of economic discrimination when educating their children responsibly while passing their religion on to the next generation.

Im no fan of Koch- and Friedman-style free market ideology, but when it comes to why some support vouchers, failures of the public school system to serve some populations as well as it serves others, as well as the ongoing effort to overcome deeply ingrained, longstanding American prejudice against immigrants practicing the Roman Catholic faith have to be granted their place in the public dialogue. The issues are much more complex than simplistic and hysterical ANTI-PRIVATIZATION rhetoric tries to make them out to be.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Let’s address the elephant in the room directly, for once. on 11/21/2017 at 6:32 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

To: To evaluate policy... I'm sure Huppenthal is heartened to know that after everything he has done, there is still a faction of Pima County Dems that have his back.

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jana Happel on 11/21/2017 at 5:35 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Those Libertarians are witches I tell you. Burn them at the stake. More socialist slobbering and pandering please, and pass the tax money. You Libertarians didn't build these schools.

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Jonathon K on 11/21/2017 at 4:45 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Here in clown world, "raza studies" for high school students is a constitutional right, while libertarianism creates a book burning panic.

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 11/21/2017 at 3:48 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Jana Happel - unfortunately for those of us on the progressive side of the political spectrum economically (supporters of labor, unions, living wages, social safety nets, etc.), there are some aspects of the Democratic education policy agenda that dont, in practice, seem geared to serving the best interests of the disadvantaged. One example: public school districts offering much higher quality services in affluent, majority-white neighborhoods while allowing classrooms in lower income majority-minority neighborhoods to be staffed by outsourced, under-qualified subs, while actively seeking to block legislation that allows constituents in these mismanaged, under-professionalized schools to transfer their per pupil funding to schools with open seats that have professionally qualified staff, smaller class sizes, better test scores, and conditions generally more conducive to learning. What has just been described is a local REALITY, as people familiar with TUSD must recognize, and it doesnt reflect well on the political network responsible for A) voting to outsource subs and then voting to maintain that outsourcing contract, B) at the same time, actively running a misleadingly titled Save Our Schools campaign to block legislation that attempts to improve access to high functioning schools for constituents receiving poor services in insufficiently staffed public schools. People looking at the way this only-in-Arizona ongoing public policy train wreck is playing out could be forgiven for wondering whether disadvantaged students receiving the best education possible is indeed what motivates the policies the Democratic Party supports, as the Party frequently tries to persuade us. There are certainly plenty of individual cases where Democratic policy initiatives BLOCK the delivery of better services to underserved constituents, but in general too many Democrats seem more interested in ideological purity (and utopian fantasy) than in real conditions for real people on the ground, in the schools.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by To evaluate policy, check its actual effects on real people. on 11/21/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

He's not average. He's unique! He knows something that we don't know but if he told us what it was we wouldn't understand because we're distracted by the little/big things in life. Television/money/work/school.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kurt 1 on 11/21/2017 at 2:27 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

The sort of students who would be attracted to a course on free markets, both as an economic tool and a moral imperative, have no business being in TUSD anyway. Their parents should get them out. Charter, private, open enrollment in Vail or CF16, whatever is required.

3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 11/21/2017 at 2:15 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

John Huppenthal, with your well-documented record of A): discriminating against Mexican-American students; and B): making stupid, vile, racist blog posts, you are the last person who should be talking about "poor dears from the hood."

Further, your insinuation that concerned, informed citizens like David Safier and Betts Putnam-Hidalgo are motivated to keep lower-income kids from succeeding and under "our control" is just plain wacky. Reasonable people may disagree about this course, but your implication makes no sense.

I guess if you haven't already learned to check yourself before posting, you never will.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jana Happel on 11/21/2017 at 2:01 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

It's interesting to note that questions asked in these comment streams about whether TUSD's Mexican American Studies (MAS) program received Governing Board approval in a proper public process went unanswered. Questions about who funded the impressive legal team arguing that the MAS ban was unconstitutional also went unanswered.

Memo to David Safier and Betts Putnam-Hidalgo: It's not transparency you're asking for when you don't ask for it uniformly. If it's "transparency-for-my-enemies-and-opacity-for-my-friends," then what you're asking for is a political cudgel you can use to abuse people with whom you disagree, not GENUINE transparency, which by definition is required of our friends and our enemies, and for curricula originating from ALL parts of the political spectrum.

8 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Transparency isn’t Transparency if it isn’t uniformly applied... on 11/21/2017 at 2:01 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Members of the Tucson group Kochs Off Campus! have read the Freedom Center's textbook for this high school course. Most of the textbook seems to have been written by libertarian crackpots. Although some high schools use it to fulfill a State economics requirement, it does not give an overview of the field of economics, notably omitting Keynesian economics and the labor movement. It takes potshots at the minimum wage and other favorite libertarian targets. Although it is titled Philosophy 101, it is filled with PR and homilies instead of open ethical questions. It presents several myths as fact, such as: "Homo sapiens became the wisest of primates around forty thousand years ago when we learned to make deals with strangers" (page 2). The original version contained hundreds of typographical errors. (At least some of those were corrected after our group brought them to public attention.) Now the Freedom Center is trying to restrict access to the textbook and the list of schools where the course is being taught. That information used to be available on the publisher's website (Sagent Labs). The Sagent Labs website was taken down when this whole story went public. The Templeton Foundation did not get its money's worth on this one.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Tori Woodard on 11/21/2017 at 12:46 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Why don't you talk about what is in the course instead of its genetic makeup?

Probably understanding supply and demand, double entry accounting, Gross Domestic Product definitions, Personal Income, Judicial and Governmental structure. How to set up a brokerage account, 401ks, stocks, bonds. Maybe a philosopher and an economist or two, Adam Smith and Ricardo.

All the things that would just make your hair stand on end.

Wouldn't want these poor dears from the hood to be successful and leave our control, would we?

5 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by on 11/21/2017 at 12:00 PM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Betts, according to a conversation I had with David Schmidtz, Jim Click is one of the Tucsonans who gives scholarships to students in the course who want to take it for dual enrollment but can't afford the UA tuition. That indicates his involvement with the FC, but we still don't know how much he's contributed directly to the Center. Until the Center reveals its donors and the amount of donations -- though it's probable they can't if the donations have been made anonymously -- I think it's fair to assume most of the donors are of one political stripe.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 11/21/2017 at 11:38 AM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

While you folks babble on about the disgusting world of entrepreneurship, it seems quite odd that the Clinton Global Initiative was able to broker a deal to sell the Russians 20% of the US uranium supply for contributions to Bill and Hill. And you folks said nothing. Or the fact that TUSD had brought in anti American haters to develop curriculum for classrooms.

It seems to the untrained eye that you basically detest success. The socialist utopia, once again.

3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by George S on 11/21/2017 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

Thank you for that. I've always admired him in his stone-like stance. I figured he is probably from an Aboriginal background, and maybe he cam male sense of this world we've created. I love the visual of him beaming away, but I love even more the sense of musical traffic. I've always wanted to go stand by him and see if he can help me see what he sees. He's a beautiful figure.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joe Cain on 11/21/2017 at 9:34 AM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

According to Dr. Villarreal-Diaz who was at the time of my research into this course one of a few professors in the Freedom Center, a considerable amount of the money also came from Jim Click. I am a bit suspicious of Dr. V-D's accuracy, but he did state this to the site council meeting at Tucson High that handled this subject when one of its members raised questions about the course. What I would like to know more about now is how is it that the high school teachers can be trained to give the course through a summer class, while every other high school teacher giving a dual enrollment class has to get a masters and additional credits in the subject of the course. Perhaps this is why not every district offers the courses as dual enrollment, and perhaps this is part of the reason that the course is not ALWAYS deemed eligible to fulfill state requirements for a single economy class in high school.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 11/21/2017 at 8:53 AM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

In addition to "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer (which is a must read in my opinion), anyone who is interested in the motivations of the Koch Brothers and their followers should check out the website:

It's a much bigger reach into our society than one might think at first glance.

11 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jana Happel on 11/21/2017 at 7:26 AM

Re: “The 'Freedom Center's' High School Course Is On Shaky Ground at TUSD

Employing stealth to achieve a public policy outcome is a red flag. Like the Kochs, the Freedom Center has worked to cloak their policy objectives. Putting everything on the table for public scrutiny would jeopardize their likelihood of success.

15 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Tom Rhodes on 11/21/2017 at 6:50 AM

Re: “Calling All Turkeys! Salvation Army in Desperate Need of Thanksgiving Staple

Maybe moving from St Demetrios wasn't a good idea. The community supported the event at that venue for decades.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by UofAzWildkitty on 11/21/2017 at 4:08 AM

Re: “Trusting Entrepreneurs to Improve Education: A Cautionary Tale

Nobody talks about the scattering, divisive effect of giving every kid a machine and an IEP. Everyone learns what they want. Finally there's no common inheritance, no common knowledge that every American should know. I think this is the secret goal. Subversion is its name.

Bruce Deitrick Price

Posted by educatt on 11/20/2017 at 6:39 PM

Re: “Steve Bannon Beats the Drum Against Undocumented Immigrants in Tucson Appearance

I thought the BP agents were shot and killed. Turns out they were beaten to death with boulders. Let's catch the killers.

8 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Jonathon K on 11/20/2017 at 4:02 PM

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