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Re: “Farewell, Franzi

Emil was already a political legend when I first met him in 1991 on the Pima County Merit Commission. He was loud, profane, intense, and needle-sharp in his eyeballing of management or employee misdoings. Although we came from very different political backgrounds, we became buddies on the Commission because we both cared about employee's rights and management's need to see the job was done correctly. We became allies in decisions and respected each other. My proudest moment was when Emil was shouting at someone, and I asked him not to shout because it gave me a headache and made it hard to think. He quit shouting during the hearings. I will never forget Emil reaming out a deputy county attorney for claiming that a manager should not be held accountable for a mistake in a notice of action. He told that person that if a low-level employee had made such a bonehead mistake, the co. attorney would be after their hides in an instant. He wasn't going to let them get away with it. He was removed/replaced from the Commission by Ed Moore, six months after his term ended while Emil was in the middle of a particular hearing, part of a series, dealing with major mistakes made by the new county manager after the Republicans took control of the county. Emil was not subscribing to Moore's actions and was part of a unanimous commission supporting employees. Moore didn't like that, as he was to appear as a witness in some of the hearings. It was a problem for Moore's new appointee who had to read a thousand-page transcript of the hearing which was half-over, to be able to fill out the hearing, rather than start over. I still stayed in touch with Emil over the years after that time, and occasionally told him when we needed help to keep the Commission non-political. I will miss him.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 06/21/2017 at 8:29 AM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

Excellent article in The Atlantic. Thanks for the link.

What a scandal it would be for students to be allowed to apply their per-pupil funding in a school where they might learn, as some students in Tucson do, that Cesar Chavez agreed with the formerly expressed opinions of Obama, Krugman, Greenwald and Sanders. Or that Dorothy Day, an icon of the left, was not "pro-choice." Or that they should think for themselves and try to discern the truth on every issue rather than swallowing every item in a party platform whole.

Lots of manipulations these days to try to "manufacture consent," distort the truth on issues, and / or mislead the voting public. Self-interested, serve-the-money-interests and win-the-election-by-pandering-to-an-ignorant-electorate behaviors are pervasive on both sides of the political spectrum as Lessig and others have taken the trouble to document.
https://www.amazon.com/Republic-Lost-Version-Lawrence-Lessig/dp/1455537012/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498053652&sr=1-4&keywords=lessig+lawrence

The TRUTH remains something independent of the agendas of political parties and interest groups, including the charter lobby, and including the "Supporters of Public Schools" group, which can be observed locally actively producing misleading impressions about legislative initiatives they oppose and trying to suppress awareness of what conditions actually are in some of our largest public districts.

Think for a moment: what does this manipulative, dishonest behavior toward the electorate imply about what kind of citizens "Supporters of Public Schools" will be trying to produce in the "educational" institutions they champion? Will they ask these institutions to form citizens capable of self-directed research and critical thinking independent of a party line? Forgive me, Supporters of Public Schools, for answering that question honestly and saying it plainly: having observed your local operations for several years now, it seems to me very unlikely.

There's a reason why "Independent Schools" chose that name and that stance for themselves. In the final analysis, it may be the only stance that is capable of producing valid educational programs.

17 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Supporting Public Ed Means Abandoning TUSD on 06/21/2017 at 7:45 AM

Re: “Dems Ask Judge To Knock Indie Candidate from November City Council Ballot

Those Dems, all for free, fair, and transparent elections, until their power is threatened.

16 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 06/21/2017 at 5:39 AM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

Unlike the very negative comment above, I think its great that they are improving this neighborhood with some creativity, entrepreneurship, and flavor. Good for them, will definitely try them out.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by rcmitchell on 06/21/2017 at 1:36 AM

Re: “Dems Ask Judge To Knock Indie Candidate from November City Council Ballot

Let him run. Let him run.

15 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Let him run on 06/20/2017 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

They put it right in the middle of Methsville. A horrible location and an overpriced donut shop? What's the over under on them closing this location? 2 years?

9 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 06/20/2017 at 7:17 PM

Re: “Dems Ask Judge To Knock Indie Candidate from November City Council Ballot

Political party has no place on a local election ballot, all it does is reinforce the power of the two gangs, as Jesse Ventura calls the, the Democripts and Rebloodicans.... Another sad day for Tucson...

13 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by HumanBean on 06/20/2017 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

That is no different than the the immigration debate. read what Obama said about it in 2005.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-democrats-immigration-mistake/528678/

The truth shall set you free.

19 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Listen to what they say, but watch what they do on 06/20/2017 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

Note that the "likes" on a comment that tries to rally opposition to a legislative measure by providing completely inaccurate information about what that measure actually contains at this point exceed the dislikes. On a post which corrects the inaccuries and provides a link to valid information, the dislikes exceeds the likes.

Nicely sums up some of the potential problems with democratic forms of governance, doesn't it? Too bad the American public district schools which enroll over 80% of our population haven't yet been able to produce an electorate in this country where the majority is not ignorant or apathetic or both.

19 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Hurray for democracy. on 06/20/2017 at 1:55 PM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

I will add that glib promotions of the district and how "good" or "excellent" portions of it may be is extremely offensive to the thousands of TUSD parents who recently found by reading yet another expose-style report in the AZ Daily Star -- NOT by receiving notification from the district -- that our TUSD students had attended school for several years in facilities where there were unsafe levels of lead in the water dispensed by the drinking fountains.
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/elevated-levels-of-lead-found-at-pima-county-schools-facilities/article_a0f33304-d901-5946-8164-d7b2854a75d9.html

Inexcusable. Stop promoting, stop defending this abomination. And for God's sake, stop blocking the exits. Let parents protect the well-being of their children by taking their per -pupil funding and applying it elsewhere.

19 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Supporting Public Ed Means Abandoning TUSD on 06/20/2017 at 12:29 PM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

A school SYSTEM, to be effective, needs to have a way of ensuring that most classrooms in most schools -- let's say an average of 90% at any given time -- are staffed with competent, effective teachers.

How many and what percent of TUSD classrooms are currently covered by uncertified, outsourced substitutes?

How many and what percent of TUSD classrooms are currently staffed with recently credentialed (within the last 3 years) teachers?

How do these numbers and percents of the total teaching force compare with the numbers and percents in every other local district?

Now: What is the percent of students in public schools in Pima County that are enrolled in TUSD?

What were the discipline and administrative problems at Secrist?

What have the problems with staffing the math / science program and maintaining Fine Arts magnet status been at Utterback?

You can point to examples of functionality here and there within TUSD, but functionality is not system wide. Identify the weaknesses, which are pervasive, and calculate what percent of students moving through the TUSD system are likely to receive excellent instruction in 90% of the classrooms to which they will be assigned K-12. Now disaggregate that percent for TUSD schools on the SW side vs. TUSD schools on the NE side. Now compare those disaggregated percents with the same figures for other local school districts.

Why are 85% of AZ students in public schools? Because not many people who live within the boundaries of low functioning school districts like TUSD have had the means to pay tuition and provide transportation to better alternatives. There are many parallels between TUSD and Trenton, Newark, Chicago, etc., and you can't change that by pure assertion to the contrary.

Pay attention to the problems, note that for decades many professionally informed and hard working advocates and administrators have tried and failed to clean up the mess that is TUSD. Stop lying to the public about the minuscule chances that any given student enrolled in a system as honeycombed with problems as TUSD will graduate from grade 12 with optimal development of their academic potential, and recognize that staying in touch with Board members in TUSD -- considering what those Board members are and what that collective Board is -- will not do any constituent one DAMN bit of good. You can watch the June 13 Board meeting from start to finish, if you have any doubt about it:
http://govboard.tusd1.schooldesk.net/Meetings/MeetingVideo/tabid/79277/ctl/view/itemid/154311/Default.aspx?returnurl=http://govboard.tusd1.schooldesk.net/Meetings/MeetingVideo/tabid/79277/Default.aspx

"We" cannot "do this." Nor can YOU and Ann Eve Pedersen and Jen Darland do it, with or without the help of the various gullible and poorly informed citizens you may be able to rally to your lost cause, people liable to become confused and disseminate false information like that in post #1 above. Too many "Supporters of Public Schools" have neither the TRUTH nor an understanding of WHAT SOUND EDUCATION ACTUALLY IS on their side. SOUND EDUCATION is NOT what is delivered to TOO MANY students in TOO MANY classrooms in TUSD, and you can't change that by happy-face, misleading PR and / or by hiring or retaining Stephanie Boe at $90K per year in a district where so many classrooms are manned by uncertified, long term subs making a fraction of Ms. Boe's salary, with no benefits.

If "Supporters of Public Ed" were responsible, they would stop promoting public policy that has the effect of destroying the lifeboats that get students off the sinking ship.

Want to prove me wrong, gcb1? Answer ALL of the questions asked above with actual data, actual facts. Look WHAT THIS DISTRICT ACTUALLY IS in the face and tell the public the TRUTH.

19 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Supporting Public Ed Means Abandoning TUSD on 06/20/2017 at 12:15 PM

Re: “Grand Glazed Opening

Will definitely try it

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Palisades on 06/20/2017 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

The shouldn't be surprising fact about TUSD schools is that despite all the problems enumerated by the above poster, that many, many children at all levels are in fact receiving a good or excellent educational experience. The recent tour on FaceBook by the newest board member shows proof of good curriculum, devoted teachers, quality educational activities in every school she visited. Why is anyone surprised? Why are 85% of AZ students in AZ public schools? Because there are many good teachers and good experiences and progressing students in them. We are not Trenton, NYC, Chicago, LA, or Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Our schools are not discipline horror stories when teachers work to make the school environment work for the students. We rush to talk badly about local schools, mostly based on bad funding situations, ignoring the hard workers within the ranks. Pay attention to the problems, contact the legislature to fund them properly, and stay in touch with your local board members. We can do this.

16 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 06/20/2017 at 11:13 AM

Re: “Trial Over TUSD's Mexican American Studies to Begin in Tucson June 26

Interesting that a commenter who seems to be a MAS supporter writes, "The Republicans proved Dolores Huerta's comment 100% correct."

Please explain what method could be employed to prove the statement "Republicans hate Latinos" correct. Could we survey all Republicans and definitively determine each individual Republican's attitude towards all people of Latino heritage? Just among the Republicans in AZ, it seems likely that we would find that registered Republicans have a wide range of views and feelings on race / ethnicity, some inclusive and tolerant of diversity, some not. We would also find that Republicans are themselves of many different ethnicities, including Latino/a.

It's valid for civics and history teachers to compare and contrast specific policy initiatives on both sides of the aisle, providing data on what the tangible consequences of certain policy priorities are for people in a certain demographic, but when it comes to stereotyping people by political affiliation and making unfounded assumptions about how all members of that party must necessarily FEEL about an ethnic group, how can it be said that it is constructive to model and teach that kind of biased, inaccurate speech in publicly funded schools in a democracy?

There's an important contrast to be drawn between cynically using schools to try to convert students to a particular point of view and / or political party -- what seems to be meant by those who refer to "social engineering" -- and helping them explore the joy and power of mastering a set of facts and drawing their own conclusions, i.e. thinking for themselves. If those who consider themselves solidly in the "support public schools as necessary to democracy" camp don't draw a clear, bright line between those two types of pedagogy and express a firm commitment to the latter, that is actually quite troubling.

Was MAS political indoctrination or the teaching of valid forms of critical thinking? I still don't know, because as much as I've read of the polemic assertions on both sides, no one here or in the various sources I pulled up in a web search of media reporting on the topic has ponied up evidence in the form of a CURRICULUM OUTLINE and READING LIST.

If there is one available, please provide a link.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Please link a curriculum and reading list. on 06/20/2017 at 10:04 AM

Re: “Hispanic Chamber applauds Ducey education, business efforts

Where should we send hispanic children to get a "good" education?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jabberwalkie on 06/20/2017 at 9:24 AM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

...and no amount of opposition to charter and private schools make the public schools any better than they are. They are what they are, and until they accept that reality and figure out a way to fix them, it is foolish to try to expand them.

19 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Get Your Public Schools Straightened Out on 06/20/2017 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

Supporters of Public Schools: please get your facts straight. SB1431 allowed "all 1.1 million students in Arizona schools to use state dollars to attend private or parochial schools, so that parents can choose."
http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/lawmakers-move-arizona-closer-to-school-voucher-option-for-all/article_bc6e7056-6f06-5198-929a-5ed29b5194b0.html

Private and parochial schools are not charter schools, and most reputable private and parochial school are non-profit. Unlike publicly funded charter schools, they must charge tuition to students to attend. SB1431 allowed students exiting the public school system to take approximately $5K per year of the per-pupil funding and apply it towards tuition in a private / parochial school.

The tendency in the "Save Public Schools" crowd to systematically misrepresent the initiatives against which they are trying to organize the public is not confidence inspiring. Schools need to educate. They need to be run by and supported by people who are capable of getting their facts straight. They are not worthy of support if they and their supporters are "so flawed at the moment" that they can't teach students how to master facts and communicate accurately.

Further: no sufficiently attentive citizen who had observed the operations of TUSD governance and administration for a reasonable length of time would believe that public schools necessarily "belong to us all." Some of the larger and more dysfunctional institutions of public education in Southern Arizona show signs of "belonging" more to the interest groups and political networks connected with them than they belong to the families that enroll their children in them. Cf. an inexperienced Superintendent netting $500K per annum of the sadly limited funding available to educate children and tossing around $10K bonuses to his central admin cronies, while teachers qualify for food stamps and students drink lead-polluted water out of the un-inspected drinking fountains and go without textbooks which the district owns, but the districts employees can't find in their warehouses. Cf. TUSD Board members running for re-election receiving $5K campaign contributions from a marketing executive at the firm to which these Board members have voted to outsource substitute teacher labor, to the detriment of compensation and benefits for the substitute teachers and to the detriment of children in scores of TUSD classrooms that have no permanent, certified teacher covering them.

Students need to get out of the toxic (literally, not just figuratively, TOXIC) nightmare of TUSD. Stop trying to distort the facts and organize the public against initiatives that help students get good educations in safe facilities. Or, if you can't do that, at least work as hard to solve the pervasive problems in TUSD as you are working to try to block families from exiting it.

21 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Get your facts straight, Supporters of Public Schools. on 06/20/2017 at 9:12 AM

Re: “Carpe Diem Charters Are Failing to Seize the Day, Or the Students

Please look at the Save Our Schools petition that is going around to repeal the bill the legislature passed ( SB 1431/HB 2394 expands the voucher program) in April 2017. This bill supports the move toward increasing funding for vouchers to charter schools - these are not publicly owned schools, but rather taxpayer paid for profit entities. Although there is a cap on the number of vouchers in the bill, several legislators have stated it can be increased. My belief is in public schools, however flawed at the moment , because they belong to us all.

24 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by MaryE2 on 06/19/2017 at 11:26 PM

Re: “The Skinny

As I have said a thousand times, run the best candidate and your candidate can win. Anyone remember Lew Murphy?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by gcb1 on 06/19/2017 at 7:38 PM

Re: “Hispanic Chamber applauds Ducey education, business efforts

Shame on the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. None of Ducey's so-called education efforts benefit Hispanic children who are usually on the losing end of those educational cuts. He has done NOTHING to benefit children in need in gaining a good education.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by gcb1 on 06/19/2017 at 7:35 PM

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