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Re: “Danehy

Tommy, your pal CW13 to the rescue. I didn't want your column to run all week without at least one comment. We wouldn't want the powers that be at the Weekly to think you're not popular any more.

2 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 08/09/2017 at 1:02 PM

Re: “Here's What a Skills-Based Curriculum Means In Finland

Leave it to Nathan K to come up with a racist take on educational differences between Finland and its neighbors.

20 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by skinnyman on 08/09/2017 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Tour Diaries! XIXA on the Last Days of the Euro Bloodline Tour

I enjoyed following along. Thanks!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wise-Guy on 08/09/2017 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

John, I'm going to stop this back-and-forth with this comment. I just want to say that you continue to cite a study without linking to the source on the web, or even a web page citing the study. You say you have it in an email, yet you haven't forwarded the email or quoted from it. Repeating what you said over and over doesn't make your argument stronger. It leaves the impression with me that you have nothing.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 08/09/2017 at 7:41 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?


Remember, the ECLS data collection was separated from the analysis to prevent the pervasive bias in research from polluting the data collection.

The multiple RAND studies are the ECLS study. RAND was paid $10 million from Rockefeller and Ford to analyze the ECLS data which had already cost $140 million to collect.

You are quoting a one researcher, 64 student sample where the data collector clearly had an overwhelming interest in the outcome. At the same time you are attempting to dismiss a $150 million dollar, 20,000 student student where the data collectors could have lost their contract over improper data collection.

There has since been an entire additional cohort. Aren't you curious at all about the dead silence surrounding the two most massive, rigorous studies ever performed in the history of education?

No other study has ever followed 20 thousand student for 9 years.

The relevance is that there was another longitudinal study done for preschool in California that had the same pattern - slightly higher cognitive gains, loss of social strength.

1 like, 11 dislikes
Posted by on 08/09/2017 at 6:19 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

John, I still don't understand how you can use a study of full day vs. half day K as a proxy for an additional two years of education starting when the children are 3, but I'll set that aside.

I still haven't seen the study you're referring to. You say it's the "Hubbell telescope of education studies," but all I know about it is what I've heard from the Falcon 9 of commenters.

Here's an idea. Forward that IES email to me at, and it will be forwarded to me. I'll take a look at it. Maybe it's a terrific study, I don't know, but whenever someone says "Trust me," I'm hesitant to take them at their word without some confirmation.

15 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 08/08/2017 at 11:53 AM

Re: “Beating Cancer How You Live

Yea, Barb. Keep fighting!

Posted by SonoranWinds on 08/08/2017 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Here's What a Skills-Based Curriculum Means In Finland

Again, it really boils down to teacher preparation and esteem for the profession of teaching. Finland's teachers are not paid particularly well but students flock to teaching preparation degrees (a masters degree is required!). The degree programs are selective and graduates are viewed as professionals not public sector employees.

"Teachers in Finland can choose their own teaching methods and materials. They are experts of their own work and they test their own pupils. I think this is also one of the reasons why teaching is such an attractive profession in Finland because teachers are working like academic experts with their own pupils in schools."…

One result of intensive preparation for a professional position is this: an astounding 85-90% of teachers in Finland remain in the profession until retirement. Half of new teachers in the USA leave after 5 years.

25 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 08/08/2017 at 10:28 AM

Re: “Here's What a Skills-Based Curriculum Means In Finland

"It can't be simply a matter of demographics, since neighboring countries don't score nearly as well . (Fun fact. Since Finland's neighbor Sweden went to a school choice model like the one loved by U.S. conservatives, complete with private school vouchers, its scores on the international tests have fallen)."

First, non-Sami Finns are both genetically relatively homogeneous and distinct from other European populations, including the other Nordics. Finns carry significant Asian-Siberian genetic admixture not found in other Nordics. See…

Second, 27% of Sweden's population is now first or second generation immigrant, with about half originating from outside of Europe. You can't equate Sweden's demographics to those of Finland since Sweden is significantly and increasingly non-Nordic.

It may be that Finland's students score well on standardized tests because they are smarter, on average, than students in other populations.

4 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 08/08/2017 at 10:12 AM

Re: “Confessions of an eBay opium addict

No way anybody can be so strung out on pods.
It's not like heroin.
I did them for months straight, then I stopped because it was so expensive.
A little kratom took care of all the withdrawals.

Posted by Reginald Frazier on 08/08/2017 at 7:52 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

I got the 8th grade data directly from IES via email while Superintendent. Three years further along than 5th grade same data.

The Hubbell telescope of education studies and you are mystified by results. Tells us all you need to know about education culture. Politically incorrect to present the truth.

This is the 98/99 kindergarten class, one that left 8th grade in 06/07.

They have since followed another entire cohort. Wonder why you never heard of that one either?

Why have we never heard about the 98/99 students who skipped kindergarten completely?

Why have we never heard about the 98/99 students who attended preschool versus those who didn't?

20,000 sample size, randomly selected.

3 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by on 08/07/2017 at 7:05 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

John, you gave me a Rand study about full day and half day K that goes through the fifth grade, not the eighth grade. And you know about the 8th grade results through an email which doesn't include a link to the actual research. You'll have to pardon me if I don't take that as a reasonable comment on my post about preschool's effects on people's lives beginning with high school graduation and going into early adulthood.

15 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 08/07/2017 at 4:24 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?


This is the analysis through 5th grade performed by RAND. The 8th grade results and the dollars spent on collecting data came directly from IES via email. Amazingly, I could not find a research study presenting the final results.…

Attendance in a Full-Day Kindergarten Program
Had Little Eff ect on Reading Achievement but Was
Negatively Associated with Mathematics Achievement
and the Development of Nonacademic School Readiness
Th ere was little diff erence in the reading achievement of students
attending full-day or half-day kindergarten programs
as they progressed through school. However, in mathematics,
attendance in a full-day kindergarten program was
negatively associated with later fi ft h-grade performance
when the nonacademic readiness skills of students were
taken into account.
Children who participated in a full-day kindergarten
program demonstrated lower levels of nonacademic
readiness skills through the fi ft h grade, including poorer
dispositions toward learning, lower self-control, and
worse interpersonal skills than children in part-day
programs. Children in full-day programs also showed a
greater tendency to engage in externalizing and internalizing
problem behaviors than did children in part-day

4 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by on 08/07/2017 at 2:44 PM

Re: “Arizona's Un-Credential. Is It the Beginning Of the End Of Teaching As a Profession?

Following up on Rick Spanier's comment above, our teaching colleges aren't just working with "average" material - they are working with below average material, if the relevant population is "college undergraduates". Education majors rank near the bottom of the college undergraduate population in terms of standardized test score and in terms of high school grades. See…. This lead former Heritage analyst Jason Richwine to conclude that Americans school teachers are actually overcompensated when evaluated relative to jobs staffed by workers similar average IQs. See….

For the record, I think that American school teachers do a fine job with the students that they have. But if I believed that American schools were deficient in some way, I would be looking for ways to get teachers into the classroom with more intellectual horsepower than the people working there now. The Arizona experiment might be a good place to start that effort.

1 like, 11 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 08/07/2017 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Before we decide to spend more money on pre-K, we might want to look at the Head Start data and last year's Vanderbilt study. The research on pre-K benefits is, at best, equivocal. The correlations that Safier asserts as causal relationships might be due to the fact that involved, high-IQ parents (who tend to have high-IQ children) also tend to send their children to preschool, and not due to the preschool itself.

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 08/07/2017 at 1:56 PM

Re: “Beating Cancer How You Live

Pardon, note that the wording "his believes" ought to be "his beliefs" or in context "what he believes", thank you.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Johnson on 08/07/2017 at 8:45 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

" research agrees that the benefits of early childhood education starts when the child enters school and continues into adulthood. "
This is simply not so. Plenty of research seems to show that the effects of preschool wear off or could even be negative.…
Only in low income and neglectful homes does the research seem to agree. In those homes removing the child from the home helps simply because they're no longer neglected. In that case CPS should step in and remove them.
The best place for children below the age of 5 is in the home with a loving parent. I absolutely don't want my tax dollars wasted on what amounts to a baby sitting service.
Why is cradle to adulthood (and beyond) care by the government always seem to be the goal of liberals?

2 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 08/07/2017 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Isn't this initiative a system where Vouchers are provided to send kids to Private School. Albeit that it is locally produced. But if the Public Tax Supported Voucher system starts with Preschool, how much more would it take for Vouchers to become the norm for All Students. Maybe the City should look at PreSchool supported by the existing Public School system?

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Charles Smith on 08/07/2017 at 7:37 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

Link please, John, for your kindergarten study, and if possible point to the conclusions section? And a link and quote verifying that $140 million was spent collecting data for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study? If you want me to trust, or even understand what you're talking about, you need to verify.

17 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 08/07/2017 at 7:21 AM

Re: “Pleasantly Punjab

I live nearby but review doesn't sound like the restaurant we went to at that location. The restaurant is not very clean and the food obviously preprepared from a food service or Lee Lee's. the food is bland and not well prepared with inferior ingredients. The staff often seems completely oblivious to the customers.

They have the most yelp reviews disputed I have ever seen for a restaurant. The reviews where customers complain about being sick after eating there have mostly been removed. I know mine and my wife's were.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by VerusX on 08/07/2017 at 6:41 AM

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