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Re: “State Grades Are All About the A's and F's

The dream of an accountability system that genuinely motivates schools to greater performance is almost undoubtedly a dog chasing its tail - an exercise in futility.

Look at Tennessee, they put in place the most advanced accountability system in the nation based solely on growth in 1992 and promptly started moving downward in their national rank. Here we are 25 years later and few point out that, even after adjustment for demographics and income, Tennessee, the "Education State" is one of the lowest-ranked states in the nation. The "smart" people did that to them.

The entire "growth" measure hope began with them. Why would focusing on growth cause a state to move lower? Answer: we don't measure growth in preschool through 3rd grade, grades that accumulate more than half of all the measurable gain on the 13-year journey from k to 12. The ECLS study also showed that these grade levels were also predictive of later gains- thus even more important than their 55% share would suggest because they have an outsized effect on shaping attitudes towards school which have been shown to be the best predictor of gain.

Thus, the growth measure causes the system to look totally upward when it should have a dominant downward look towards the early grades.

Also, holding teachers accountable for that measured gain proved to be fools gold. Even small samples of Tennessee teachers show astonishing variance. Even pulling samples as small as ten teachers, one of those teachers would have a class gains place her in the top 10%, and another class put her in the bottom 10%. Half of all teachers nationwide who place in the top quartile of gains one year, don't place in the top quartile the following year.

Thus, if you are an inexperienced education leader, you can whip your teachers around with essentially random feedback measures, damage their morale and not accomplish anything. When you subject rats to random negative feedback, unbelievable social pathology is the result. Humans aren't much different.

Most education leaders know you have to protect your teachers from unhealthy feedback and focus on human perception of quality. Good teachers and good principals know the relative performance of all their teachers.

There is a way out of this mess towards clarity but when everyone believed that the sun revolves around the earth, they weren't interested in what Copernicus had to say. And, this situation is even more complex than planetary orbits.

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by on 11/08/2017 at 6:47 PM

Re: “School Blues: Most Education Props Failed Tonight

Look at the results. The high-performance district, Flowing Wells, did very well. They have well thought out performance pay for teachers, a cohesive school board and an education culture honed over decades, one superstar superintendent after another. Of course, when your entire team supports you and you have a superior cohesive school board, it is easier to be a super-star.

Tucson Unified needs to get a copy of the Flowing Wells' Superintendent's performance contract and the performance pay elements of their teacher contract and start studying.

4 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by on 11/08/2017 at 6:10 PM

Re: “State Grades Are All About the A's and F's

Pray tell how do you measure "Student Growth"? Answer: Standardized Testing!!

If we are concerned about the generally dismal state of our System of Public Education in Arizona, we would not hesitate to supports efforts at improvement. We cannot continue with our heads in the sand, and, under the shibboleth, Local Control of Education watch passively as our System of Public Education becomes, internationally, at best, Second Rate!! The viability of our Democracy and National Security are in jeopardy.

Given the wide classroom instructional heterogeneity within Public Schools/Districts, it is necessary to have some State objective measure so as to determine if Students are being taught properly and/or effectively learning the required body of information per Subject Area so as to achieve their Career Goals. This is the sole purpose of Standardized Assessment Examinations. AzMerit is such an Assessment Examination and will indicate the effectiveness of the Schools/Districts Academic Program, so that, if necessary, remedial action can be taken.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 11/08/2017 at 3:08 PM

Re: “School Blues: Most Education Props Failed Tonight

education is not only an investment in the future, it is prevention, if done right, against drug use, gangs, and crime in general but early childhood screenings are just as important...a child can't learn if they can't see or hear is available from most medical professionals and clinics and there is no stigma if your child has developmental problems such as it now

11 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by great grandparent on 11/08/2017 at 1:26 PM

Re: “School Blues: Most Education Props Failed Tonight

It's so short-sighted to reject the schools' funding issues. They have been cut drastically by the state; so they don't have enough money to keep their schools operating. This is an investment in our future, our kids' future, our grandchildren's future, and it will cost everyone more in the long run as we continue to neglect all aspects of our educational needs. Remember, public education is really what made the United States rise above other countries to become a great country.

12 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Marian Hill on 11/08/2017 at 12:42 PM

Re: “School Blues: Most Education Props Failed Tonight

Obviously Flowing wells is the most trusted school district with their voters. TUSD could learn something from them

5 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Azmom on 11/08/2017 at 11:50 AM

Re: “School Blues: Most Education Props Failed Tonight

I'm proud that the voters had the common sense to reject these

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Palisades on 11/08/2017 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Democrats Sweep Tucson City Council Races, While Voters Rejected Early Childhood Ed Measure and Remain Split on the Zoo Props

I like the rainbow crosswalks, Mr. Troglodyte, and I don't really care how much they cost.

Now crawl back under your rock and STFU.

27 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by skinnyman on 11/08/2017 at 9:20 AM
Posted by Wayne Olson on 11/08/2017 at 8:50 AM

Re: “The Koch Brothers Are Spending Money To Make Arizona's Education More To Their Liking

That sounds a lot like the liberal fraud they call global warming.

2 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 11/08/2017 at 8:47 AM

Re: “Democrats Sweep Tucson City Council Races, While Voters Rejected Early Childhood Ed Measure and Remain Split on the Zoo Props

Democrats sweep? Really? That is a foregone conclusion when you operate in a crime riddled sanctuary city where criminal activity has skyrocketed. Just look at the number of shootings on the eastside in the last two weeks.

Voter stupidity or voter fraud? Or both?

6 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 11/08/2017 at 8:46 AM

Re: “Democrats Sweep Tucson City Council Races, While Voters Rejected Early Childhood Ed Measure and Remain Split on the Zoo Props

Voters in Tucson generally like animals more than kids. That's been proven in several elections.

13 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 11/08/2017 at 6:51 AM

Re: “School Blues: Most Education Props Failed Tonight

2004 bond has not been payed off yet. Money was not spent well for that one or lost in some way.
If you don not spend Bonds correctly or money poofs into oblivion, taxpayers are going to say no.

11 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Will J on 11/08/2017 at 1:54 AM

Re: “The Koch Brothers Are Spending Money To Make Arizona's Education More To Their Liking

Must-read book. "'Dark Money' and its ongoing relevance " LA Times April 2017

"Vast sums of money in the form of what Mayer calls "weaponized philanthropy" funds battles against taxes, labor unions, environmental regulation, scientific research and civil rights efforts. Secrecy is a big part of the story. "The covert nature of these maneuverings that really caught my eye," she explained. "I found it fascinating. They'd gone to such lengths to cover up the money trail."

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Concerned Citizen on 11/07/2017 at 10:15 PM

Re: “Mother Knows Best

Congratulations to Sergio and his family for serving amazing coffee, tea and food. They are friendly and welcoming. Also Love their business name!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Patty 1 on 11/07/2017 at 9:23 PM

Re: “Check-in Time

It is horrendous looking, and completely out of place in that location. I feel for the Shot in the Dark business, that has to have that monstrosity looming over them. Sign of the times. Another example of decades of horrible downtown planning. It is a Tucson tradition.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Cozmik2112 on 11/06/2017 at 7:54 PM

Re: “I Infantilize High School Students and Have Little Faith in the Intelligence of High School Teachers? Who Knew? (Certainly Not Me)

Thanks John, I found the quote, though it's in Fortune, not Forbes.

You originally said, Buffett "hasn't paid a penny on his $81 billion dollar fortune." Now you say he paid $1.85 million in 2015 and extrapolated his entire tax payments over 40 years, though how you can do that is a mystery to me, and you called the $74 million you say he paid "a rounding error." To recap, first he paid nothing, then he paid $74 million, which is the same as nothing. I have to say, your ability to admit you were wrong and say you weren't wrong astounds me.

For anyone who is interested, here's the passage that quote comes from. The article, "The Biggest Difference Between Trump and Buffett on Taxes" talks about how Buffett thinks the rich should pay taxes and Trump thinks they shouldn't. Buffett comes off pretty well. I think the author of the piece agrees.

"In his response to Trumps claim, Buffett revealed that he paid $1.85 million in federal income tax on an income of $11.56 million in 2015, an effective rate of 16%. While this rate is based upon Buffetts income before deductions, an effective rate of 16% supports Buffett Rule advocates claims that millionaires are not paying their fair share. Clearly, tax savings were not Buffetts priority: He was only able to write off $3.47 million of his $2.85 billion in charitable contributions that year, since those deductions are limited to 30% of income.

"Buffett does not advocate that high-income individuals voluntarily pay more taxes, but that the law itself be changed to require them to pay more. He has also called for raising the capital gains tax rate and for raising or removing altogether the wage cap on Social Security taxes."

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 11/06/2017 at 5:53 PM

Re: “Venerating Veterans

The cemetery staff counted nearly 300 people in attendance. There were over 100 motorcycles & trikes in the funeral procession.

Posted by Peter Redwine on 11/06/2017 at 5:08 PM

Re: “I Infantilize High School Students and Have Little Faith in the Intelligence of High School Teachers? Who Knew? (Certainly Not Me)

"In his response to Trumps claim, Buffett revealed that he paid $1.85 million in federal income tax on an income of $11.56 million in 2015," Direct quote from Forbes

40 years of tax paying *1.85 millon = $74 million divided by $81 billion rounds to zero.

And, I can assure you, he hasn't paid that much.

Buffett, that lying crocodile, continues to advocate for higher taxes on all of his small business competition while he pays nothing.

39.6% Fed + 12.4% Social Security + 2.9% Medicare + 5% state + 5% sales + 20% regulatory load = 85%

A crushing load that has reduced our economic growth from the 4.7% and 3.6% final two years of Reagan to the 1.9% and 1.6% final two years of Obama.

Not a word in our Economics classes about how the U.S. has a GDP per capita 78% greater than Europe, about how our small businesses will pay over a $1 trillion in taxes this year while Europe's will pay less than $400 billion even though their rates are higher and they come from a population 180 million larger.

The U.S. has wealth because it had Reagan, because Reagan studied classical economics and knew Coolidge's tax and revenue record.

5 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by on 11/06/2017 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr Weighs in on Miles Davis' Sleeping Giant 'Honky Tonk'

"He Loved Him Madly," Miles' elegy for Duke Ellington, occupies an entire side of GET UP WITH IT. "Maybe [Miles'] chops are a little shot on 'He Loved Him Madly' but emotionally, when the smoke has cleared, that will be regarded as one of his most profound statements. You could listen to it when you're depressed, when you're having sex or whatever." (Guitarist Robert Quine of Richard Hell & the Voidoids - Perfect Sound Forever - November 1997)

Posted by Andy Schwartz on 11/06/2017 at 2:45 PM

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