Betts Putnam-Hidalgo 
Member since Sep 27, 2012


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Re: “Freedom Center-Affiliated Authors Refuse to Put Their Phil. 101 Textbook Online For TUSD Review

The parallels are superficial at best. MAS used textbooks that could be easily reviewed--they were not written in someone's basement, (just a figure of speech) with no peer review, citations or bibliography, and they were not published out of the authors' house. Not only did the Phil 101 publishers/authors not provide a digital copy, but there are also no hard copies available. We are to believe that the "third edition" is the one that will be used in the future and the only copies that Amazon has (1 new and 2 used as of a few weeks ago) are edition one. The copy that is reviewed online is the first edition, and there is no bookstore that has hard copies of the famed third edition either. So as of quite recently, the hard copy at 1010 is the ONLY copy that exists of the book. While we appreciate that they cleaned up the truly egregious numbers of typos and grammatical errors in the first edition, (perhaps there was also no proofreader...), it certainly does seem that they are -- once again--using the money that inflates their importance to get a break from the kind of common practices that everyone else has to use. Like letting the public review your textbooks.

You certainly can turn this into another case of TUSD malfeasance, but that would be really REALLY missing the elephant in the room (but some people can't resist turning everything into another story of TUSD perfidy). 1) TUSD is trying to follow its own procedures now, and is being blocked from doing so by 2)the privileged Koch brother (and Arizona legislature) funded department on campus that doesn't have to play by the rules. (And doesn't believe in taxation until the taxes pay for its own professors!!) Does money talk at UA? You BET. IT HOLLERS! (And I am saying that as an alum that just had to say no 10 times to the sophomore who called me and tried to engage me in a conversation about my days at UA all the while trying to move me toward contributing). While the Kochs and the legislature and various members of the Koch donor groups (like the Templeton Foundation) can fund a substandard textbook that they do not make available and yet will probably STILL get reviewed, the rest of the university is literally begging for nickels and dimes from its alums. Pretty pathetic state of affairs, and hardly one that warrants turning the sites of your razor sharp analysis on the actions of TUSD at this time.

27 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 09/18/2018 at 9:23 PM

Re: “Nothing Scares an Arizona Republican More Than an Angry Educator

There is plenty to dislike in the Hoffman article. The assertion that teachers are starting at the top, for one. REALLY? Mr. Hoffman?? Your byline reads that you have written for the Star for 40 years, and you have never covered Arizona education or school districts? You have never noticed that teachers have been agitating in front of their districts time and time again? Yes there are problems at the district level but at some point the state has to be held responsible for giving crumbs to them to educate our future.

Additionally, "the court had no option" is more than a little strong. After all,when we got handed the most recent giveaway in taxes to the 1% by Trump and his minions in Congress, it did not include the line "the middle class is supposedly the beneficiary, but actually it is getting screwed by this tax "reform" while the 1% will rake in money hand over fist"---so the bit about inaccuracy is overdone to say the least.

That said, this proposition was written by the teachers' association, and indeed, particularly since they did not START the RedforEd movement, they came in later (as did unions and associations all over the country), they DID have a responsibility to be more careful in its writing. After all, they DO elections and electoral politics. They should have known that a challenge would be headed their way, and before they got thousands of Arizona teachers to put their heart and soul into gathering signatures, the association should have checked and rechecked its work. There should be some anger and calls for restructuring at the association level.

But for that to replace the anger at the Ducey machine would be completely misplaced. The proposition started NONE of this problem,and Hoffman is being a toady for saying that this was the case.No, sir,the problem is that in the schools there are a bunch of people who love their students and work constantly with little to try to educate them. And this David is up against a Goliath --the legislature and the governor--who hate kids and have shown that time and time again with their corruption and their greed. Sorry to say it, but look at the record. People with kids should simply not move to Arizona if they have a choice. We might as well have signs at the borders saying "Kid unfriendly zone--State of Arizona". So as a parent who didn't know this, and moved here anywhere, I am unfailingly grateful to the teachers who took to the streets for their work with our children. And the ledge? Well, November can't come soon enough for me: they can go back to their ideological hidey hole and commune with the Koch brothers in some other state as far as I am concerned.

74 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 09/12/2018 at 5:33 AM

Re: “UA Named One of the Nation's Top 50 Public Institutions

All the more reason to be surprised that they continue to support a shady operation like the Koch funded Center for the Philosophy of Freedom (FC) and its new department (Dept. of Moral Sciences and Political Economy). In concert with the Templeton Foundation and other local and national ideologically driven conservative donors, the FC instituted a high school class in TUSD without following any of the TUSD conventions for doing so. Corrupt past leadership of TUSD? (Maybe.) Do the rules that "the commoners" have to follow apply to the FC? (Apparently not). And all without the benefit of the "Sunset Review" that is necessitated by UAs own rules....where is the accountability, and why is such a good school playing with such bad actors? As a proud alum, it kind of turns my stomach, despite their current rave reviews.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 09/11/2018 at 9:00 AM

Re: “Any Questions?

And it looks to me like "Poor strategy produces poor results" is so smart that she or he should be writing those propositions and suggesting funding mechanisms instead of just being a critic on the education page.

That said, this is about the third time that I have heard broadly snarky comments implying never ending corruption about the way that the RedforEd funds were spent by TUSD. What exactly was wrong with the way those funds were spent? At the meeting teachers, bus drivers, social workers and others made a very strong argument that those funds should be spread to all of those who work with students. If the commenter doesn't think that social workers, nurses and bus drivers, cafeteria workers and others don't add to the quality of EDUCATIONAL services to students in our largest local public school district, they are sadly mistaken. I am certainly not unaware that Call to the Audience dog and pony shows are quite common, but was teacher commitment to this spending plan (which, after all, reduced their own benefits from the money) not authentic? Red forEd is a movement that benefits us all by benefiting all of the people who work with our kids. Perhaps more specifics and less broadside criticism would be helpful here?

82 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 09/06/2018 at 7:56 AM

Re: “Don't Get Sad. Get Mad!

I hope this means we will see you and others at 4 today out in front of the statehouse on Congress, and then at 7 a.m. on Tuesday in front of a school (not sure about that second one) wearing red and dusting off those Red for Ed signs! The striking teachers in the rest of the country need our support as much as our teachers do. Yesterday I was hearing from a lawyer how hard it is to write a waterproof proposition or initiative and how very intense the pressure is from the Koch funded side on every word, every comma. And then, when the Supreme Court is stacked with Koch buddies like Clint Bolick, the VP for litigation for the Goldwater Institute, the justices will follow that Arizona theme song...."What would Charles Koch do?" For more on just who this "Justice" is, readers can check out https://ballotpedia.org/Clint_Bolick. He comes up in 2019....surely our memories will be long enough to boot him out.

56 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 08/31/2018 at 8:04 AM

Re: “A Review of David Garcia's Book, "School Choice"

As far as I know, Huicochea is currently Stephenson's boss, and is an editor at the Star. I too was sorry to see her leave, even if there were times when I thought she missed the point. But by the time HT came along, she was right on the (continual) stories of lying, corruption and dealing that he was involved in and....as "happenstance"? would have it, was soon out of the public eye. (Interestingly, in the context of this piece, Steve Farley was very much in the public eye during that time, speaking at Board meetings, always staunchly in favor of HTs work in that area)

To the earlier commenter, Mr. Mitchell--if you have worked in the school choice arena and studied it at all then you have read lots of books like the one Dr. Garcia has written. By that I don't mean he is a poor writer, I mean that so-called objective academic pieces like this book (which I have also read), particularly on this subject, are not hard to find. Of course the problem is that the issue itself is not objective, and has many shady funders and work behind the scenes by millionaires and billionaires that completely tips the playing field. If you leave that stuff out, as Dr. Garcia does, in the interest of being "apolitical" and "objective" then a false equivalency is created that is indeed troubling. But thats standard fare for academia, and in no way constitutes an action plan or even an obvious endorsement of one side or the other. Its just the typical analysis of settlers and Indians, or cops and the unarmed people they kill, or Israelis and Palestinians as all having equal amounts of fire power and therefore being involved in a "war" instead of in an invasion of one side by the other, or a massacre, or some other less "neutral" word than war. At least thats how the book reads to this public education activist.The original blog on Blog for Arizona was a hit piece, pure and simple. If you can find a blueprint in it, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 08/14/2018 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Fourth Avenue's Ordinary Bike Shop Is Closing Down

This is bad news. Is Fourth Avenue just going to become out of town coffee shops and bars and student housing? I have a hunch that rental prices are going way way up on Fourth Avenue (as I've watched repeated locally-owned businesses get pushed out of their locations by landlords who apparently see money in their own future to the detriment of Fourth Avenue) Way to go Tucson.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 08/09/2018 at 7:18 AM

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