Betts Putnam-Hidalgo 
Member since Sep 27, 2012


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Re: “A Look At TUSD's AzMERIT Scores

I wondered, as I looked at the data, exactly how it is collected. That is, as we watch from year to year, aren't we watching roughly the same kids, as they go through? 2015's 5th graders are 2016's sixth graders, right? What effect does that have on the scores? And if we know anything from the scores, its that the Districts' desegregation efforts to reduce the achievement gap are not working, no matter how much window dressing top Administration puts on it.The district has been failing its black and brown kids in epic proportions, all the while paying vast sums of money to lawyers to say "it aint so". Needless to say, that money would be far better spent in the classroom.

And then from a different direction there are possible other explanations for our district wide poor achievement. Almost the only good answer by the candidate for superintendent last night referred to the effect of Board behavior on district performance. He stated that he had read a study recently that correlated divisive, untrusting board behavior (as measured by watching videos of the Boards in action) with low scoring districts. In other words, looking across multiple districts, and observing Board behavior on video, the more the members of the Boards trusted each other, or at least acted as if they did, the higher performing the Distric, as measured by grading (A-F). It seems that TUSD voters succeed in switching Board majorities, but the divisive, cruel and manipulative way the members treat each other never seems to change much. This might be an additional place to look for WHY our District cannot seem to get out of its achievement crisis. Perhaps the adults in the room need to model better behavior as they (supposedly) focus on the children in the schools.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 08/15/2017 at 7:49 AM

Re: “A Few Thoughts On the Mexican American Studies Trial

Huppenthal's comment didn't even make any sense as a response to this article. As such, it doesn't even really deserve a lot of conversation: sort of like Drumpfs repeated tweets. The bottom line is that it is sickening seeing the endless repetition of "Anglo History Only" as the model that public education should use. Language is not the issue here--the issue is do you present history as a rich, moving and developing tapestry of rights and wrongs, causes and effects and interactions between peoples and genders and political parties and etc.? Or do you present it as a monocolor story that ends at the second world war (the last one we "won"---think about that please) and still has elementary school kids reading the same damned white male canon that I had to read fifty years ago? C'mon people, this is a no brainer. Pretending that critical people and thinkers and philosophies don't exist doesn't make them go away. Ignoring Marxism doesn't make it NOT one of the most relevant economic systems to a huge number of people in the world--it only makes you ignorant. Our recent Presidential election is a real slam to the education system in this country and the return and reinvigoration of programs like MAS are essential to turn it and this country around.

35 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 07/27/2017 at 8:27 AM

Re: “Meet the New 'What the Hell, I Got Nothing Else To Do' Teacher

Does anyone who supports this policy remember how mature YOU were when you graduated with your BA or BS? This is a disastrous idea right out of the cooker of no less a public school advocate than Lisa Graham Keegan and of course the still-celebrated but (thankfully) EX - Superintendent of TUSD. One has to wonder if his most avid cheerleaders support this idea--you know, the teachers and a principal or two that can't wait to have their pictures taken with him. Way to support public ed, y'all. I must say that having spent the weekend reading about the Texas Miracle, I see where he got his bag of tricks and I would respectfully suggest that we VERY carefully vet educators from that state in the future.

34 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/31/2017 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Anyone Can Teach. It's Easy! (At Least That's What Republican Legislators and the Governor Tell Me.)

I ask all of you who think this is a great idea to send your children to a school taught by this new pool of teachers, thats all. If we had had this kind of teacher under HT Sanchez, who co-wrote an article suggesting this very thing with the voucher queen, and HIS district, TUSD, had been allowed to train people with a BA or a BS to be teachers, we would have even more of his minions who mindlessly follow his lead than we have now. He paid close attention to training all of the new principals he brought on, and that hasn't necessarily brought bucketloads of good news to the district. Highlighting loyalty over credentials (even his own!) is not a good leadership strategy and slowly but surely kills the institution. Given how long it will take to clear the deadwood of the district out--that is, the folks, starting at the Board level, who are awfully good followers but miserable leaders--that would probably be educational malpractice towards our students and fatal for the district.

39 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/29/2017 at 7:29 AM

Re: “Because of Results-Based Funding, 15 to 17 Percent of Schools Will Get "A" Grades, Down From 30 Percent. Here's Why That's Important

Whenever the word "choice" comes out, buyer beware. That is not a choice for the many (the 80% that "choose" public education) but for the few (that have a good 1/2 or 3/4 of the tuition for their favorite private institution to begin with). Welfare for the rich, cloaked in the language of choice is what this administration has to offer. When previous Superintendent Sanchez championed the award the district received for offering the most "choice" some of us thought he was doing the same thing. Unfortunately the biggest "choice" that people utilized under his administration was to leave, en masse, for charters, especially at the middle school level. Despite the machinations he used to try to hide it, and despite the enrollment lies told by his biggest Board cheerleader during her campaign, this continued a tradition that has plagued TUSD for a long time. Now it will need to be resolved in a considerably more difficult educational landscape.

61 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/24/2017 at 7:49 AM

Re: “Can Voters Defeat the Vouchers-For-All Law?

Vouchers are clearly a way to drain public dollars that go to the schools that 80% of the population chooses ... in order to fund private schools. I am not at ALL convinced that public schoolchildren are being sacrificed (or held as "economic hostages") in order to save public schools (in fact I think its really offensive)--nor am I convinced that we should all overlook the religious side of Catholic education just because the schools are well organized. I would not expect public monies to send my student to a madrasa, to a Jewish school, nor to a Catholic or Bible school. Kudos to them if their schools are so-called "good schools"--public monies going to religious entities goes against the separation of church and state that this country is supposedly founded on. But who cares about that?!

33 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/22/2017 at 7:37 AM

Re: “Got a Bachelor's Degree? There May Be a Public School Teaching Job Waiting For You.

Indeed, as I have stated elsewhere, this is just the bill suggested by HT Sanchez and Graham-Keegan in the Daily Star some time last year. Don't be fooled--that doesn't make it non-partisan: Sanchez was told by the Board majority that although he was a Republican in Texas he would have to re-register as a Democrat here.....which it seems he never did,(register, that is), or at least he didn't show up on the rolls, despite how often he showed up in the state house to tell them how to educate our kids. This idea was one of his worst, in my mind. As a once- landscaper, I know exactly how respected one feels when the people who hire you are all sure they can do the job better than you can, and that is the sentiment expressed here. Yeah, sure, excite 38 kids all together in a classroom about learning? And then get them to advance and satisfy expectations for the high stakes standardized testing at the end of the semester? Easy. Right? Everyone who thinks that ought to have to do it (but my child will not be available for your experiment). Will Basis be hiring those teachers, Freuchtendler, Sahuaro or UHS? Its just another nail in the coffin of a profession that should be honored and paid above all others, for it is creating and tending the future.

40 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/05/2017 at 9:59 AM

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