Betts Putnam-Hidalgo 
Member since Sep 27, 2012


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Re: “Trusting Entrepreneurs to Improve Education: A Cautionary Tale

Please, to the usual chorus of commenters on David's posts who often chime in about how much TUSD would be improved by such a strategy because of how awful (they think) it is, put your child where your mouth is. Whether intended or unintended (I tend to think the former: I don't care what political party the tech giants belong to) this is just the latest idea to break teachers' unions, privatize our schools and turn our kids into one giant pool of future consumers for the vultures to take advantage of. Such use of our public school kids should be called what it is: information age child abuse.

13 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 11/14/2017 at 8:11 AM

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

Actually bslap, who can always be counted on, like a metronome, to represent a small faction of the lunatic right, you are incorrect. With vouchers only those of you who can ALMOST afford private schools will now be able to afford them....because the vouchers don't actually help people who can't afford any of the cost themselves--that would be actually helping the poor, and that is not, NOT, what the game is about.

And yes, public institutions need to be held accountable, but that is certainly not to say that private ones are any better. In fact, thats the oldest capitalist myth in the world-the myth that says privatization works. It works for the few, and if you are one of the few or that is where your priorities lie than that is enough and you have really swallowed the individualistic rhetoric well. But if your priorities lie in the direction of the many, there is ample AMPLE evidence that privatizing water (think Flint), health care (think US with its millions of people who haven't been able to partake), education (think Detroit or New Orleans with some of the worst schools in the country--oh but they're CHARTERS so they must be great? NOT) does not help the many....and the fact that there are exceptions to the rule does not change the rule.

31 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 11/03/2017 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Koch Brothers Infiltrate Pima County Schools With a High School Econ Course

To all of the commenters above, indeed, you will find no Board approval for MAS curriculum in the past. If you think that means we should not ask for one in this case, you are oh so wrong. That is EXACTLY the point. Because of that, the District could not legally fight the ban even if its then-Board majority had wanted to--it did not have standing. So when our boy HT or the minions who did his bidding decided that the Board had not weighed in they were repeating about the only thing that really WAS an objective problem in the MAS case. Whatever the case was in the pacific northwest, here in Arizona, school boards must authorize curriculum,not just central department heads. Board regs and State statutes are actually quite clear on that--and the district did, indeed, get read the riot act for an oversight of just this type with the MAS case.

When the then Board majority narrowed the field to its one self-declared candidate that it HAD to accept on his own terms, and when the same Board majority then turned its heads away and stopped watching anything their golden boy did, they left the door open a crack and the Koch brothers snuck in along with the raises and the bonuses and the designated payouts that DIDN'T go to teachers. (Sound like our governor anyone?) Don't get confused though by partisan labels, this was our golden superintendent who we were supposed to be SO HAPPY would graciously accept a $500,000 salary package (or did you say bribe) to stay in town a little longer....In any case, when you drop the partisanship of it all, you find out that corruption and/or lax oversight look the same no matter who does it, and little issues like Board authorization (or lack thereof) need to be cleaned up.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 10/30/2017 at 8:50 AM

Re: “Koch Brothers Infiltrate Pima County Schools With a High School Econ Course

The difference between the MAS program and the Koch program is that one indicates that it is teaching a particular lens on history, and does not pretend to teach all history. The other, however, DOES totalize itself--that is, it purports to teach Ethics, Economy and Entrepreneurship without at all indicating that it is teaching a LIBERTARIAN ethics (?!) including a very one sided Economy and Entrepreneurship. Other than that, though, the writer is correct above--the course was "approved" on a day that there was no Board meeting (as confirmed by Mary Alice Wallace who knows the schedules and the archives) and the textbook appears to have only been confirmed by being bought and paid for (according to FOIA information). According to publisher and Freedom Center information, the course can only be offered in high schools where the administration has committed, prior to its teachers taking the summer 2015 workshop, to hold the course--so one wonders who, during the Sanchez administration, offered so many assurances that the class would be held. Of course given the revolving door of friends from Texas and local administrators, many with very questionable qualifications for those jobs, there is no one from that era left at 1010 in those positions who can answer for how the course ever got authorized to begin with. But Board authorization, unless gathered in famous Board one on one's, never took place.

21 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 10/16/2017 at 5:51 AM

Re: “New TV Ad Asks McCain To Stop Latest GOP Healthcare Disaster

bslap I wonder if you walk your own talk. If you were in a hurricane, would you reject government aid? An earthquake? Do you not use highways or the post office or the telephone system or the internet--all examples of projects either paid for or started by government...? If there is a run on the banks will you allow your deposits to be eaten up? Because that insurance on your deposit is a federal program, and with rhetoric like yours, you damned well better not use it.

That is right, the health care in this country, one of the richest in the world WAS a disaster 6 years ago. And, by the way, the bill also erases Planned Parenthood, which is used by women (you know, that 52% of the population whose plumbing needs regular maintenance?) for basic health care far more than for abortions, which are never paid for anyway by the feds. It is a disastrous bill that will give the state a huge amount of money to sweep and use as they wish, as they have done with so many other designated funds. Oh! Thats it! Maybe you are or are related to one of our illustrious legislators, and looking for a sweet stack of new FEDERAL cash to spend at the state level on corporate giveaways?

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 09/21/2017 at 7:56 AM

Re: “San Antonio's Pre-K Program

bslap I protest. Some people do like public education and TUSD and spend their/our lives trying to improve it. In any case Strong Start is not even about TUSD, its about preschoolers. I suppose if you were raised without using any public services as a youngster then you can be a bitter and selfish oldster now. But my guess is that that was not the case. We all pretty much used services, like roads, telephones (at that time) and other items that were heavily subisidized by taxpayers.To be so selfish about paying forward what someone paid forward for you is just downright egotistical and shortsighted. This is what societies do for one another.

12 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 08/21/2017 at 8:21 AM

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.

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

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