Betts Putnam-Hidalgo 
Member since Sep 27, 2012


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Re: “I Know I Said I Wouldn't Give Teachers Advice, But . . .

David if you attended school board meetings, you would know that the calls to the audience are full of teachers and support staff who are demanding the same thing. Even Mike Hicks agrees that all staff at our schools teach our kids (which is true). Stegeman is scared that such a move will piss off the state, who is already pissed off at Southern Arizona for not being right wing nutcases like the bulk of the anti-public school legislators in Phoenix. Kristel and Adelita appear to agree with the teachers and staff but then they were in the Board majority, as a Caller to the Audience stated, that withheld Proposition 123 AND 301 funds from the teachers in the past, so their current public posture may have far more to do with electoral politics than actual concern for teachers and staff. And Sedgwick appears to be completely in favor of paying people first--even came out with an attempt to apply the Red for Ed demands to TUSD which was ROUNDLY and extremely rudely routed by Kristel, in a performance that was both insulting to teachers' intelligence and that of Ms. Sedgwick. Such an attempt SHOULD have been made by more experienced Board members instead of reviled by them but once again it was more important to highlight Sedgwick's lack of experience than to help her gain that experience or actually look for ways that TUSD could replicate the strikers' demands. Its worth noting that our biggest snark on the Board, Foster, is also the "liaison" to the legislature--which actually may be adding to their distaste for Pima County and TUSD, if her behavior there is anything like it is here, where the personal consistently overcomes the politically intelligent tactics that will benefit our kids, staff and teachers.

70 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/22/2018 at 7:00 AM

Re: “The Dangers of Forming Political Coalitions While Black: North Carolina, 1898

Ah, so this Israeli and American habit of the aggressors claiming that they are the victims as they visit untold violence on The Other has historical roots! Thank you David, this was a hole in my education as well and shows the importance of a more full and inclusive history.

71 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/16/2018 at 7:37 AM

Re: “The Teachers Are Right. Their Strike Makes Sense. I Know Because Ducey Said So.

Thats right, Sandy Eliscu Kravetz, and just last night the "budget" that Ducey proposed included an EXTRA 30% for the Koch brothers three "educational centers"--2 at ASU and one at UA, the so-called "Freedom Center" where you can learn all about the benefits of eugenics (hint! the Nazi's killed the wrong people) and the tragedy of democracy as a political system (hint! it hurts us all). Now, above and beyond the 5.5 million dollars that were originally offered in a line item of the proposed budget, there is 7 million dollars proposed to go to these great learning opportunities. If you are pissed off, as a taxpayer, at being forced to pay for this drivel instead of K-12 funding demand that these funds go to K-12 instead.

69 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/01/2018 at 7:15 AM

Re: “School Closures Continue Into a Second Week of Walkouts

As a parent of a young person who will graduate this year, I fully support the Red for Ed movement. Those of you who are tired will not be when our state begins to fully fund education. Aren't you embarrassed at the skinflint approach of the voters in this state who have not yet voted in legislators who give a damn about the future? I do not understand why the state of Arizona wants to be known as "the hate state" that hates its kids along with all of the "minorities" (actually majorities) that are mistreated here. Arizona, you've got some 'splainin" to do. Voters, do your jobs. Vote these troglodytes out and make this state as beautiful as its landscapes, its cultural history, and its skies. Don't keep sending the message to the country that we all have to live in New Jersey to get a good education for our kids. And put on your red shirts and get out there to help the teachers solve this huge problem for us all!

71 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 05/01/2018 at 7:07 AM

Re: “So, What Do People Think About Teachers?

I'm so proud of the teachers, and so grateful. This issue has been a major negative splotch on this beautiful state for far too long.And as you point out, David, its been the same for the country, which seems to have lost its bearings completely on what it means to take care of future generations. When our military budgets are so much larger than our educational budgets (https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-… ) you know the government is more interested in using our kids for cannon fodder than educating them. Thats why I'm grateful that the teachers are standing up for themselves and for all of us. In a teaching shortage, they have the power, and as a parent I sincerely hope that they turn the RedforEd walk-ins into walk-OUTS. And then I hope the subs, long treated as second class citizens, will do the same so that Arizona realizes just how necessary ALL of these people are.

66 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 04/19/2018 at 7:34 AM

Re: “The Wrongheaded Decision To Remove Auggie Romero As Pueblo High Principal

An administrator who is so unfamiliar with his own budget that he can stand up and genuflect to his masters about the great support he is receiving while his budget is actually being cut is not a good administrator (especially if his schools' Magnet status is cut because of a systematic starvation of his Magnet funds). An administrator who single handedly changes grades is not a good administrator. Same for an administrator who doesn't even appear to know that he is not allowed to single handedly undertake such an activity. (See Policy Code IKA Section 1 for the following statement:"Only the Governing Board has the authority to overturn the decision of the teacher of a middle or high school course, to pass or fail a student") In other words, a good administrator might be expected to look into the policy implications of his actions if he doesn't know them. (And a good Board or Superintendent as well). An administrator who loses track of a master key over the weekend and does not report it is not a good administrator. (Not his fault that the media got ahold of the vandalism case and his oversight came to light) An administrator who allows discipline to go to hell in a hand basket and does not report it is not a good administrator. And, in my view, an administrator who first admits that he changed grades and then degrades the teacher whose grades he changed, to try to make the case that it is okay is also not a good administrator. Nor is one who uses District resources (email list and computer) to ginny up some public support for himself, claiming, essentially, a witch hunt. Not one of these things is supportive to teachers and students, and that is his job.

Re: the race card issue--yes, I have reread your statement, and you may be right that I called it the race card when I shouldn't have. OK, lets call it the MAS card. Why does it prove some bias against people involved with MAS if both principal and teacher were equally involved in MAS and were among the founders of the program? As stated above, Sotelo works with the Culturally Relevant Program that is supposedly so intensely disliked by Hicks and Stegeman that it skews their judgement. Why, one wonders, would they they side with one Latina who developed MAS in order to bring down another Latino who developed MAS? Hmmmmmnnn....How about this--It is a red herring raised by Romero's supportive Board members who depend on both the press and blogging community to rely on their analysis instead of fully researching the actors. In this case, both you and the Arizona Star fell short

Readers of this comment stream know that there are many times and places where we agree on education issues. That is hardly ever the case, though, when the subject is TUSD, even less when the TUSD issue focuses on the actions of (especially certain) Board members. The trick to actually moving forward though is based on the ability to somewhat cordially/respectfully agree to disagree . This is a strange beast that doesn't frequent our TUSD Board meetings enough at all.

67 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 04/17/2018 at 3:25 PM

Re: “The Wrongheaded Decision To Remove Auggie Romero As Pueblo High Principal

Why is it so hard for reporters or even bloggers to do any research whatsoever on the teacher who, depending on your side and political allegiances is either a victim of the principal or victimizing students (by actually expecting and demanding that they come to class regularly and finish assignments before receiving grades for the class). She too was heavily involved in MAS, and was one of the teachers involved in the lawsuit. She too was one of the developers of the program, and she is currently a part of the Culturally Relevant program. In fact, the class in question was not just any class, it was a culturally relevant class that lost its teacher mid-year, and Sotelo, a 30 + year veteran certified teacher got permission to "sub" in the class instead of letting just any substitute take it over. Get it? There is no race card to play here and yet the point is completely missed by people who are desperate to play this card.

Why also is it so hard for bloggers or reporters to wrap their mind around the fact that Romero's two days were NOT for the grade changing incident, but were for a concurrent incident that involved losing track of a master key, leading to a gym door being left open, leading to vandalism and thousands of dollars of damage...all of which was unreported.Only because of Able Morado's furious letter inserted into Auggie's employee file was any disciplinary action (even on that issue) taken at all. If you very carefully read David's assertion about those two days, you will see that he did not specifically say that they had to do WITH the incident in question,(which implies that he knew more than he stated) and in fact they did not.

The real story is one of unbelievable cover up and deceit by the last Board majority, who were so enamored of their Hispanic superintendent that they stood by with their thumbs in their mouths while he crookedly fixed the districts' books (teachers 301 money), destroyed a great deal of progress on the Unitary Status Plan, demanded that principals "get their numbers right or else"--causing incredible amounts of corruption and unattended to disciplinary problems, etc. Two of them claimed ignorance when the wife of a District vendor (from Phoenix, no less) who had just received a generous contract from the district donated $5,000 to their reelection campaign and the other, up for re-election now, has been on the board for almost two decades, more than enough by any standard. That majority will do anything to protect their cuates (pals), including filling the room with orchestrated supporters. (Who remembers the unseating of HT Sanchez, their beloved superintendent who did more to destroy the district in his short tenure than many others combined?)

Despite being a visionary teacher, Romero was far from being a good or knowledgeable administrator but he sure knew which side his bread was buttered on. He was a master at supporting his Superintendent, and joined other faithful principals in publicly thanking Sanchez for his support for magnet schools even while, unbeknownst to any of them, their magnet budgets had actually been cut (in some cases drastically). They all joined in with the Board majority/ Sanchez chorus that defiled the plaintiffs and their representatives (who ultimately noticed the budget cuts and rejected them). A quick look at which schools lost their magnet status recently will reveal almost a "who's who" of principals who genuflected towards Sanchez for his treatment of their schools while they were being defunded, disrespected and systematically undermined. These are not the actions of good administrators, they are the actions of "company men" (whether they were men or not) who say and do whatever is needed to make their boss look good, regardless of how it plays out with students and teachers.

The important question now is will these faithful Romero supporters make sure that the next principal of Pueblo is qualified to both be a principal AND to support both teachers and students? About the only valid issue in this whole sordid story is that the school has had a revolving door of principals, which means it has systematically been treated the way southside schools get treated by TUSD. The next principal must be an experienced administrator, not just a political appointee. The next principal must be honest, too--and must not use the District email system to call on supporters to write letters and say nice things in the Board meetings. Stay tuned to see, but I have serious doubts that this Board will (or even can, with the amount of time consuming and useless bickering they do) get their act together to actually place an administrator who knows what he or she is doing in that position.

76 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 04/17/2018 at 9:31 AM

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