First of all, Frances cited the ARIZONA Constitution -- not the US. Different documents -- y'all should read them sometime.
Second: As far as I'm aware, NOBODY in this argument is anti-Catholic, anti-private or anything else (though many of the commentators seem to be anti-TUSD). You want choice? Choose. Be happy. Conservatives want to conflate this issue with abortion, for crying out loud!
If you want to pay to take your kids to a private religious school, fine. I have no objection to that at all. Just don't ask me to pay for it. The principle doesn't seem like it would be this hard to grasp: TAX dollars go to PUBLIC schools that are accountable to TAXPAYERS. PRIVATE schools should be funded by those to whom the schools are accountable -- meaning those who PAY for them. See how that works?
Would it be possible to adjust the headline so it refers to homeless PEOPLE? "Homeless" is an adjective -- NOT a noun. Just because they don't have a place to live, doesn't mean they've stopped being PEOPLE.
Regarding the police investigation: yes, I'm quite content to wait for all the facts. The video was certainly damning and somebody definitely has more than just a little 'splaining to do. But while it's our right to rush to judgement on Internet comment sections, the Chief of Police has a responsibility to make sure of his facts before he takes any sort of punative action.
The same also holds true for the people (students and non-students) on the other side. As "Mike" said above, "opinions are like..." I also don't know that the university needs to address the behavior until after we see what civil/criminal penalites have been meted out. It doesn't seem right that students would receive additional punishments that non-students don't face.
But what really bothers me about this incident is that it has a very strong hint of self-fulfilling prophesy. It seems to me that the Star and local news broadcasts have been full of "pre-riot" stories in the weeks leading up to the Wisconsin game. It's afforded local news the opportunity to dust off archive footage of previous "riots" -- which is great for ratings, I'm sure. But is it helpful? Anyone care to guess the number of students in 2014 who were students in 2001? 1997?
So was there drunken stupidity? Of course there was. Are the students at least partially to blame? Certainly. But I'm going to suggest that there's plenty of blame to be shared by both TPD and the media.
I can accept all of the above if you can accept what I said about the right-wing war on TUSD. My basic point is that whoever takes on the job of superintendent is going to be caught between a rock (the legislature) and a hard place (the ongoing deseg. litigation), while constantly ducking the incessant handfuls of mud being slung by TUSD's many detractors (that's what Pedicone was talking about in the quote you used).
If you're mostly upset with suits at 1010, I'm still with you. We do amazing things for our kids -- often in spite of 1010.
If you're suggesting that I reacted because I'm tired of hearing the district used as a handy scapegoat for everything that's wrong in the entire world -- fair enough. I am.
Finally, as an aside: please forward my e-mail address to Mari Herrera. I have a strong desire to ask her about some things I'm being tasked to do next year that I'd rather not discuss in a public forum. (Meaning that if YOU won't buy her lunch, I will).
Thanks for the reply.
Okay Dan, you want comments...
As a high school English teacher (yes, in TUSD), I have to say that your op-ed piece leaves rather a lot to be desired. You sort of wander back and forth between general complaints that the language in the search company's advertisement isn't quite snappy enough, to more specific gripes about what's happening at your kids' school, including the fact that the principal is leaving for a career outside of education -- "which possibly isn't TUSD's fault, I suppose. But if I were him and heard all about all these cutbacks..."
Yes, it's not a particularly easy time to be an educator. It's especially difficult to be an educator in TUSD, these days, since the rabid right has declared war on TUSD (led by Tom "I don't actually know what MAS does -- never seen any of the classes, myself -- but I know it MUST be racist; just ask my friend Bill O'Reilly" Horne). If you want to see how ugly this particular war continues to be, peruse the comments posted on the AZStarnet site every single time TUSD is mentioned even briefly in any of their reporting.
Go on, I dare you.
Yes, it sucks that funding has been cut to the extent that we're having to close schools, lay off teachers and library staff (as an English teacher, it absolutely KILLS me to lose library staff). Collapsing classes in art and PE is a horrible idea, as is bumping up the average class size. Increasing the ratios of students to counselors and students to administrators is absolutely insane, of course; and did you hear about the cuts in office staff, groundskeepers and custodians?
But if you think this is just a TUSD problem, then you're not even reading the pages of your own paper. Read Danehy's column in the very same issue that contained this rant. The reason I'm being as gentle with this criticism as I am is because your paper has such a long history of providing in-depth coverage of the many issues we have to deal with in our district -- all while trying desperately to raise student achievement in spite of the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" (obligatory Shakespeare reference to prove that I really am an English teacher) that our detractors continue to hurl in our direction. If you REALLY want to understand all these complex issues, you could always offer to treat Mari Herreras to lunch -- I'm sure she could explain it all to you (I highly recommend her latest look at the whole desegregation mess).
You have every right to be frustrated with what's going on in our district. I see Mark Stegeman's comments on this thread -- ask him if he's happy about any of these cuts. Ask John Pedicone if HE'S happy with them. Ask the 187 teachers who were laid off. Ask the classified staff who are being laid off. Ask any of us who are "lucky" enough to keep our jobs how happy we are about having to say goodbye to colleagues we love and respect, pick up the slack caused by their absences -- all without the help of those so-called "non-classroom" employees upon whom we've always been able to rely for support.
But what you're really not entitled to do is write the general "pissed off parent" rant. You're the editor, not a "guest columnist." You have a responsibility to reflect a broader, better informed view of the complex issues you're trying to address when you write.
Or, at the very least, act like you've read your own paper.
The problem is NOT that the district is too stingy, nor is it a lack of enthusiasm or desire on the part of teachers and others to provide your kids with a high-quality education. We're busting our asses to do the best we can for your kids IN SPITE OF everything our glorious legislature is trying to do to us.
As far as snappy language designed to make the district more appealing to potential applicants, do you really think this helps?
"Sure, there are certainly great things happening in TUSD, even beyond University High, or at least, I'd have to imagine so."
As a matter of fact, Dan, there really are great things happening in TUSD. I could give you several examples from just my school -- and I'm sure other TUSD teachers would be more than happy to talk about all the great things they're doing at their schools. Maybe some day, someone in the media will notice. Perhaps someone in charge of a newspaper, or something...
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