Rick Spanier 
Member since Oct 5, 2010


Stats

Recent Comments

Re: “Betsy DeVos Exercises Her Freedom of $peech

I'm at a loss to understand the intent of this article. A recitation of donations from the DeVos Foundation without any commentary or in-depth analysis of the group's motivations is nothing more than a dog whistle to those who equate DeVos to an enemy of public education.

I strolled over to 74 Media's site and was surprised to see a fairly typical series of posts and articles on a wide range of topics including an interesting, non-partisan piece on the Chan Zuckerberg initiatives. Also would note the large donations made to Princeton, University of Maryland, Michigan State and Ferris State hardly seem controversial.

Betsy DeVos is no champion of mine and her positions as Secretary of Education largely disgust me. But this writing, lazy and incomplete, almost makes me sympathetic to the charitable work of her family's foundation.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 12/15/2017 at 7:39 AM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

2018 is an electoral off year with voter turnout historically hovering around 40-50% in a state dominated by Republicans. So, no, the election is not going to be about education. It's going to be about sound and fury signifying nothing. Republican turnout will be higher than Democratic turnout, with predictable results.

The key to a possible Democratic victory is the even larger electorate of independent, non-aligned voters who the Democrats assume will join them as a protest against the Republicans led by Trump. This is the same miscalculation that cost them the election in 2016.

Someone wrote in the NYT today that the Democrats arrived at a gunfight armed with a fistful of kale. This is in response to throwing Franken under the bus in the pursuit of ideological purity. In this state, they - the Democrats -rarely show up at all with a message and a messenger attractive to the largest bloc of voters in the state. "It's the schools, stupid" is not the message and neither Farley or Garcia are the messengers needed to shake things up.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 12/08/2017 at 2:03 PM

Re: “Tucsonans Travel to D.C. To Argue Against the Republican Tax Bill

Bizarro Land.

A group of citizens travels to DC to discuss concerns with their congressional representative and are attacked by trolls.

As to the substance of the "tax reform" bill and the 20% corporate rate under discussion, I have a suggestion. Keep the nominal tax rate where it is but make the 20% corporate tax - or even lower - practical by offering credits based on the number of US workers hired at decent wages and employed full time for at least a year. Also offer generous credits for the direct costs of each new new factory built.

Basic Trumpian economic theory. Right? Built in America by American workers. Everyone benefits.

Coming soon to a drive-in theater near you.

30 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 12/01/2017 at 7:23 AM

Re: “Cutting Teacher Compensation and School Funding in Wisconsin

And to Wisconsin State Representative, up your nose with a rubber hose.

That said, it is past time for teachers and their union representatives to acknowledge they are on the wrong side of history. Unionism is dying the slow death of attrition with the remaining membership nearly exclusively members of publicly supported workplaces. They are too easy a mark.

Public sector employees need a new business plan and new tactics to survive, much less prosper as their livelihoods become even more precarious. They are getting their asses kicked nationally and as the last election showed, they are being taken less seriously as a reliable bloc of supporters.

Times are changing way too fast. Einstein was right. Get your collective acts together.

38 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 11/23/2017 at 7:45 AM

Re: “Danehy

Let's stipulate, as attorney's do, that we have the means and the laws to end all newsworthy gun massacres tomorrow. No more do we sit entranced as the shootings play out, the killer dead or taken into custody, motives examined, blame assessed, photo spreads of the victims and tales of heroism and lives cut short published, police chiefs daily press conferences and, of course, the thoughts and prayers of officials extended to families of the victims. Great, problem solved.

Unless you are concerned about the other 99% of gun related deaths that go virtually unreported every day of every year. If it bleeds, they say, it leads. But the blood has to be in rivers, not trickles. Danehy jumps belatedly on the bandwagon adding nothing new to the discussion. "Well yeah, they (more gun laws) would. I can think of any number of low-key, common-sense laws that would have cut the Las Vegas death toll by 80 or 90 percent." Great Tom, but how about looking at the forest instead of that one Redwood? One neighborhood in Chicago (Austin) has had more shooting deaths year to date (69) than the toll in Las Vegas. Chew that over. One neighborhood in one US city.

My point should be clear. Mass murders and media circuses aside, we have a problem that will not be resolved in any of our lifetimes. There are roughly the same number of guns in this country as there are people living within its borders. The genie is out of the bottle. No legislation is going to put it back in.

15 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 10/12/2017 at 7:05 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

@Kudos to long-suffering teachers who stay in the game. @Few take an interest in what matters

Here's what I think: I respect those who comment here under their own names. I wonder about those who use ad hoc addresses of the moment to engage. Assuming you are one-in-the-same, why would I continue a debate with a chimera? Are you real? A bot?

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/27/2017 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

@Kudos to long-suffering teachers who stay in the game

You have no idea of my background in public education, especially at the political level of board politics or supportive parent-teacher groups. None.

My comments concern why I decided not to pursue teaching as a vocation and focused on the negative role played by the teachers union in Philadelphia and the level of instruction in Temple's teacher preparation program.

I didn't disparage teachers, I called the teachers union out for what was then a preoccupation with reducing hours of instruction and concerns unrelated to teaching their students. The instructors in the teacher prep courses were, again in my opinion, unqualified hacks. The parents? What do you say when one or two show up for parent teacher conferences and the rest never show or take any role in their kids' educations?

One city, one teachers college, one teachers union. That was the critical mass that turned my away from public school teaching. There are people like Safier, who dedicate their lives to teaching because they love seeing the lights come on in their students' eyes and are willing to put up with the ongoing distractions that impinge on their ability to teach. All praise to them. They are heroes.

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/27/2017 at 10:30 AM

All Comments »

Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.
 

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation