Jonathan Butcher is education director for the Goldwater Institute.
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Mr. Butcher's right about the school grade inflation -- in some cases, scores actually dropped across the board but the schools kept their B or C grades.
But Huppenthal strikes again.
If he wants college readiness to be part of schools' evaluations, he could've done so. But they look strictly at AIMS scores of sophomores and those upper classmen who retake the test, either to pass it or to get the AIMS scholarship.
And this analysis he claims his department's done -- where is it? And it's based on the ACT test -- what percentage of Arizona high school kids take it? That is, is the sample large enough to draw the conclusion Huppenthal makes? I can't even find it on the Department of Ed website. Sure would like to read his studies, particularly since the overwhelming majority of high school students taking AIMS tests are sophomores, two years from high school graduation. How can you draw a conclusion about an a senior class by scores of a sophomore class plus the kids retaking the test?
I heard the "esteemed" Huppenthal speak at a MENSA meeting in Scottsdale after he attained the office of Superintendent of Public Education in Arizona. He's all smoke and mirrors, the Wizard behind the curtain pulling all the levers and creating all kinds of noise that is about as enlightening as a moonless night. It may as well have been a DENSA meeting--the fellow Republicans were falling all over themselves to thank him for his scholarly presentation. The white board was full of all kinds of diagrams and arrows and numbers--and it beat the hell out of me and a fellow colleague as to what he was trying to impart--the two of us having over a half-century of experience and success in the public schools of Arizona. It might as well have been Edu-bonics.
You are absolutely correct JMJ. I am also a public school educator, and have been one since 1971. The problem, as I have stated in comments to other letters in this newspaper, is that for over 40 years in this country we have had non-educators making decisions about education It happens on the national level and on the state level. Arizona is a prime example of this with at least the last two superintendents of public instruction (Horne and Huppenthal) having no educational background at all. They have no undergraduate or graduate degree in education. They have never worked in a classroom. They have never experienced the joy of a student of theirs learning a new concept, or the frustration of not being able to get through to one. They have no understanding of the juggling act that a teacher performs each day, trying to balance the needs of students, parents and administrators. Yet they make the educational decisions and mandates that every school administrator and teacher must follow. Does that make sense to you? It certainly does not make sense to me.
And by the way, Jonathan Butcher, the author of this letter, the Education Director for the Goldwater Institute, is no better. He has exactly the same lack of educational credentials that Horne and Huppenthal have. So why is he their Education Director?
If things don't change dramatically, public education in this country is doomed to fail. And maybe that's the plan.
If I was "King for a Day" I would tell the Goldwater Institute to take a hike with it's extreme position of killing off our public schools to funnel off our tax dollars to special interest groups and individuals.
The fact that charter schools are totally unregulated is one of the sore points I have with my tax dollars supporting private sector fat cats. They too should have to face audits.
Some of our more Liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Trotskyite or downright Commie Wanna-Be's would rather have the ......INMATES RUNNING THE ASYLUM (ie...educators (that's what the teachers of today call themselves since they stopped teaching and started "mentoring" our children).
Just look at the current Chicago Teacher's Strike. Almost 1/2 a million students out on the streets because Chicago's socialized.....opps....I mean "unionized" teachers don't want their student's test scores on standardized across-the-Nation tests to be 25% of their.........."YEARLY TEACHER EVALUATION SCORE".
The Teacher's Union also doesn't want school principals to be able to be in the position to choose the teachers that the principal wants in his/her schools. No, the ..."TEACHER'S UNION" should be the one who puts teachers into teaching slots. Another instance where the ..."inmates want to run the asylum".
THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO WE..........THANK YOU, FRAMERS OF THE ARIZONA CONSTITUTION FOR MAKING ARIZONA A ...."RIGHT-TO-WORK" STATE...........INSTEAD OF A ..........."RIGHT-TO-STRIKE" STATE LIKE ILLINOIS.
OH, AND BY THE WAY.....NOTICE WHAT COLOR OF TEE-SHIRTS AND BASEBALL CAPS THE STRIKING............TEACHER'S UNION MEMBERS.....ARE WEARING ON THE ....PICKET LINES...........YUP, YOU GUESSED IT....COMMIE-RED.......[wink]
Leon, in keeping with your view of how things should be done, I'm going to contact your doctor and make sure that all medical decisions concerning you are made by the janitorial staff. After all, who would want INMATES RUNNING THE ASYLUM (ie...medical doctors) making medical decisions?
Mr. Butcher, please step out of your ivory tower and into the real world. You state:
Second, lawmakers should expand education savings accounts to more students so families have more options than just a low — or even an average — performing school. Beginning in the 2013 school year, students in “D” schools will be eligible for the accounts, but that’s not enough. Just like I would expect more if my child were earning “C”s in school — and look for ways to help her — parents of children in “C” schools deserve more options. Education savings accounts help parents find solutions, from tutoring services and online classes to private school tuition.
There's a correlation between the quality of the school and the socioeconomic reality of where the school is located. C and D schools are rarely in wealthy districts and A and B schools are rarely in poor districts. Expecting people who can barely make ends meet to start education savings accounts is unrealistic. They simply can't. Neither can they afford private school tuition; take a look at how much private schools cost. Online classes are essentially the same as home-schooling: a parent must be home to supervise the student. Again, if both parents have to work just to put food on the table, that's not an option. And while parents in Phoenix or Tucson might have options as far as charter schools are concerned, parents in the smaller towns and in the rural areas don't have that option. Just for fun, I looked up charter and private schools in Kingman and Gila Bend. One charter company in Kingman and none in Gila Bend. No private schools, unless they're pre-K, in either town. So how do your suggestions help people in those places?
After the latest bill failed to pass through the Senate, do you feel there will be any more attempts at mandating more background checks for gun purchases?
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