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March 06, 2015


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"We don't need no education..."

When the FLDS finally takes over the Warren Jeff s of the world will provide all the knowledge your children need.

Tough graders there at Education Week!

Reviewing the Education Week article and attachment is quite enlightening. Ignoring the overall rating and focusing on the “K-12 Achievement” column (the others are irrelevant) show that Az (at D+) is lumped with those other “slow states” of R.I., Del. ,N. Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and Calif. This is better than being with the “really slow (D)” states of Alaska, Mich., Mo., S. Dakota, Oregon, S. Car., or Oklahoma. Then we come to the “dumb states (D-)” of W. Va., Ala. And N. Mex. Finally the “retard “states (F)” of D.C. and Miss. Ed Week does grant “B ratings” to those intellectual bastions of New Jersey and Maryland.

Like all other “ratings” the results must be tempered by the objectives of the raters. For example: as long as there is a DEA there is going to be severe drug problems.

Here’s an experiment to perform: ask a parent how they think the schools are doing in general. You’ll probably get an answer about how bad they are: then ask: “How about the school your kid (kids) go to? Any good?” You’ll, no doubt, get a reply of something like “the school my kid (kids) go it is (are) pretty good.”

Damned old democracy! What can these parents (voters) be thinking?

On a related matter, ran into this today:
Arizona CC funding



“But now Gov. Douglas A. Ducey, a Republican in his first term, has proposed a budget that would slash appropriations to community colleges by nearly $18-million, while entirely eliminating state money for three of the state's community-college districts: Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties.”


“The actual cut for Pima Community College isn't really that large. Only about $6.5-million of Pima's $250-million budget comes from the state. The college could easily make it up with a relatively small increase in tuition, which is now just $71 per credit for the college's 18,000 full-time-equivalent students.”


“Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for the governor, said the impact on Maricopa Community College would be even smaller than on Pima: State dollars make up less than 1 percent of Maricopa's overall budget.”

WKG, Why are we charging people to obtain an education?
When I was a plasterer and a rookie cop I got paid to learn. It should be $ 00.00 Dollars per credit hour. Germany is soliciting students from all over the world to obtain a free education at their universitys.

Side-note: several new replies in the previous thread (Republican-English Dictionary). Turns out that INPHXs supposed 6,000 Illinois teachers drawing $100,000 pensions are not teachers but "educators" and include high level administrators like schools superintendents. Also the fallacious info traces back to a paper-mill founded by a Tea Party candidate for Illinois governor.

Good comment, wkg: proud of you for checking primary sources and drawing independent conclusions.

I agree that the letter grades are a bit confusing. Arizona has a D+ in K-12 achievement but the national average is C-. Still, it isn't that peculiar: since by definition a C is average, grading on a curve means the national average should be a C.

The state ranking (list position) is more clear. While the "Chance for success" index is a bit etherial, the School Finance and the K-12 Achievement indices are fairly concrete: and Arizona ranks 46th and 38th respectively.

It would be interesting to correlate financing rank with achievement rank in the list. But even though Arizona schools perform above their financing rank, 38th of 50 puts Arizona at the 24th percentile (I.e. in the bottom quarter of states). Even if you can demonstrate that the performance differences between Arizona and those states just above it are trivial (can you?) it doesn't put the state in stellar company.

P.S. On a mobile and can't open downloaded files for unknown reasons, but one thing I'd like to know about the School Financing Index is whether it is adjusted for differences in labor costs (teacher salaries, construction of schools) among states. It's one thing to say that spending per student is higher in one state than another; but this doesn't necessarily translate into more generous funding. It may be true, as Rogue has pointed out before, that Arizona is not as competitive in cost of living as the boosters make out; nevertheless there are substantial cost differences between, say, Arizona and New York; and significant differences with many other states on both sides of the ledger.

If the study does control for such differences, it would be interesting to see, for example, what percentage of the bottom quarter of states in financing are also in the bottom quarter for performance; and so to for the top quarter.

"so to"= so too.

@ Emil: Indication that costs are adjusted, but not definitive: From the report…

"Spending Index: The Spending Index takes into account both the proportion
of students enrolled in districts with spending at the national average, and the
degree to which spending is below that benchmark in districts where per-pupil
expenditures fall below the national average. Each district in which the perpupil-
spending figure (ADJUSTED FOR SUTDENT NEEDS AND COST DIFFERENCES reaches or exceeds the national average receives a score of 1 multiplied by the number
of students in the district. A district whose adjusted spending per pupil is below
the national average receives a score equal to its per-pupil spending divided by
the national average and then multiplied by the number of pupils in the district.
The Spending Index is the sum of district scores divided by the total number of
students in the state. If all districts spend above the U.S. average, the state
attains a perfect index score of 100 points……" emphasis added.

An observation: The “achievement indices” are based on 4th and 8th grade NAEP scores. It has been my observation (obviously on a small sample) that big differences in system performance don’t show up until later grades – particularly grades 10-12. Birmingham City Schools score pretty well through about 6th grade – then things fall off a cliff. In the best of all worlds, a 12th grade evaluation, which would represent a result of the entire 1-12 process, would be a better measure. Obviously, some adjustment would have to be made for the number of drop-outs.

Observation 2: Too much of the grade is based on “inputs”. In a simplistic model, the K-12 education could be represented as a box with kids and dollars as inputs and kids and “attainment” as output.

Observation 3: In any analysis that is based on a “national average”, 25 states are going to be found deficient; no matter what the inputs and outputs are. It’s a game you can’t win.

Nothing new here.

Got some dollars going in the boom, and now the bust has run the pump dry.

After all, nothing but a bunch of poor kids to edumacate- so get them a little learning so they can get into the military and get out of here.

Kind of reminds me of Warren Jeffs exiling of the lost boys.

Truth is Arizona is sinking backwards into a semirural retirement utopia for the lower middle class.

Combine that with Scottsdale's low rent Beverly Hills, along with semiprivate high end schools.

BTW- Dr. Craig Barret was sending mass emails to Basis Parents ranting about the cuts to schools- guess the profit margin is going to be impacted by his own buddies chopping his budget.

But charter schools are supposed to be cheaper, since they don't bother with anything but academics and profits!


We bought the fantasy, and we hatz the reality- can't have it all folks.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am the last of a family of educators that began in the 19th century. I have neither the perseverance of Emil or the eloquence of Soleri. I do have a lifetime of knowledge about education in Arizona. My father was the superintendent of a large elementary district in west Phoenix from 1944 to 1961.
I was tasked, as a grad class project in 1968 to write an equalization plan for schools in the state of Arizona.I wrote a plan calling for a state-wide school system. ASU profs and school administrators immediately went looking for a rope and an oak tree. The plan called for equal funding to ALL scholls within the state. Equal taxes on all property. Equal salaries for all personnel, either in Scottsdale or Colorado City.
I guess I was a "Communist" and didn't know it.
The subject of retirement salaries has been kicked around here lately. I am sorry I didn't teach in Illinois (not really) I retired in 1989 with 29 years, A Masters degree + 80 hours, at the top of the then existing salary schedule. My munifecent benefit: $1785/ year. PBI's (colas) have since raised that to $2300/ year. We have not received any raises (PBI's) in the past 7 years and may not for another 5 to 7.

I can remember when students from another state came to us we often had to set them back a grade because they were far behind where our students were.
The "leaders" of our state apparently value education less than prisons.The trite saying is, of course, follow the money.

I am certainly glad to not be having to deal with the problems directly today.

Ramjet good to hear from U.
Maybe coffee, soon.

The 1 percent cares not for your childrens higher education, but thier role as servants.
The "wealthy" do not care to provide funding for public education for the children of the poor as it intrudes on thier lifestyle and the possibility of moving thier family into the 1 percent of King makers.
The cults prepare "thier" children for the here after and have no intrests in educating heathens. In your travels have you observed that religious education facilities are located next to many public high schools?

Thanks to ramjet for sharing his experiences; first person accounts, especially those based on extensive personal involvement, are especially valuable.

Thanks also to wkg for the additional information and clarifications. I agree that the important thing in evaluating school performance is academic achievement and that two tests, one in 4th grade and the other in 8th grade is far too sketchy to draw broad conclusions about K-12 school performance. I also agree that testing toward the end of high school is a better indicator since it checks a broader range of skills as well as the extent to which earlier learning has been retained or forgotten, developed and polished or gone to seed.

A real comparison of student performance requires testing of the same knowledge and skills, which brings us back to the subject of a national test, administered by objective proctors independent of particular schools and states, who don't have grant money or salary bonuses or personal or career prestige riding on the outcome.

P.S. It isn't clear to me from the excerpt which costs are being adjusted for or how. Still on mobile so scrutiny of the full material will have to wait. The devil is in the details. It's worth noting how uncommon it is for readers (and the press) to go beyond executive summaries and press releases, in deciding whether to accept conclusions and claims. We have some very interesting discussions here. It's also uncommon for important topics to be presented so frankly, and I for one feel lucky to have an asset like Rogue Columnist to provide the forum and material for discussion.

ramjet wrote:

"I can remember when students from another state came to us we often had to set them back a grade because they were far behind where our students were."

My experience was just the opposite. I came to Phoenix from a suburb of Cleveland in the early 1970s as a student beginning third grade. I remember my disbelief and disappointment upon finding the curriculum to be, from the perspective of my old public school experiences back East, babyish and backward. I also discovered a culture of bullying in which students who applied themselves were abused by other students; this was tolerated by teachers and staff, and ruined schooling for me: a deficit I was not able to recover from until my early 20s when I became an autodidact.

P.S. The Phoenix school was Madison Meadows, a prosperous middle-class district school, so as far as resources and curriculum were concerned it was broadly representative of Phoenix public schooling of the period.

Madison schools were considered an upgrade to most Arizona Schools.
and while we are insuring children are not getting an education, The legislature is mking sure those that need medical help will not get it. Next legislation, urine tests for anyone getting state assistance of any kind.

It's time to restructure the Arizona University System to provide greater accessibility, affordability, and accountability to a public university education for many more Arizonans:


Cal, the good news is that under Obamacare Arizona would need to obtain a waiver from Uncle Sam; and
that is unlikely from the current administration.

The usual suspects from the kookocracy seem to be involved (e.g. Nancy Bar to). The claim that Medicaid coverage (which provides no cash benefits) would discourage anyone from seeking employment is staggering in its stupidity (or dishonesty).

As for drug testing all Medicaid (and other) benefits recipients, I still remember what I read decades ago in a book titled Innumeracy.

The point made by the author about random drug testing is that even when tests have high rates of accuracy, when the population to be tested is sufficiently large and composed mostly of non-users, the number of false-positive results from testing error can easily outnumber the actual drug users caught.

Those tests for a broad range of substances also do not come cheap; and either the state would face huge expenses or else poor families would have to foot their own bill (for multiple household recipients). One can also imagine the long backlogs (for both testing and bureaucratic processing) which would occur when hundreds of thousands face a sudden need to qualify while new applicants (whose needed medical treatment might be delayed) go to the back of the line.

Agreed on the bullying style of middle-class Phoenix schools. No wonder the legislature and governor act the way they do.

So, did INPHX take a siesta, or did he get the old heave-ho? I thought the presence of a well-spoken and (relatively) restrained dissident from the Right was not without salutary side-effects. His pot-stirring stimulated some interesting discussions and provided a fine whetstone upon which to sharpen one's knife; while seeing some of the canards of the Right (which all too often deceive some Democrats and mainstream media types) demolished or at least heavily battered, was a form of of inoculation.

Nobody has gotten the heave-ho. Dissent is welcome.

Emil, 2016


I was looking through lists of political slogans (all the good ones have been taken) in anticipation of my exploratory committee.

I'm no anarchist ("infantile disorder of the left" sounds about right) but I have to admit a fondness for their dadaist anti-slogans:

"Bigger cages! Longer chains!" and "Three word slogan!" are two of my favorites.

Speaking of school reform and the power of collective bargaining, there is an astounding early precedent involving the University of Bologna, Italy, which received a charter from the Holy Roman Emperor, Barbarossa in 1158 but which may trace its roots back as far as 1088. The student association created to further student interests was called in Latin "universitas", or universal, because of its international quality, from which the word university derived. The power and progressive nature of this student association is impressive for any era, but all the more so for the Middle Ages, when reactionary forces were usually unchallenged.

An excerpt from the Wiki entry:

The University arose around mutual aid societies of foreign students called "nations" (as they were grouped by nationality) for protection against city laws which imposed collective punishment on foreigners for the crimes and debts of their countrymen. These students then hired scholars from the city to teach them. In time the various "nations" decided to form a larger association, or universitas—thus, the university. The university grew to have a strong position of collective bargaining with the city, since by then it derived significant revenue through visiting foreign students, who would depart if they were not well treated. The foreign students in Bologna received greater rights, and collective punishment was ended. There was also collective bargaining with the scholars who served as professors at the university. By the initiation or threat of a student strike, the students could enforce their demands as to the content of courses and the pay professors would receive. University professors were hired, fired, and had their pay determined by an elected council of two representatives from every student "nation" which governed the institution, with the most important decisions requiring a majority vote from all the students to ratify. The professors could also be fined if they failed to finish classes on time, or complete course material by the end of the semester. A student committee, the "Denouncers of Professors", kept tabs on them and reported any misbehavior. Professors themselves were not powerless, however, forming a College of Teachers, and securing the rights to set examination fees and degree requirements. Eventually, the city ended this arrangement, paying professors from tax revenues and making it a chartered public university.

Since Arizona schools are being forced to cut costs, I say they all start by ridding themselves of their sports programs (i.e. football, baseball, basketball, et cetera). Perhaps, then, people will pay attention. Perhaps . . . oh forget it! The local stations are covering Jodi Arias again! :p


"With rebellion awareness is born."
Albert Camus

I should have been more specific in my comment about moving students back. It really was happening mainly with students from California.
Madison was always considered as one of the best, if not an elitist, district by the rest of us.
"Bullying" is not restricted to any one area of schools. It ocuurs everywhere and at all levels of society.

Look, folks will be on these blogs hundreds of years from now talking about the issues of public education. The model is crazy, the funding is looney, there is no accountability, and the problem is not easily solved.

To the extent the current benefactors of the system continue to successfully resist competitive reforms, the system will go nowhere.

In the meantime, here's a solution.
Give till it hurts. You might actually make a difference in a kids life.


Loyola good deal.
But I have difficulty with your "competitive reform" insert.

Legislature wants to keep em dumb. Fills up the private prisons who are BIG campaign contributors. Nice cannon fodder for the upcoming wars they will create when they get elected to national office....

We need a George W P Hunt...

FREE education at Universities you say??? Then, how on earth would the LIBERAL Profs get their thousands of dollars in salaries?...And how could we pay the football coaches the MILLIONS of dollars they earn...
Chicago is a PRIME example of wasteful spending in our schools... It seems to me that EVERY time voters approve more funds for education, the majority of the $$$ goes to raises for the Administration staff of the school districts...

The salaries for full-time faculty averaged $73,207. By rank, the average was $98,974 for professors, $69,911 for associate professors, $58,662 for assistant professors, $42,609 for instructors, and $48,289 for lecturers.

I took K -12 at a parochial school, went to highschool in the Paradise Valley School District. We were covering things I learned in 7th grade. Made me check out and loose interest.

Sending my kid to a Madison school.
This is the chain of thought/ stuff people say:

But Madison is "better" than a not madison
But our campus is not as "good" as a traditional academy
"But at least this campus isn't a title 1"
But doesn't matter compared to that Montessori every wants...
Which is a laughing stock compared to BASIS
Which is just for kids that can't get into All Saints
And then theres Phoenix Country Day...


What will make those insiders who defend the system reform it?

INPHX, I do not have the ability to answer your question.
I am prejudicial in favor of big public schools that imitate the world day to day process. If you want your children to do something different, you pay for it plus taxes for real public schools. My experience with graduates of private schools is something I attempt to avoid. I'm an old farm boy. I'm most comfortable with field laborers and people of the street. I was a social worker with a badge. The few times I enjoyed sending folks to prison was when I worked OCB sending attorney's down the river.

PS INPHX I did sports in HS but in 64 I left that behind as PRO (Thugsville) came to dominate. Or in my opinion money and the mob took over. Competetion scoured by greed and corruption.

From Gordon Shumway:

I took K -12 at a parochial school, went to high school in the Paradise Valley School District. We were covering things I learned in 7th grade.

Boy. Imagine that.

Solutions right in front of us.......

Gordon Shumway makes a point about real and/or perceived different quality among various private and public schools. If his point is merely that differences exist it's hard to argue.

Does anyone doubt that education by means of top flight private tutors brought into the home for unlimited one on one instruction wouldn't be superior to anything a public (or private) school would be capable of?

Not every family can afford this. There was a time when schools teaching basic literacy were run almost exclusively by the Roman Catholic church; they catered almost exclusively to the sons of nobles. Peasant children learned farming skills from their parents and the children of townsfolk were apprenticed to tradesmen.

The whole point of public schools is to provide universal education, not just education for the manor born.

Aside from public education, there are only two alternatives: one is the old system where those who could afford it funded their own child's education, and devil take the hindmost. The other is a system where tax dollars are used to redistribute wealth but those funds are given to families who then apply it to private schools of their choice. That is the charter school movement.

There is a reason why most of the food we eat is today produced by large farms, and that is economy of scale. If infrastructure and administration were instead duplicated over countless small farms, food costs would constitute a much larger portion of the family budget than it does now.

The same is true for schooling. The added expense is masked by the limited number of charter schools and by the fact that in many cases voucher amounts are not sufficient to cover the full cost of tuition and fees, with the difference made up by the private means of the mostly well off families who make use of charter schools.

There is a reason why charter schools serving working class neighborhoods have a high rate of failure, and that reason is simple economics. Voucher funds alone are seldom sufficient to pay for the capital costs, insurance, salaries capable of attracting and retaining good teachers, administrative costs, AND profits on top of this which justify the investment of private capital in a school instead of the stock market or a different type of business.

So, the charter model is simply not realistic as a systemic replacement for public schools which provide universal education.

Skip posted something about the salaries of professors, etc., which obviously applies to a university or college. He didn't specify which one, or his source, or how this is related to the current discussion. Please clarify.

Also note that teachers who are offered a salary without benefits (healthcare, pension) from a charter school will demand a commensurately higher salary to make up for the deficit in their compensation package (else why not apply to a public school providing such benefits?). The exceptions are generally those whose background makes them less professionally desirable than the average public school teacher applicant.

check out charter school and Jeb story on Jon's
Front Pages

Thanks for the heads up on the NYT charter school story, Cal, it really makes some of my points clear.

It also exposes the cynical way that Republicans (and, no doubt, sometimes Democrats) use token poor minorities to further the interests of the Right.

First, Jeb Bush and his Heritage Foundation puppet masters had to convince Florida voters and special interests to support the legalization of charter schools. They find a desperate Black neighborhood and pour private subsidies raised by Bush's rich cronies, into creating a Potemkin village for publicity purposes; then because it doesn't make donors the profits they expect from a performing business investment (which they never considered it to begin with) they cut it loose and allow it to die rather than pour good money after bad by fixing its critical infrastructure problems. A few disillusioned but high profile community participants are then given lucrative political appointments (with the ability to hire their friends once in office) as a sop.

Simon cabrone.

I also took a look at the NYT Book Review story about ISIS, Lure of the Caliphate.

It's interesting to contrast Islamic State with the so-called Cordoba caliphate which ruled Spain from 756 to 1031. Cordoba, the capital of the caliphate, was a city of half a million residents, including large populations of Christians and Jews. The Islamic rulers were tolerant of these People of the Book, and the city was prosperous and cosmopolitan, with cultural and trade links throughout the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Cal, be careful using the slang term Cabron. While it is sometimes used as inoffensive banter among close friends the literal translation is old or stubborn goat. Among older generations it is sometimes used as a synonym for cuckold, especially a man who stubbornly denies his wife is cheating on him.

(Amazing what you can learn on the Internet.)

Emil my Internet research of Cabrone does not even list the meaning of that word as I understood it growing up in the fields of arizona. Kinda like spanish teachers thinking the word coche means car.

Cal, it's possible you were accepted as one of the group and that the word was used more or less respectfully as banter. Another possibility is that your co-field hands came from a region of Mexico where the idiom carries different connotations than it does for most today. A third possibility is that they wanted to have a little fun with the white guy and told you it meant something other than what it actually means.

Perhaps I’ve got this wrong, but my understanding is that “charter schools” and “vouchers” are two different things. A charter school is a public school – there is no tuition and most are required to take all comers (although a lottery may be needed due to over demand).

On the funding issue: Just how “raping and pillaging” of school budgets have occurred in recent times? I tried to do a little looking into this. With the bewildering number/types of systems in Phoenix this was not at all straight forward. Settled on just one – a cursory look at that – the Phoenix Union High School District. The financial reports are complicated. From their reports: “revenue”

2010 $204 Million
2011 $202
2012 $195
2013 $200
2014 $213

Note that the biggest portion of “revenue” is property taxes. I’m going to surmise that the sinking and rising are due to the real estate gyrations is the metro. In any case the money seems to been restored and should continue to rise.

@Emil: would a 12th grade NAEP test satisfy your desire for a quantitative measure of school performance?

@Cal Re: “I am prejudicial in favor of big public schools that imitate the world day to day process.” To many of us, the schools should be a lot better than the real world.

Wkg, first of all, charter schools do not have geographic boundaries and taxing authority, so (unlike traditional district schools) receive state funding on a per pupil basis: this is equivalent to a voucher, even when it isn't called a voucher. A family enrolls at a charter and the state makes a fixed funding transfer for the child to the school. Why play word games?

As for "free tuition" many charters charge mandatory fees for sports, uniforms, and school supplies which can cost $1,500 or more, often payable to for profit companies owned by the charter school owner, whether the school itself is for profit or nonprofit. There are also so-called enhancement fees, which may also be mandatory or else billed as if they were. Parents may also be required to sign "good standing" agreements which require the parents to work for free for a specified number of hours for the school, while being assured orally then or later that the school will accept cash "donations" in lieu of "volunteer" work that is unrealistic for many working parents. Invoices for "donations" are also common aside from this. A great deal of hard sell pressure is commonly put on parents with the implied threat of using technical means to deny access it (what is often the same) priority of consideration (lotteries only come into play after all legally available prioritizing of applications occurs. It is very easy to skirt the law by implying disadvantageous treatment either for a student or for siblings waiting to get in. Sometimes the threats are explicit.

All of this blurs the line as to what constitutes tuition and what does not.

My other comments apply to voucher programs and/or tax credits for private schools.

Typo correction:

" A great deal of hard sell pressure is commonly put on parents with the implied threat of using technical means to deny access OR (what is often the same) priority of consideration (lotteries only come into play after all legally available prioritizing of applications occurs)."

P.S. If I didn't make the point explicit before, Arizona charters are exempt from the requirement to hire certified teachers. The NYT article about Jeb Bush's charter school also mentioned that an individual with no experience was hired as principal because of a "lack of union connections".

Yes wkg, funding for traditional district schools is complicated since the can raise funds through property taxes and the sale of bonds, and on top of this are state funds distributed according to a complicated "funding equalization" formula that is really nothing of the sort.

That said, it is difficult to see how your PUSH figures, which make no allowance for either growing student bodies or for inflation, indicate a restoration of funds; and there is the choice of base year for comparison purposes also. You have chosen 2010, a year when funding cuts had already decreased education funding.

Typo correction: "...since THEY can raise funds..."

P.S. Re NAEP, probably not, wkg. For one thing it is voluntary and uses small samples of students when it does occur. I also don't know enough about the specifics of its tests to answer your question intelligently. Finally, unlike Common Core which specifies standards as well as testing, NAEP has no corrective or proscriptive powers.

A couple of follow-up points:

The median income average in districts where BASIS charter schools set up shop in Arizona is $69,000, and the demographics are overwhelmingly white.

Cost of meals is also a de facto tuition cost in many charter schools since many of the better ones don't participate in the federal lunch program.

Also, the last figures I checked showed that Arizona charter schools account for 25 percent of the state's schools but only 8 percent of enrollment. This supports my point about duplication of administrative and other operating as well as capital costs.

P.P.S. wkg, in addition to growth in students, inflation, and the choice of a comparison base year when education funding was already low due to cuts, your PUSH figures also fail to take into account capital costs from aging infrastructure.

Sure there is a difference between public and private school, like Emil states, there is always a better level of education one can achieve based on how much money you want to spend.

There is also a bunch of time wasted talking about magic men and how to pretend like you get to choose where you go when you die spent at private religious schools.

Adding 2008, and 2009 which is far back as the records go at system web site:

2008 $200
2009 $199
2010 $204 Million
2011 $202
2012 $195
2013 $200
2014 $213

Financial records do not provide enrollment numbers. Capital accounts are there, but I’m just not interested enough to look into them.

My only point is: while funding may not be to your liking, it can hardly be said to have been “gutted”. The economy (via property values) affected property values, not votes. Increased funding can be anticipated with improving economy (and property values).

This is not to say that I think everything is fine and dandy in the world of public education (or all education for that matter). More evidence:

To partially address some of the issues you raise:

School boundaries: don’t know, but I think the statement that the charters don’t have them is probably true. The truest test of effectiveness would be to take an existing school and convert it from traditional staffing to charter operation.

Funding agency: again I don’t know. Apparently Jeb’s charter/contract was with the Miami school district.

Fees: Common here in Alabama.

Testing: just what are the objectives of testing? I think NAEP can be expanded/refined to provide an objective measure of “how is this system performing?” Of course, this is not the objective of Common Core. I don’t want to rehash the issue again here.

The relationship between K-12 spending and an area’s economic performance is tenuous at best. I think the argument that better economies lead to better schools is just as viable.

WKG, what's better than the real world, heaven?
Schools should provide social survival skills. The world is a jungle and you will not survive by not being subjected to reality. Rent the movie Blackboard Jungle.

Emil, I have spent 60 years in the Hispanic community and in my time words had meaning for the group I have associated with and still do. I find that few Mexicans under 60 have heard very few of the slang cuss words and praises that I grew up with. I am familiar with the use of Cabrone that you found on the internet but it's how you use the word. Did U find Simon (a contraction of si and mon) .. together Simon and Cabrone in my time meet something not recognized to day. Try this my old friends have always referred to me as gringo pata salada.

Wkg, Rogue wrote above: " Including inflation, the actual spending on K-12 will be a 13.5 percent reduction from 2005-2006."

He also noted a practice of unrestored cuts from years prior to this.

He's talking about state funding, whereas you are using revenue figures that include district property taxes and borrowing using bond sales. Some districts attempted t offset state cuts with special bond issues, but it put them deeper in debt and interest payments cut into funding for schools; just because you have revenue it doesn't mean it's all available for school operations or repair, maintenance, and construction. And not all districts were able to float bond overrides.

He's also talking about the whole K-12 system while you are talking about a single high school district.

He's talking about inflation adjusted dollars and you're using nominal dollars that overstate purchasing power.

He's talking about funding which must increase just to keep up with growth in student enrollment and aging buildings, plumbing and electrical systems that have to be maintained; you're pretending these additional costs don't occur, or at least failing to factor them into your analysis in broad terms.

P.S. Also important: Rogue is using a base year prior to the recession for the purpose of funding comparisons; you're using a base year in the middle of the recession when the state had already cut education funding.

Tough one. Cal. Gringo Salado means "salty Cracker" (in the racial, pejorative sense of cracker. Salads is just the feminine suffix form of salty.

Pata solada literally means "salt foot" and is a slang term for someone from Puerto Vallarta; used by someone from there, gringo pata salada might conceivably mean "an American one of us". Salada can also mean unlucky, though I don't think this is a Mexican usage. Salads can also mean dear or amusing; and finally it can be used ironically as "witty" but in such a case the real meaning is foolish.

Finally, among generally English speaking Mexican-Americans today, "pata" is a derogatory term meaning faggy (queer).

salads = salada

My damned mobile kept making auto-substitutions and I didn't catch and fix them all.

You are close with the Puerto Vallarta stuff.
Pata meant foot.
the saying was in reference to walking thru water to illegally cross a border.
Gringo Mojado or White Wet back
keep in mind this was 1954-56 in the area of NW Phoenix and Glendale which included the fore runner's of today's Mexican gangs, The Pachucos. They had zip guns made from car attenas that fired a single 22 bullet. They immigrated from California's 1940 ' s Pachucos and Zoot Suiters. I have the book Zoom Suit. It written in an intellectual study format.

Emil, in my little universe Simon Cabrone meant in a loud voice, Yeah God damit!
and a lost word and meaning is "en seguro" which in the 60's meant, right on!

The first poster Donna got it 100% correct:

"We don't need no education..."

This from a recent article in the Tucson Daily Star:

Nearly three out of every four new jobs created in Arizona over the next two years will require a high school diploma — or less. That outlook is part of the Arizona Department of Administration’s forecast for 2.2 percent job growth this year, which is slightly better than the 2.1 percent figure Arizona posted for the past three years.

Response from Gov. El Duce?

Daniel Scarpinato, press aide to Gov. Doug Ducey, called Thursday’s report good news.“The governor is glad to see more job growth,” he said. “Growth in jobs is a good thing, because for too long we saw the opposite.”

Clearly this economic model doesn't have a need for colleges. Gov. El Duce should defund them all posthaste and go all in on the future...


Thanks for the clarifications, Cal.

Regarding the correlation between school funding and performance, wkg:

"We found that the greater the proportion of total public spending covered by a state, the better the outcomes on NAEP."


Great article, koreyel, especially the jobs growth by sector list at the end. I hope the Front Page editor adds the link.

Wkg, you should also check out Rogue's new Postscript above, including the Slate article linked to, from which:

"The past several years have been brutal on Arizona's entire higher-ed system. Between 2008 and 2014, elected officials reduced per-student funding by a startling 48 percent after adjusting for inflation, the most of any state in the country. They restored some spending in 2015, but this latest batch: of cuts should bring state support to post-recession lows."

Wkg, re district schools converting to charters, in Arizona a number of traditional public schools did exactly that in an attempt to get more state funding; the state soon put a stop to that.

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