Today’s Top 10 news stories I’m digging from the Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona Republic and the USA Today:
1. Student routinely restrained to fence – Arizona Daily Star The bus monitor involved said the exceptional-education student, whose feet remained on the ground, was attached to the spoke of the fence so he wouldn’t fall over or wander away while he waited for his escort.
So, the monitor gets off the bus with a special needs student and there’s no teacher or aide there to take the student and his solution is to tie the kid to the fence so he can do something else? His solution isn’t to wait? Or to take the kid to the office? Or to get on a cell phone and throw a fit with his bosses or the school principal that the teachers are routinely late to pick the kid up from the bus drop off? When did common sense die in this country? Was there a date it happened, or has it been a long slow bleed?
2. So, City High student, you’ve earned promotion? Prove it – Arizona Daily Star “If you can’t fail it, then it’s not an assessment and it becomes a ceremony.”
Great idea. Works in a charter school with a few dozen students. Will it work at a school such as Mountain View High School where there are 500 students per grade? Let’s see, 2,000 students make a 20 minute presentation, that’s 666 hours of presentations. At 8 hours a day, that’s 83 days to get through the presentations, including weekends. If you had one panel per grade going simultaneously, that’s still 20 days to get through the presentations. Looks like standardized tests are here to stay.
3. Get ready to pay more in city taxes – Arizona Daily Star Trasoff wanted some agencies to get zero funding, because she said an equal decrease isn’t necessarily fair, given the different functions they perform.
A bunch of liberals pass a tax increase. No surprise there. But a bunch of liberals passing brutal regressive tax increases that stick it to the poor? That’s a head scratcher. That said, I’m at a loss figuring out what progressive taxes might have been available to them. So maybe the thing to do instead was cut city programs and staff to balance the budget?
4. Drop impossible dream of total security – Arizona Daily Star/Miami Herald As President Eisenhower reputedly said, “If you want total security, go to prison.”
I agree completely with this columnist. He could have gone further. While the Bush Administration and Cheney talked tough they ended up doing mostly that, talk. While they poured billions of dollars into Iraq, they let bin Laden get away with murder. While they tortured supposed and real terrorists at Guantanamo for relatively worthless or suspect intelligence, they failed to protect U.S. ports and borders. Not a single government official lost their job for failing to act on the detection of the terrorists cells that conducted the Sept. 11 attacks, or for the no WMD in Iraq fiasco. There are things we can be doing to improve our security but in the end, someone who is willing to die to kill is almost impossible to stop. Plus, we have more to fear from each other than from Islamic terrorists. About 14,000 people were murdered in the United States last year, not one of them by a terrorist.
5. New English-learner fight after schools chief alters process – Arizona Republic Arizona schools Superintendent Tom Horne has issued a new mandate that will cut the number of students receiving special help with English, kicking up yet another controversy over the state’s 150,000 English-language learners.
That’s it? What language does your child speak? That single question is supposed to determine if a student should be mainstreamed or enrolled in ELL classes. That’s like asking a parent, “Can your kid do math?” and if they say yes putting them in algebra class. I can do math. I can’t do algebra (anymore, anyway). Sheesh.
6. Recent roof collapses concern parents, schools – Arizona Republic Now, parents and educational authorities are concerned that recent roofing problems at those three Valley schools could indicate a larger, statewide pattern of schools in disrepair.
When did Arizona become China?
7. Speed cameras twice tag Shaquille O’Neal – Arizona Republic Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal was snapped by Arizona Department of Public Safety speed cameras in December and February, a DPS spokesman said Wednesday. The official declined to say where the violations occurred or exactly how fast O’Neal was going.
Ha Ha. (You don’t need to click on the story link, I posted the entire story)
8. Judge speeds up Coyotes timetable – Arizona Republic U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Redfield Baum on Wednesday put on a fast track a decision whether the highest bidder could relocate the team.
How much did that new Glendale arena cost Maricopa County tax payers? Are you paying attention Pima County Sports Authority? Don’t get in bed with professional sports teams. If they want a stadium or an arena, let them spend some of the billions they make each year and build it themselves.
9. Stimulus projects bypass hard-hit states – USA Today – But, with few exceptions, that money has not reached states where the unemployment rate is highest, according to a USA TODAY review of contracts disclosed through the Federal Procurement Data System.
I knew I didn’t feel stimulated.
10. Supreme Court pick Sotomayor faces nomination politics – USA Today The Coalition for Constitutional Values began television ads nationwide on Wednesday in support of Supreme Court nomineeSonia Sotomayor. On the other side, the Judicial Confirmation Network sent an online ad opposing her to 2.5 million people on its mailing list.
Anybody remember Antonin Scalia’s Senate confirmation vote in 1986? It was 98-0. He’d never get confirmed today, no matter the party in the majority. Wish we could turn back the clock to more sane times.