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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pass/Fail

See if these ideas make the grade

FAIL: UA water woes

A measure meant to encourage the city of Tucson to grow more slowly could have huge adverse effects on the university. Proposition 200, to be voted on in November, would repeal the $14 city fee for garbage collection that has become one of the most controversial issues in city politics; prohibit filtering reclaimed water for consumers; and limit new connections to Tucson’s groundwater supply, potentially slowing city growth. Unfortunately, the measure would prevent the city from providing water to the UA, requiring the university to pump groundwater out of its own private well and start draining the aquifer. The UA uses a lot of water, and this pointless proposition would set back our own campus conservation policies. Worse, the water supply to University Medical Center would be cut off, endangering not just our campus but a hospital that serves the Tucson community. Green growth is a noble goal, but this ballot proposition is a dumb idea. For endangering our water supply in an attempt to preserve it, the backward Proposition 200 gets a Fail.

FAIL: Softening the standards

No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s contentious school standards initiative, is due to be reauthorized by Congress before it expires at the end of this year. In hearings before the House Committee on Education and Labor this week, legislators proposed a slew of changes to the lambasted law. Although some are meant to close the loopholes that pervade the school accountability act, others have the potential to weaken it even further, offering schools a smorgasbord of new ways to manipulate test scores and avoid actual accountability. Under the proposed revisions, schools would be given the chance to use a variety of assessments other than test scores to prove that students are achieving. Although focusing on tests has huge problems of its own, the point of using these scores is to establish a standard of comparison between schools. The changes would demolish that standard. No Child Left Behind was a flawed law when it was passed in 2002. Making it more complicated and less transparent is a bad idea. It’s smarter to let the act expire. This proposed test-tampering deserves a Fail.

PASS: Green is the new black

A Monday article in the Arizona Daily Star touted the commitment of Arizona’s universities to innovation in green development. While our not-to-be-named neighbors up north grab national headlines for ambitious, expensive sustainability projects, the UA is quietly building an eco-friendly environment of its own. Although the UA administration is doing its part, some of the most effective policies have come from a grassroots movement of students and faculty “”embracing sustainability from the bottom up.”” For demonstrating a commitment to sustainability through action, eco-aware UA students and faculty get a Pass.

INCOMPLETE: Surge protector

Yesterday, President Bush approved the plan presented by General David Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, to gradually withdraw troops from the war. Although the plan would extract 21,500 soldiers by July, it would leave another 130,000 war-weary troops spread across Iraq. Withdrawing troops could easily negate the benefits of the “”surge.”” It will do little to make the conflict any more politically palatable or reassure Americans that conflict will not be indefinite. And a gradual withdrawal policy is one of the best ways to put more American troops in harm’s way. Though it may remove some Americans from a regrettable war, the president’s plan is nonetheless Incomplete.

OPINIONS BOARD: Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Justyn Dillingham, Allison Hornick, Sarah Keeler, Connor Mendenhall, Jeremiah Simmons and Alison Dumka.

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