Monday, Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan announced that Tennessee and Delaware were the only two winners of the phase one Race to the Top Grants. Arizona ranked fortieth out of forty-one applicants with a score of 240.2 out of 500.
Ideology, spin and inflammatory rhetoric are no substitute for factual information.
The majority of Republican, Democrat and Independent-leaning families in our state send their children to public schools–support for education is not a partisan issue. As a group, we will continue to insist that our elected officials use factual information and adhere to their constitutional duties to our children, communities and our schools.
On March 24, 2010 the Arizona Education Network held two press conferences in Phoenix and Tucson to release the 2009 Legislators’ voting record in regards to public education funding. You can visit the post with the table of records here. Please see below for the press conference transcript as well as resulting publications.
The Arizona Education Network has compiled a summary of all legislators’ voting records pertaining to their support of public education at all levels (K-University) during the 2009 Regular and Special Sessions.
On March 13, 2010 the Obama administration released their blueprint for changes to the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The blueprint emphasized many of the same strategies as the Race to the Top grant program including teacher accountability for annual progress.
While many Arizonans are familiar with the impact of their local Governing or School Board, they are unfamiliar with the influence of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The officeholder is a major force in decisions made about public education in the state of Arizona. The Superintendent of Public Instruction influences policy in the legislature, is responsible for the implementation of education legislation and is in charge of the Department of Education and its interactions with school districts. Further, the Superintendent of Public Instruction commands the bully pulpit on education issues and has a great deal of influence on the direction the state takes regarding educational issues like school funding.
On Tuesday, March 9, several Arizona school districts held budget override elections in an effort to protect school programs and services, reduce class size, and/or preserve teaching positions. Of the 24 school district overrides, 15 passed.
On Friday, March 5, Governor Brewer called the Legislature into a seventh special session to begin work on two budgets. The first budget assumes the passage of Proposition 100, a 1% temporary sales tax which would generate $1 billion in revenue to close the budget deficit. The second budget assumes the failure of Proposition 100 and will contain drastic cuts to close the budget deficit.
The House rejected an effort to put income limits on the privated school tax-credit program; refusing to establish a “means test” or income requirement for those applying for private school scholarships paid for by the tax-credit program. The private school tax-credit program which was represented to create choice for those with limited means starts to run the risk of Continue Reading >
Doug Lemov and Deborah Loewenberg Ball, education researchers, identify 49 teaching techniques that contribute to excellent student outcomes. In math, students whose teacher got an above-average M.K.T. (Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching) score learned about three more weeks of material over the course of a year than those whose teacher had an average score, a boost equivalent to that of coming from a middle-class family rather than a working-class one.” In essence, an educator just knowing the subject matter is only one contributor to student learning.
The Department of Education announced yesterday (March 4, 2010) that Arizona was not chosen for phase one of the federal Race for the Top grant. Arizona can apply for the second round of grants in June, 2010.
As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” It seems like yesterday that we were looking at the 2008 Auditor General Report on Dollars Spent in the Classroom trying to explain exactly what is considered “classroom spending.”
Schools Around Arizona are Closings Due to Budget Constraints
In an effort to work within the anticipated budget the state legislature is providing schools to educate our students, many school districts are beginning to look at the necessity of closing some of their schools.