Resources Needed To Improve Our Schools



With the days dwindling down to a precious few for Governor Hull’s administration, the 2001-02 version of the state Legislature, the remainder of the long-departed Lisa Graham-Keegan Department of Education’s regime, and some members of the state board of education, it seems only appropriate and fair that their efforts be “labeled” in a similar fashion commensurate with the labels they perpetrated upon our schools, students and educators.

1. Governor Hull = underperforming. High marks for helping to pass the sales tax increase to raise educational spending, but very low marks for the alt-fuel fiasco/financial disaster.

2. State Legislature = failing. Unprecedented budget deficits and continued bickering and partisanship.

3. Arizona Department of Education = failing. AIMS testing snafus ... need anything else be said?

4. State board of education = failing. Came up with ‘labeling’ system, but failed to identify and procure resources to assist failing or underperforming schools to improve. Does calling people or institutions names cajole them toward improvement?

Labeling politicians, state institutions and schools may make us feel better, but it’s highly unlikely “pointing the finger of blame” will in and of itself foster improvement. Resources, both monetary and human, are needed to improve our schools and institutions to a point where we are proud of their achievements.

Unfortunately, we really do get what we pay for.

Richard K. Meszar, Ed.D., Payson

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