This letter is to John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Recently, I read where the Arizona Department of Education’s definition of a “class” did not include Payson’s incredibly successful “Achieve Hour” — an innovative local attempt to help struggling students, by providing them with an adult-supervised classroom study experience.
These “Achieve” students are not playing with cell phones or video games, but are extending the structured learning in the core classes they have attended during the day, by studying the material assigned to them by the teachers in those core classes.
For example, if there were four classes that each assigned extended learning (homework), and the student spent just 15 minutes of extended learning on each class, the classroom learning experience would be extended by 25 percent for each class. Think about that, a 25 percent increase in the learning experience. Does the ADE have anything that remotely approaches that kind of improvement?
In addition, by attending the Achieve Hour, students are learning at an early age that hard work and responsibility for one’s actions, can carry forward into adult life.
The narrow definition of a structured class, imposed by the ADE, is yet another example of a public institution unable to adapt to the real world of education interacting with real life.
For insight into the local Payson perspective, please consider the following link:
And for an opinion that mirrors the thoughts of those of us who care about the education we provide to our children, please see:
Mr. Huppenthal, you need to fix this immediately. Not just for Payson, but, for all the other schools that could use an “Achieve Hour” of their own.