Thursday, April 28, 2011

AEN Joins Panel Discussion on Education Cuts on Arizona PBS 8 Horizons with Ted Simons

Arizona Horizon's host Ted Simons discusses the impact of budget cuts and other legislation on public education with Senator Rich Crandall, Chair of the Senate Education Committee; Ann-Eve Pedersen, president of the Arizona Education Network; and Chuck Essigs of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials.

How did YOUR legislator vote? Find the 2011 Legislative Session: Education Funding Voting Record by Legislator here.

Join the Campaign for Education 2012 here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Phoenix Channel 12 News Asks: Where Did the New Sales Tax Money Go?

Phoenix Channel 12 News's Lunch Cast segment AZ FactCheck set out to answer a question many Arizona voters are asking: "Did the new sales tax that voters approved last spring really help education?"

Watch here:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Special Talk by George Lakoff Monday, April 25 at 5 p.m.

The Department of Linguistics and the Cognitive Science Program in collaboration with the units listed below

Announce a Special Presentation by

Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics
University of California, Berkeley

Monday, April 25, 2011
5:00 p.m.
The University of Arizona Main Campus
1103 E 2 St
Tucson, AZ 85721
How Progressives and Conservatives Think Differently:
Understanding the Current Political Conflict in America with Suggestions for a Saner Politics

Progressives and conservatives have very different moral worldviews, conflicting ideas of what is right and wrong — worldviews that cover many areas of life and go well beyond particular issues like guns and immigration. For reasons that are far from obvious, these differences are dominating our political life and surface in violent forms of language, and unfortunately, violent actions.

It is vital that we understand the principles (and there ARE principles) governing these worldviews and hence our political life. The issues in Arizona arise from the same source as the issues in Wisconsin, Ohio, and California, and the current debates in Congress. It is also vital to understand the role that language and communication play in our politics via the framing of issues.

An important phenomenon rarely discussed is “duality,” where people have both worldviews applying to different issues: they are conservative in some ways and progressive in others. Understanding how duality works in the brain is crucial to the development of a saner politics at all levels.

Support for this presentation has been provided by the following:

Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Arizona's Confluence: A Center for Creative Inquiry, College of Education, College of Science, School of Information Sciences, Technology and Arts, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Anthropology, Department of Philosophy, College of Humanities, Department of Psychology, Department of History, Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, Department of Communication, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, School of Government and Public Policy, Department of English, Department of Sociology

Monday, April 18, 2011

Budget Cuts to K-12 Education Discussed on AZ PBS's Horizonte

Horizonte host José Cárdenas discusses impact of budget cuts to public K-12 education on schools and students with Panfilo Contreras, executive director for the Arizona School Boards Association; Chuck Essigs, director of Governmental Relations for the Arizona Association of School Business Officials; and Ann-Eve Pedersen from the Arizona Education Network.

Teacher Day at the University of Arizona Saturday, April 30!

"In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, Tucson Values Teachers is proud to partner with the University of Arizona and Champions for Change to present Teacher Day at UA."

Saturday, April 30, from 10 AM - 4 PM

No pre-registration is required. Just come out - free for teachers and 3 family members!
Simply sign in at Flandrau and receive an identifying button, a free tote bag and a program and UA Resource Guide. Then go forth to enjoy free admissions and lots of information and goodies.

* Nearly 50 different UA programs will be sharing information and material for area classrooms at the Business/Education Expo at the College of Education

* Discounts at several Main Gate Restaurants

* Goodies from OfficeMax and Walgreens

* Free Admission and special programs at Arizona State Museum, Flandrau, the Poetry Center, the Museum of Art and lots more!!! 

The Tucson community is invited to show up and say thank you to all of our great teachers and their families!

For a schedule of events, click here.

For more information, email Tucson Values Teachers executive director, Jacquelyn Jackson.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Join the Campaign for Education 2012!

Sign up for our Email Newsletter
It's official. Governor Brewer broke her promise to hold the line on education cuts when she signed the budget Thursday (4/7/2011) evening, slashing an additional $454 million from our public schools, community colleges and universities—bringing the three-year total education cut to $1.35 billion. In the wake of these devastating cuts, people from across the state are asking: What can we do now?
The answer couldn't be more clear. Begin organizing for 2012!

It's time for Arizonans to stop putting out fires and start going after the arsonists.time for Arizonans to stop just putting out fires; it's time to start going after the arsonists.

Funding cuts have created an endless series of fire drills in school districts, community colleges, universities and adult education across the state. For the past three years, the education community has done its best to continue providing students with a quality education in spite of drastic reductions. But that task is becoming increasingly difficult as our educational institutions face the cumulative effects of worst-case-scenario budgets that have forced them to cut vital programs and core staff several years in a row. School officials, teachers, parents and students have responded to the disaster with fundraisers and tax-credit drives. As well-intentioned as these actions are, they amount to using a water hose to put out a statewide inferno.

The Arizona Education Network is developing the Campaign for Education 2012. We are mobilizing education supporters statewide to oppose those who are destroying Arizona public education. We are also committed to finding ways, such as a statewide initiative, to fund education--the engine of economic development for our state. Education supporters must be organized by the end of the summer in order to make a difference in 2012. We need your commitment to be involved now!

Please take a few minutes to join the Campaign for Education 2012. Your information will be kept confidential.

Print this flyer, give it to parents at your school, your neighbors, your relatives and your friends to spread the word about the devastating cuts to education and the Campaign for Education 2012.

Our strength is in our numbers! By signing up today, you will help build the strong coalition of public education supporters we need for the next phase in protecting Arizona's public education funding from the destructive game of partisan politics.


When you have completed the survey, please consider making a donation to support the Arizona Education Network's Campaign for Education 2012. Click here to donate.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

A Bronx Tale: NY Times Looks at Reform at Bronx Middle School

A fantastic article by Jonathan Mahler appeared in the NY Times Magazine titled "The Fragile Success of School in the Bronx". The article is centered on the daily challenges faced by a middle school principal, Ramón González, of  M.S. 223, a public middle school in the South Bronx.  The school serves a community with a high-poverty rate.

Despite the challenges of overseeing a school set near a dangerous housing project, with incoming students who present little more than a utility bill and no transcript from previous schools to help evaluate their educational needs, something is working.

Last year, after seven years under González, 60 percent of its students tested at or above grade level in math and 30 percent in English. Not something to brag about in most school districts, but those numbers make 223 one of the top middle schools in the South Bronx. According to its latest progress report from the Department of Education, which judges a school’s growth against a peer group with similar demographics, 223 is the 10th-best middle school in the entire city.
The challenge is how to keep improvement on track.

Read more of this compelling article here.

Arizona Week: "Impact of Education Reductions on Arizona Schools"

Arizona Week host, Michael Chihak interviewed Chuck Essigs, the director of governmental relations for Arizona School Business Officials and Vail School Superintendent, Calvin Baker on the impact of $183 million funding cut signed by Governor Brewer Friday, April 8, 2011.

Note: Link will take you to a brief transcript with a video near the bottom of the page. 

NY Times Article Sums Up Education Reform Debate Divisions

The current debate over education reform was a highlighted topic in an article that ran in Sunday's (4/10/11) NY Times Week in Review, titled "The Deadlocked Debate Over Education Reform." Across the nation, the discussion about education reform among experts and advocates is becoming increasingly polarized, with sides taking hard lines against opposing views and/or approaches.
As is often the case with morally charged policy issues....false dichotomies seem to have replaced fruitful conversation. If you support the teachers’ union, you don’t care about the students. If you are critical of the teachers’ union, you don’t care about the teachers. If you are in favor of charter schools, you are opposed to public schools. If you believe in increased testing, you are on board with the corruption of our liberal society’s most cherished educational values. If you are against increased testing, you are against accountability. It goes on. Neither side seems capable of listening to the other.
Read the entire article here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

No April Fool's Day Joke: House and Senate Approve Deep Cuts to Education

Arizona Education Network Newsletter ~ Friday, April 1, 2011

We wish we could tell you this is an April Fool's joke, but it's not.

The House and Senate today passed a budget that eliminates $183.2 million from K-12 and $270.8 million from universities and community colleges for a total of $454 million in cuts to education in Arizona. The budget was a compromise negotiated between Gov. Brewer and the Legislature. Brewer did not keep her commitment to hold the line on education cuts --agreeing to $115 million more in cuts than she proposed in her budget.

In addition, the House passed SB1614, which effectively cuts teacher salaries by requiring teachers to pay more into their pension plans. Previously, the teachers and districts split those payments 50/50. Now, teachers must pay 53 percent. District savings will be offset by a reduction in the aid received by the district--amounting to additional cuts by the state.

Read more here.

Former Intel CEO warns lawmakers that education cuts will harm AZ's economy

Just days before the cuts, former Intel CEO Craig Barrett told Brewer and legislators that Arizona's low level of investment in education is damaging the state's economy. Barrett said that if Intel was relocating now, Arizona would not even be in the top 10 states considered.

"Quality education is extremely important to a place like Intel," Barrett said. "(The) education cutbacks don't bode well for that." To attract "those high-paying jobs - the jobs that pay two to three times the average - look for your educational infrastructure to be the key," he said.

Read more here.
Arizona Education Network Press Release on Education Cuts

Governor Brewer yesterday showed complete disregard for our state's faltering economy when she failed to defend public education funding as she had promised she would.

On Tuesday, former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, warned legislators that Arizona will not be able to attract good -paying jobs without investing in education. He warned that Arizona's "education cutbacks don't bode well for that."

Yet, the House, in the dead of night --after striking a compromise with Brewer and the Senate - the House pushed through $454 million in cuts to education funding. They also cut teacher salaries by increasing the amount teachers must pay into their pension plans.

Schools across the state had been planning their budgets for next year based on Brewer's proposed budget. But her failure to stick up for her own plan is now going to push school districts, our community colleges and universities into last-minute, emergency plans based on much deeper cuts than expected for the coming school year.

Not only will the budget cuts damage the state's economy in the long-term, there will also be short-term hits as schools, colleges and universities eliminate thousands of jobs.
To read the full press release click here.