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.