We are parents, businesspeople, educators and concerned citizens who think the view of education in Arizona is far too negative and much too lopsided. We are tired of countless education “advocates” continually cutting down our schools.
If you have lived in Arizona long, no doubt you’ve heard the constant drumbeat that our schools are underfunded, our teachers are under-appreciated and our students are suffering. But this is only half the story.
Yes, Arizona schools have faced tough times. It is no secret the Great Recession hit Arizona hard. But our schools are making real progress, namely:
- In 2017, voters passed Prop. 123, which increases school funding by $3.5 BILLION over the next decade. This substantial infusion of $350 MILLION per year has helped give our teachers and schools the immediate support they need.
- Since 2009, our students lead the nation when it comes to improvements on the English, Math and Science sections of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation’s report card for schools.
- Arizona created Arizona Teacher Academies at ASU, NAU, and UA to allow graduates to work debt-free if they teach in Arizona classrooms.
- Arizona families have more freedom and choice about where their children attend school than any other state in the country.
Our work is not done, but Arizona is making great progress in K-12 education. Simply put, our state cannot build the world class education system our children deserve by continually talking down our teachers and schools. We call ourselves the “Arizona Education Project” for good reason. Our mission is two-fold:
- To educate Arizona families about positive developments occurring in our schools; and
- To inform parents about the choices they have in education and their ability to match their children with the schools best-suited for their needs.
The constant running down of Arizona education helps no one – not parents, not children, not teachers, and not Arizona. We are far more likely to get greater public support for schools – including more funding – if citizens believe they’re being asked to support a system that is having success and getting good results for the $9 billion that’s already being spent annually on K-12 education.
We’re the Arizona Education Project. And we look forward to telling “the rest of the story” about the great work happening in Arizona classrooms.