Arizona’s Education Imperative: Leadership & The Public Will to Do What It Takes
The challenge in Arizona is not that we don’t have a plan for where we want to go. In fact we have many strong plans, spanning early childhood through post-secondary education, and many insightful reports and recommendations for where to go from here. Arizona has recently enacted several critical education reforms and has dedicated educators, community leaders and organizations across the state working tirelessly to solve our most pressing education challenges.
Why haven’t we made as much progress as we’d like?
- First, Arizona needs more leaders at every level–from neighborhoods to school boards to the state capital–who are committed to making Arizona education world-class and who are able and willing to tackle the tough issues and bring people together to achieve the vision.
- Second, every one of us must commit to taking action to support educators and students, even if we don’t have children in the school system, as well as making education our top priority when we vote.
- Most importantly, all of us must have an unwavering commitment to all students and be willing to do what it takes to ensure a world-class education for everyone, regardless of zip code, ethnic background or socio-economic status.
Change starts with a high expectations culture and understanding that a world-class education system is necessary to improve Arizona’s economy and quality of life for everyone. Too many of Arizona’s students are graduating underprepared for their future, an issue which disproportionately impacts our students from low-income backgrounds and our students of color. Too often, education issues divide on partisan lines without addressing the tough questions and trade-offs, and we are limited in making the progress needed for all students to thrive.
As it stands today, we have much work to do. Achieving a world-class education system requires leadership, high expectations, strategic investment and the willingness from everyone to work together to achieve our goals. It begins with you.