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Arizona education system in desperate need of overhaul

Craig Barrett

Living in Arizona for over 30 years I have come to love many aspects of our great state. One area that greatly concerns me, however, is the performance of our education system. Rather than just complain about it, I’ve devoted more than 20 years to reforming K-12 education. I currently chair the governor’s Arizona Ready Education Council as well as the BASIS schools in this state, and have worked in the high tech industry for nearly 40 years. I know what is required of students to compete and succeed in today’s economy.

Let’s consider the cold, hard facts of education in Arizona and the U.S.:

  • In K-12 math and science, the U.S. ranks in the lower half or quartile of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
  • In K-12, Arizona ranks in the bottom 10-20 percent of states.
  • In Arizona, only about one third of our students are at grade level in math and English.
  • In Arizona, over half of the students that graduate from high school are not eligible for university.
  • In Arizona, over half of our students have to take remedial training for post-secondary education.
  • All of the Arizona kids that are not eligible for university or the 60- plus percent that require remediation in community college passed the AIMS test. This says something about our current education standards.

I do not fundamentally believe Arizona kids are dumber than their peers in the U.S. or around the world. We do not have a kid problem; we have an adult and system problem. We are not doing a good job educating our kids — and a big part of that problem is that we have lower standards and expectations than most of the world. Raising our standards and student expectations are the keys to improving K-12 education in Arizona. That is why the new Arizona education standards and a new assessment to replace AIMS are so important to our state.

A little background is important to dispel some of the myths around these new standards.

In 2008, the governors and superintendents of public instruction of 48 states banded together to create math and English standards that hold the promise that a high school diploma is an honest ticket to college or to military service or to the world of work. I was part of that effort — side by side from the beginning, with governors, state school chiefs, and reformers that made it happen. When the trench work on these standards began, President George W. Bush and later President Barack Obama and their representatives were not at the table.

These English and math standards are about setting goals for our kids to learn to read, write, and calculate at a competitive level with high-performing states and countries. What these standards are not, is a conspiracy. This isn’t about mind control or a national curriculum or the federal government taking over education. It’s about whether we want our kids and grandkids to have good jobs and whether we want them to be here in Arizona. I can assure you that there are plenty of states and counties stepping up and making sure their kids are college or career ready while we discuss conspiracy theories. As a life-long Republican, I find this discussion of a federal takeover of our K-12 education system embarrassing and beneath us. We have real issues to resolve in this state and country and this is not one of them.

After much debate and participation, Arizona adopted its version of new standards in 2010. Many Arizonans participated in this process — Professor Bill McCallum from the University of Arizona co-led the writing of the math standards. Sarah Baird, 2009 Arizona Teacher of the Year, served on the standards validation committee, and many others were involved. These standards, which were reviewed and revised by Arizonans for Arizona, are standards only indicating what kids should know. Decisions about how to teach these standards (curriculum, tools, books, materials, technology) are left to the local school boards, just like they are today. And, the Arizona Board of Education has the authority to change these standards at any time.

The business community is solidly in support of these new standards and a new assessment tool. The business community has been complaining about low standards and low expectations for many years.

They know that for kids to have a fair shot at the American dream we need dramatic improvement in our K-12 system.

One final comment on where these standards come from. They come from the governors, the chief state school officers, education experts around the country including those here in Arizona. They do not come from Washington, D.C. Much has been made about the support of President Obama and these standards, but, they are not his standards.

He saw something good and promoted it. Just like he has promoted charter schools and teacher evaluation — two other aspects of K-12 reform with strong roots in Arizona. If we are against these standards because someone in Washington, D.C. likes them, then why don’t we reject our charter laws or our teacher evaluation laws as well? We don’t because we accept what it takes to improve our education system. So it is with standards and expectations.

It is time we recognize the hard truth about K-12 education in Arizona and take the necessary steps to improve a poorly performing system. We need to upgrade both our standards and our assessment tools. We owe it to our children.

— Craig Barrett is chairman of the Arizona Ready Education Council and former CEO and chairman of the board of Intel Corp.

38 comments

  1. What is the single-most important word that Craig Barrett needed to mention — which he didn’t? “Funding”. Without it, everything else that he has written here amounts to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  2. Finally…someone who has something to say about Arizona education that is both critical and thoughtful…researched based and rational. Thank you, sir.

    Now let’s get to work!

    PS: A note to the media in general…please, no more coverage of anti intellectuals, ideologues, pseudo theologists, and flat earthers! Spend your resources by covering and reporting on positive, thoughtful and rational perspectives…things that really contribute to the betterment of our communities.

  3. Dr. Barrett,

    I have listened to you testify personally on Common Core and you keep changing your story if these are Federal-Led Standards or State-led Standards. Which one is it?

    Let’s stick to the facts. Four members of the Common Core Validation Committee would not sign off on these standards because they were subpar; they would slow down our students by 2 years in Math; these standards are not true standards but “skills teaching;” and they are not internationally benchmarked and the Validation Committee was nothing more then a “rubber stamp” committee. Two of these members who would not sign off on the standards were Math professors, BTW. When are you going to tell the business community the truth about these standards?

    No cost analysis was performed before these standards were adopted in our state in June 2010. School districts right now are not able to fully train their teachers and do not have money in the budget to complete Phase I of Common Core! The student assessment test PARCC is broke and is now outsourcing to 501 (3)(c) companies for more money.

    Common Core violates Federal Statutes- The General Education Provisions Act and The Family Education Rights to Privacy Act with data tracking of our students from preschool through college and sharing this information with other states and the federal government.

    The standards are tied to the United Nations, UNESCO and the International Baccalaureate program which endorses Common Core. This is a fact and there is no conspiracy theory here! Our text books are being re-written to align with the Common Core standards and so are the ACT and SAT. Standards in fact dictate Curriculum!

    “We the People of AZ” do not want Common Core and we will continue to fight until these standards are out of our state. We are doing it for our children and grandchildren!

  4. Most of the work creating the common core standards was Achieve Inc. a Washington DC based non-profit. Achieve Inc. represents “progressive” reformers who have wanted to nationalize standards for decades.

    From the Achieve Inc. Implementing the Common Core workbook for administrators:

    After 30 years of fits and starts, true transformational reform in education is not only possible but also entirely within our grasp

    As remarkable as the effort has been to get to this point, the true transformation will occur only if these goals are
    put into practice and fully implemented for the benefit of every student, in every classroom, in every state.

    It means understanding how to get aligned instructional materials in the hands of the right teachers at the right time and how to ensure professional development design reflects best practices and accurately targets student needs.

    Most states adopted the common core in order to receive Race to the Top funding. This was not a state originated project. Also the Obama administrated granted waivers to No Child Left Behind requirements to states adopting the common core. The money granted to states for adopting the common core was minimal and does not cover the cost of implementation. States are required to adopt the common core standards word for word. So the idea that much work was done to create or adapt the standards to Arizona’s needs is at best a misconception. At worst it is an attempt to mislead. Standards are meant to drive curriculum. The Achieve Inc. workbook says that implementation means getting aligned materials (i.e., curriculum materials) The idea that states and local districts retain control of curriculum is another misconception at least, or at worst an attempt to mislead.

  5. I agree that we have a problem with standards, but it seems to me that the attitude here is: “We need to DO something. This is “something,” so let’s do it!” I don’t think any of the Common Core State Standards were pilot tested. This means that millions of America’s children will be the guinea pigs. What happens when/if this doesn’t work out as “planned”? Oops! Small sacrifices?

    Also, there was a statement that I read in the following article that I find very disturbing. “Here is the sad reality: most people do not know about Common Core. Teachers, parents, students, administration and even state lawmakers are largely in the dark on the matter. Why? Because state executives accepted the Obama administration’s ‘Race to the Top’ funds without question. Part of receiving the Race to the Top funds required the implementation of Common Core which circumvented the proper debate that should have gone through the public and the state legislature.”

    The Dark Side of Common Core. http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2013/04/03/the-dark-side-of-common-core-standards-for-education/

  6. Common Core is just another way to dumb down our schools. We the people, in the states, counties and towns know what our children need in school and that is for the Federal Government to retract their insidious standards, give us back all our taxes and leave us alone to fix the problem ourselves.

  7. Dr. Barrett,

    The following text is reason enough for me to demand Common Core be removed for our schools….

    “Here is your proof Arizonans and America! From the Conservative Teachers of American organization, they wrote an article entitled: “Common Core Standards and the Federalization of Education.” In this article we read: “Many are concerned that the Common Core Standards, once successfully implemented, will provide unfettered access of our educational system by the United Nations. Some textbooks and curricula for our public schools have already been written by the [United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization] UNESCO and the International Baccalaureate program, that is currently in many school districts, across the United States. Grabbing additional access is a natural next step. Once they write the curricula, they must have authority to develop all testing tools. They will decide who becomes a teacher and what preparation will be provided for that teacher. The International Baccalaureate curriculum upsets parents and teachers because the focus includes sustainable development, abortion rights, gay marriage, universal disarmament and social justice curricula.”

    “The UN involvement in the American educational system has already been facilitated by treaties signed by American presidents from both parties. Those documents include but are not limited to: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Treaty on the Rights of the Child, Civic Education: Classroom Connections, and Agenda 21.”

    You say we retain local control…..hardly sir. That is a complete untruth. We will lose control as a state, school district, and parents. Who gains by the astronomical costs of this massive curriculum rollout?

    Read sir and take notice of what is happening to education, or lack thereof, with Common Core….that you are promoting as valued curriculum. It is a nightmare leading to a reality of Marxism, and the destruction on America and the strength of each individual’s strengths and weaknesses that mold them into a productive human being. You sir are putting them all into a one-size-fits-all box.

    We in Arizona want no part of Common Core or your idea of values for our children.

  8. This is just another subversive UN version of International Baccalaureate. The socialists of the world government using OUR tax money to make our kids into good little socialist sheep. Well *this* tax payer is not falling for this subversive indoctrination no matter how you flower it up. HOMESCHOOL your kids folks, no matter what the gub’mint tries to teach them.

  9. I have a number of concerns regarding Common Core, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say that it is a great program for Arizona kids and those in the other 45 states where CC is being considered…

    What are the numbers to implement Common Core? Our family has a budget, our state and federal government SHOULD have budgets (that they keep). I know we are getting some federal money to help implement this, but, in the end, that IS “tax payer” money. And, if it does turn out that CC is a positive program, doesn’t it just seem like a bad idea to take money from the federal government for this program when they are having constant talks about “debt ceiling” and “sequestration” and all the programs that are going to be stopped because there is not enough money in the coffers (i.e. our tax dollars)?

    Dr. Barrett, you ran a successful business and you are a Republican, which at one time was synonymous with “conservative”. As a businessman, you would want to know the numbers–cost/savings, waste, etc. As well, I imagine you would want to know the numbers not just for the current year, but you would want the numbers for projected years–next year, 3 years, 5 years, etc. What are the numbers that Arizona tax payers are going to be responsible for in order to implement an expensive program such as Common Core–teachers to be trained, new materials, new books, new technology, new curriculum/tests, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying our children are not worth it. However, I know that even if I wanted to send my children to the BEST schools in the state, or in the world for that matter, and it did not fit in my budget, I couldn’t do it, regardless of how badly I wanted it.

    Intel would not have been successful under your watch if you did not keep the business in par with the REAL numbers. We need to make certain, if this is the path we are to follow, that the numbers agree with what the people in the state of Arizona can afford.

    What are the numbers for this year, next year, 3 years, 5 years, etc? Is this program something the people in the state of Arizona can afford?

  10. When a state favors the mass incarceration of its people over educating them, then major overhaul of that kind of thinking needs to be done. The school-to-prison pipeline that’s in place with the signing of the over 2,000 private prison corporation contract with CCA, Aug. 31, 2012, with 500 super-max prisons in the pipeline is designed to fail the people and Arizona’s future, leaving the taxpayers holding the bag so a handful of profiteers get obscenely rich.

    Until the broken criminal justice system and Arizona’s draconian mandatory minimum sentencing is reformed — education, rehabilitation and building stronger communities is doomed.

    Why is Chuck Coughlin / High Ground / CCA driving state policy from the Governor’s office? Does anyone see a conflict of interest?

    This IS the public’s problem.

  11. David Lucifer, Your comment is spot-on!

  12. Mr. Barrett, Your article is outstanding. When a state puts incarceration #1 and education at the bottom of the nation, how does one change that mindset? The taxpayers cannot afford to incarcerate all those they do not like for decades and decades. Arizona sentences a non-violent, first offender to 75 years in prison. A defacto-life sentence. At what cost to the taxpayers? When these $$$’s should be going to education, job training, vocational training and building stronger communities through education for the common good of society. Instead the prisons are “growing” more criminals who will one day be out — not rehabilitated, not trained thrown back into society angry. So what was accomplished?

  13. Mr. Barrett, Your article is outstanding. When a state puts incarceration #1 and education at the bottom of the nation, how does one change that mindset? The taxpayers cannot afford to incarcerate all those they do not like for decades and decades. Arizona sentences a non-violent, first offender to 75 years in prison. A defacto-life sentence. At what cost to the taxpayers? When these $$$’s should be going to education, job training, vocational training and building stronger communities through education for the common good of society. Instead the prisons are “growing” more criminals who will one day be out — not rehabilitated, not trained thrown back into society angry. So what was accomplished?

    EDUCATION OR INCARCERATION? That’s the real question and reality no one wants to discuss. Folks, who is “stealing” your tax dollars?

  14. It’s not the prisons growing more criminals, it is the parenting (or lack thereof) and the permissive attitude of debilitating morals by the media, and culture in general. Throwing billions at the schools is not going to change the culture of learning if it is not valued at home and ‘promoted’ via the entertainment venues of America. Glorification of the ‘pop culture’ has destroyed the desire to learn and improve oneself. The government has promoted and elevated the status of entitlements and free ‘stuff’….who needs an education when you can live off the government. They are building there own slave force in just a few years to come, when there are no more ‘wealthy’ to throw money at ‘education’ and the entitled of America.

    The state isn’t putting incareration at the top….take a BIG look at societal change of immorality…..therein lies the problem.

  15. Susan,

    So true! Our prisons are filling up due to the degradation of the family and lack of morality in our society. Poverty doesn’t cause poor education either. It’s the break-down of the family that causes society to also break down and our education systems to be corrupt. This is a great video I encourage all to watch on the background of education and why our children are not educated today:

    Common Core State Standards – An Introduction To Marxism 101:

  16. EDUCATION OR INCARCERATION? That’s the real question and reality no one wants to discuss. Folks, who is “stealing” your tax dollars?

    “THE HOUSE I LIVE IN” by Eugene Jarecki, filmmaker. Sundance award-winning Documentary Movie HD – YouTube Official Trailer #1 (2012)
    This self-destructing war on America must be stopped!

  17. Educate or incarcerate? What kind of society are we creating when children are facing the school-to-prison pipeline created by those profiting off human misery, who have lost their moral compass? Who is driving and “controlling” Arizona’s public policy from the top?

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/03/627471/private-prisons-spend-45-million-on-lobbying-rake-in-51-billion-for-immigrant-detention-alone/?mobile=nc

    Private Prisons Spend $45 Million On Lobbying, Rake In $5.1 Billion For Immigrant Detention Alone

    By Aviva Shen on Aug 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    excerpt: “Nearly half of all immigrants detained by federal officials are held in facilities run by private prison companies, at an average cost for each detained immigrant is $166 a night. That’s added up to massive profits for Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group and other private prison companies:

    A decade ago, more than 3,300 criminal immigrants were sent to private prisons under two 10-year contracts the Federal Bureau of Prisons signed with CCA worth $760 million. Now, the agency is paying the private companies $5.1 billion to hold more than 23,000 criminal immigrants through 13 contracts of varying lengths.

    CCA was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2000 due to lawsuits, management problems and dwindling contracts. Last year, the company reaped $162 million in net income. Federal contracts made up 43 percent of its total revenues, in part thanks to rising immigrant detention. GEO, which cites the immigration agency as its largest client, saw its net income jump from $16.9 million to $78.6 million since 2000.”

  18. As a taxpayer, I would like my $$$’s to go to education, vocational and job training, rehabilitation and building stronger communities for Arizona, NOT to go to mass incarcerating Arizona men, women and children which IS destroying families and the communities. If the moral argument isn’t sufficient than the wasted taxpayers’ $$$’s going to the private prison profiteers IS the publics’ problem. Growing ignorant masses is to their advantage. They don’t want the public to know.

    Further dialog in this video, shows where Arizona and the nation are. It’s unethical, immoral and a war on America.

    “The House I Live In”: New Film Exposes Economic, Moral Failure of U.S. War on Drugs. 2 of 2 – YouTube

  19. Further dialog in this video, that ALL concerned about what kind of a society Arizona and the nation is being created by the private prison corporations with our tax dollars — money I’d rather have spent on education, vocational training, rehabilitation (cheaper than incarceration) and building stronger communities.

    “The House I Live In”: New Film Exposes Economic, Moral Failure of U.S. War on Drugs. 2 of 2 – YouTube

  20. Susan and Jennifer, Arizona taxpayers cannot afford to incarcerate all the sinners and immoral people you are admonishing. What man or woman has the right to sit in judgment and play God with peoples’ lives?

  21. School-To-Prison Pipeline | ThinkProgress

    http://thinkprogress.org/tag/school-to-prison-pipeline/

    JUSTICE

    Putting Armed Guards In Schools Leads To Racial Discrimination, More Student Arrests

    By Zack Beauchamp on Apr 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    The National Rifle Association (NRA)’s main response in the wake of the deadly shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, other than staunch opposition to even the most minor gun law reforms, has been a proposal to increase the number of armed guards in schools. However, a deeply reported piece in today’s New York Times suggests that more guns in schools would do little to improve school safety while simultaneously increasing police harassment of students along racial lines.

    The article, by Erik Eckholm, surveyed the rise of “school resource officers” (policemen or non-police armed guards) in American school districts since the late 1990s. Eckholm found little to suggest that officers had made schools safer; he quotes University of Maryland school crime expert Denise C. Gottfredson as saying “There is no evidence that placing officers in the schools improves safety.” She concludes, moreover, that “it increases the number of minor behavior problems that are referred to the police, pushing kids into the criminal system.”
    Eckholm assembles ample evidence to support this conclusion:

    Nationwide, hundreds of thousands of students are arrested or given criminal citations at schools each year. A large share are sent to court for relatively minor offenses, with black and Hispanic students and those with disabilities disproportionately affected, according to recent reports from civil rights groups, including the Advancement Project, in Washington, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, in New York.”excerpt

  22. Proact,

    I did not say put all immoral people in jail. You misconstrue my words! I said the breakdown of the family is why our prisons are filling up and that was it. Until we return to strong, moral, family values, we will continue to have this problem. You should do your homework on divorce rates in this country, people “co-habitating” together instead of marrying, etc. Sexual permiscuity is the new drug in our society. Satan’s pull is strong and that is why the family is breaking down, that is why our education systems are breaking down, etc. That is why so many think the government should take care of us “cradle-t-grave.” Until we are a moral society we cannot be a free society.

  23. Jennifer, So which elected officials are helping build a “moral” society in Arizona? Start and the top. The GOP voters have voted them into power and “control” for decades. What is your solution to all the divorced people and those having affairs, unwanted children, when you are surrounded by them in this state?

    Education or incarceration? Arizona’s prisons created to make a few obscenely rich —- using the vulnerable, those without a voice, those that people like you do not like, sinners and the non-violent — for Billions of $$$’s that could be used for job training, rehabilitation and building stronger communities. Rather than further destroying these families, what are you doing to help them? Which then helps us all?

  24. Correction (edit button missing): Jennifer, So which elected officials are helping build a “moral” society in Arizona? Start at the top. The GOP voters have voted them into power and “control” for decades.

    What is your solution to all the divorced people and those having affairs, unwanted children, when you are surrounded by them in this state?

  25. Here is your solution- turn to Jesus Christ. Follow his example, education yourself on his ways of treating people, and the way you value your own “self worth.” He loved all and was willing to forgive even the sinner, the adulterer, etc. But, this forgiveness process requires “action” on our part. The leading cause of divorces, unwanted children, and on and on, is greed, selfishness and self-gratification. If couples were less selfish there would be less infidelity, less divorce, etc. If people had morals they wouldn’t be having sex like it’s a sport, they would be doing it in the bonds of marriage, and again, it wouldn’t be for self-gratification but with your partner who you love and value. Turn to Jesus Christ, our ultimate example of good morals, about loving our neighbor like ourselves, about forgiving each other for our differences and helping out our fellow men. This is what life is about- those who are moral and make Christ-like choices are free. Those who aren’t are slaves to their own addictions and their choices- Satan’s plan. Pure and simple.

  26. Sound’s like more Salem witch-hunt, than Jesus Christ, Jennifer. Prisons were built for the sinners and those the self-righteous do not like.

  27. Jennifer, that is the answer! Thanks for putting the solution to all of our problems in the light of day!

  28. Proact,

    You must be an atheist. That would explain a lot.

    Susan,

    We can solve all problems in this life if we were all more Christ-like.

  29. Jennifer, You insult me by calling me an atheist, as you sit in “judgement” of other. I just haven’t politicized Christianity like you have. The Christianity I was taught in our church was to believe in the common good for all and the least among us must be helped. Educating all with meaningful skills would help them care for themselves and their families. Society would be better for it.

  30. Concerned Citizen,

    I wasn’t speaking to you, BTW. But since you seem to like to attack people, here it goes. Jesus believed in “free agency” for all. Not forcing another person’s will on another for the “common good.” That is Satan’s plan….”don’t worry about sinning, live in the now, sin a little, lie a little, force people to think the way you do, etc.,…in the end we all will be saved.” We are saved through our “actions” and not just our “beliefs,” how we treat other people and ourselves. Society is breaking down because we think we need to “force our will” on everyone else “for the common good.” Common Core is nothing more then “indoctrination of our children” for the “Common Good” of us all. Making all of our children “the same,” and “slowing down” our children’s learning for the “Common good.” If you cannot see this is indoctrination then you need to study Common Core in more depth. I’m happy to talk to anyone about religion and why I believe our country is “failing” in many aspects because we are being “controlled” more each day by our government. There is nothing good about us all “being the same.” Our God created all different and have given each of us individual personalities and talents for a reason. How dare the government think they can take this individuality away, our liberty, our freedom for the “common good.” A free society is a moral society with individuals contributing like the Savior would have them do.

  31. Proact, you say, “Further dialog in this video, that ALL concerned about what kind of a society Arizona and the nation is being created by the private prison corporations with our tax dollars.”

    It is not the lack of money thrown at education that causes the growing prison population….it is the lack of accountability, self-reliance, responsibility, lack of moral conviction and lack of loving God most in America. This causes the break-down and breakup of the family. Without God and his Son who paid the ultimate sacrifice for sinners through grace to all who believe, we are a nation without direction. It causes moral decay and it creates a nanny state that dictates the government has to think and do for you. It creates a thumb-sucking mentality in our culture that says someone else pay my way, think for me, do for me, and while you’re doing it … kiss my backside. This is not due to a financial breakdown of education, it is a breakdown of parental responsibilty and accountabilty.

    If you have taken the time to read through the Common Core standards….there is NOTHING NEW there. Talk about the elite and the money-makers…..those creating the standard’s curriculum will reap billions off the backs of taxpayers and accomplish NOTHING in further educating our children. It truly is dumbing them down to create a working commodity for the ‘state’. The feds will have control over the indoctrination of our children.

    If this is what the America wants they will get it, and in the end they won’t like it. All America will pay the price for losing sight of what is important and it is not how much money you throw at something. It is how much you seek God to find the truth.

  32. Concerned Citizen and Proact—how is this for spending on education?
    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2013/04/22/seven-not-so-fun-facts-about-the-costs-of-public-education/

    “For many years we have expressed education expenditures as “per-pupil spending.” This is a reasonably good way to frame the numbers, though controversy sometimes arises over what is included and what isn’t. The following is a list of different angles on the same spending. All the figures cited are for 2010, courtesy of the National Center of Education Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    1) Revenues collected by governments for public education in the United States totaled $593.7 billion. About $261.4 billion came from local sources, $258.2 billion from state sources, and $74 billion from federal sources.

    2) That’s about $1,922 from each and every American.

    3) Or $2,531 from each adult, 18 and older.

    4) Or $4,567 from each non-farm American worker on a payroll.

    5) That amounts to 11.4 percent of the average worker’s salary, or $2.20 per hour.

    6) The average American employee thus works almost one hour every day to fund public schools.

    7) It would take the entire salary of 14,842,500 employees to pay for U.S. public schools, equivalent to the entire retail trade workforce.

    Public education advocates often speak of school spending as an investment. It’s clear that our portfolio is heavily weighted in the education sector. The shareholders are understandably upset by weak ROIs and incessant margin calls. No wonder they responded by downsizing.”

  33. Susan,

    As always, it is a pleasure reading your posts. :) You are so correct with your last statement:

    “If this is what the America wants they will get it, and in the end they won’t like it. All [of] America will pay the price for losing sight of what is important and it is not how much money you throw at something. It is how much you seek God to find the truth.”

    AMEN!

  34. Susan, Education or incarceration? Wasting $$$’s. If wasted $$$’s are your concern, study the mass industrial prison complex of Arizona and the nation making the U.S. #1 jailer in the world. Jails, prisons, detention centers, juvenile detention and the BILLIONS wasted here — warehousing NOT rehabilitating people.

    Billions Behind Bars: Inside America’s Prison Industry – Watch the full episode now Hulu – CNBC Originals

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/335492

  35. proact, you are missing the point. It becomse wasteful when you can no longer ‘buy’ education with money. You are throwing money at the wall hoping something will stick…..that is when it becomes waste.

    The money is being spent — plenty of it, without results. It starts at home and continues when it becomes important in the cultural events of media, programming on television, movies, videos, and the hearts of man. Educating our children is not important to the elite—-only the greed to have more money to make the elite ‘educators’ rich has become important….and their push to get rich in the name of education.

    Change the hearts of man and you will change education and see less need for prisons. Change what is important to our youth — family, doing things for other by removing the ‘star power’ from the elite in sports, movies and music. Put a moral compass back into the family and our culture and you will see a change in education without more money and less spent on prisons.

    Jennifer, thank you for the encouraging words! I truly want to see our culture valuing God and family again.

  36. Great just what Jesus intendent, his words to be shoved down the throats by his believers onto those they judge to be evil.
    If you are going to preach learn from him and realize he didn’t force people to believe. He did it the right way. So if you completely admire him, claim his way of life, you would not be attacking others with his words of peace, love and tolerance.
    It is truely a sad day when others witness a Christain acting so uncaring, and judging others, just because they have another idea about improving their local education system. What crime is that against Jesus?

  37. Beth, Those who claim to believe in Jesus and call themselves “compassionate conservatives”(GOP), as they favor the mass incarceration of the people, the school-to-prison pipeline, the slashing of money to feed the vulnerable children, poor and elderly are the hypocrites, who have ruined education and the once fine state of Arizona.

    Those like Craig Barrett and many others who were deceived into thinking Arizona had vision and promise are speaking out. Those hell-bent on destruction are in control. Reform the criminal justice system, take money away from the bloated and all too dominant Corrections / prison budget and put it into education, job skills training and rehabilitation.

    Mr. Barrett, Your article is spot-on. Try talking to those who drive Arizona public policy like Chuck Coughlin, the Senseman’s, Brnovitch, AG Horne, MCAO Montgomery and the like. See how far you get. They do not care what the people think and have made it clear.

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