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Author Archives: Guest Opinion

We have made Arizona teachers ‘test prep robots,’ ‘slaves to the test’ (access required)

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AzMERIT scores are in, and schools are being issued grades based on how their students performed on a test taken six months ago that measured math and English language skills. Teachers across the state are running for cover, hoping and praying their students fared well on these high stakes tests. Some will celebrate while others will wonder if they will lose their jobs. But all still must teach.

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KidsCare vital to Arizona families, funding needs to be reinstated (access required)

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Unlike other states, Arizona law says KidsCare will be frozen the day federal funding drops below 100 percent. Arizona is one of 12 states in the country whose CHIP program is paid for entirely by the federal government, which was a major reason we were able to get KidsCare reopened. Over 22,000 children from working Arizona families are now covered through KidsCare, showing us just how needed a program like CHIP is in our state.

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In the end, Arizona must speak with one voice (access required)

(Photo by Ellen O'Brien)

Coming to agreement on how best to marshal the state’s water resources and to create sustainability for future Arizonans is among the toughest challenges that leaders in our region can take on. Arizona has chosen to act now. We are opting to improve on the work of previous generations of state leaders to ensure that the word “crisis” remains banished from Arizona’s water lexicon.

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CAP – Ready to meet today’s water challenges (access required)

(Photo by Ellen O'Brien)

Gov. Doug Ducey's current, hurried water policy process bears little resemblance to the proven formula for development of sound, nonpartisan water law in Arizona. Much of the focus of these invitation-only gatherings appears intent on merely criticizing (and silencing) CAP, not on resolving honest differences of opinion and developing a consensus solution to the critical issues facing us today.

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‘LOCK’ in on addressing future water challenges (access required)

(Photo by Ellen O'Brien)

We are at the crossroads regarding additional looming challenges including drought, especially drought on the Colorado River; where our next “buckets” of water will come from; and who will be the next generation of champions who provide the vision and courage to make extremely tough decisions about Arizona’s water future.

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Unifying Colorado River policy to avoid water shortage (access required)

(Photo by Ellen O'Brien)

Collaboration is often touted as key to Arizona’s successes in water management, and it is. We just forget how messy, cantankerous, and difficult collaborating can be. We are seeing it again this summer as the state wrestles with Colorado River and groundwater issues in a stakeholder process led by Gov. Doug Ducey.

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Preserving Arizona’s remaining rivers, streams, springs (access required)

(Photo by Ellen O'Brien)

For those of us that do not follow the intricacies of water policy, we are left asking basic questions, such as how to deal with drought and climate change? How do we manage growth and economic development opportunities sustainably to support future generations? And importantly, how can we ensure that Arizona’s last remaining rivers, streams, and springs are preserved, not just for future generations, but right now, for all?

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