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Commentary

Children attending school outside assigned boundaries the new norm

First graders in Irene Hammerquist's class at Bales Elementary School put together paper pumpkins decorated with fall-themed spelling words. Hammerquist said she teaches all of her students that sometimes a lesson has to be taught in a variety of ways to reach everyone. (Photo by Katie Campbell/Arizona Capitol Times)

For decades, our state has been a national leader in education freedom – the radical concept that parents know their own children best and should be empowered to select a school for them that is the right fit. The movement has flourished. Consider public charter schools, where enrollment is booming and reached a record 185,000 students statewide this year.

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EPA cuts threaten Arizona’s natural water supply and air quality

Haze obscures central Phoenix on Christmas morning in 2006. (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Photo)

The power is in our hands as citizens to influence change, and if we use it to contact our elected officials and voice our opposition, we can work toward a future where our health and safety are adequately protected. The beauty of Arizona, and the health of its residents, is being severely threatened. It’s up to us to take a stand. Please join us in this fight and call today.

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Why the A-F rating system for schools vexes policymakers

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The issue vexing policymakers and the State Board of Education on the A to F school grade system is defining what one means by a “school.” The diverse education community, with its multiple delivery variables in unique learning communities, holds some dramatically different ideas of what is a school.

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We have made Arizona teachers ‘test prep robots,’ ‘slaves to the test’

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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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