Arizona Education Association

Summer 2013

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POINT OF VIEW by Andrew F. Morrill Let's Follow Business Practices that Businesses Actually Follow AEA OFFICERS Andrew F. Morrill President Joe Thomas Vice-President Nidia Lias Treasurer AEA STAFF Sheryl Mathis Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor As I write this, Arizona's legislative session is in mid-stride between Act One (bills to cure all ills) and Act Two ("Make mine a budget – with nothing in it"). Once again, too many – but not all – of our 90 legislative public servants are tinkering around the edges of support for or understanding of a million students and over 100,000 education employees without tackling the core issues of equitable and adequate investments in our public school students, educators, or in Arizona's future. Every year brings the truism that education "reform" means very little – except trouble. Normally, the "reform" sought is something approaching a corporate, private sector model. The fundamental problem with this is that the industry of education produces something that cannot be stacked or shelved The best business practices still require a translation and a reforming themselves if they are to hold any value or relevance in the world of public education. Still, there is one business principle that not only applies to public education but should direct legislative efforts every year: Follow a complete business model. A resource strategy should accompany every stated outcome of any import. Arizona requires this much of its own citizens in the Initiative process. So the legislature should follow suit. The legislature still has yet to meet its obligation to fully fund the base level of education funding, including inflation. What exactly is the sound, tested business principle at work in punishing students and teachers for not meeting standards, in the wake of five cumulative years of education cuts, totaling well over a billion dollars? Andrew F. Morrill AEA President Penny Skubal Graphic Design Advertising Associate The AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602-264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887 Doug Stagner Editorial Associate E-mail: AEA's Web site may be found at -9 Summer.13advo.indd 4 Yet AEA remains the only education association in the state to oppose, on the grounds of fairness, Governor Brewer's performance-based funding plan for public schools. Because this plan defines outcomes entirely by standardized test scores, overwhelming evidence and more than 50 years tell us that this plan, if enacted in its current form, will further reduce funding to districts educating high numbers of poverty level students. Want a sound business principle? Fund basic infrastructure needs fully and then supplement them with a fair performance-based model. Private sector businesses have done so for years – if they even bother with performance-based models. So, why the insistent disconnect? Whatever the agenda of the profiteers and the Tea-Party revisionists, our professional response must be to defend the right of every child to a free, quality public education. Teachers and education support professionals are engaged in a noble effort to educate the next generation of citizens. Our ethical and professional mandates represent a stand for the very foundation of public education: Every student deserves a great public school. This is why AEA lobbies at the capitol. This is why we get involved in elections, whether of school board candidates at the local level or of candidates and initiatives at the state level. More importantly, this is why your AEA membership is important, to unite the voices that stand for great public schools in Arizona. Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. The AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. 4 Summer 2013 x AEA Advocate 3/18/13 12:03 PM

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