Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AZ needs different mindset to improve education

Photo of Jason Williams by Alan R. Hudson

By Alan R. Hudson
Gazette Blog/Connection Correspondent

If you haven’t met Jason Williams, you should check him out at

He is a Democratic primary candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Back in 2006, he won the Democratic Party nomination for the position, but narrowly lost the general election.

I spoke with him briefly at the Democratic post-rodeo “doin’s” at the Payson Senior Center on Saturday. Williams was animated and eager to engage. He said that our biggest challenge for education is in our mindset and culture:

“We’ve got to get folks, especially leaders at the capital, to look at education as an investment—not as an expense. They’ve got to start connecting the dots, you know — what does it mean to invest in a child’s education today? In the long term—the strength of our economy, the tech jobs, the companies we can attract to Arizona, the quality of life that we want for our children and grandchildren — it all links back to the quality of education that we give to our children.

“I think that as state superintendent your primary responsibility is to be that chief cheerleader/advocate for the public schools, and that means you can’t just be in your office in downtown Phoenix. You’ve got to be traveling around the state having that conversation with the constituents of all these legislators and elected officials who talk a good game about education, but when it comes time to vote their votes don’t seem to match up with their rhetoric.”

1 comment:

Veritas said...

Education ceases being an "investment" and becomes an expense when the results continue to decline in spite of the massive amounts of capital thrown at the problem.

Your "investment" is my hard earned income and thank you, the return on the dollar in Arizona public education isn't worth the money. You'd be better off "investing" in pork futures.