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Lisa Graham-Keegan & John Munger do Education

Lisa Graham-Keegan & John Munger do Education

Arizona can make these dreams happen …

First, Team McSame calls for a total overhaul of education in Arizona with their first priority being, “… a clear definition of sound academic goals”.  Excuse me for asking the obvious, but what have the EDUCATORS been doing all these years and with the millions of dollars Arizona’s poured into the AIMS program?

We’re not sure if Team McSame, John Munger & Lisa Graham-Keegan are thinking about Disneyland or Arizona’s struggling education process.  Perhaps this puff piece lacking any real substance is merely a symptom of what some describe as, the Munger Hunger.

After promising to outline their plan for the reform of Arizona’s schools, they proceed to contradict themselves in two adjoining paragraphs!  Here’s a sample:  “… create an environment that empowers dedicated professionals at the most local levels to lead or create the schools that are capable of achieving…”    Now compare that with the following paragraph;  “we believe in the power of individuals who have dedicated their lives to education, in the innovative energy of our teachers…”

So what is it here?  Are they looking for dedicated professionals to lead or create schools capable of achieving, or do they believe in the power and innovative energy of our teachers?  Are they proposing a new paradigm or the status quo?

So far, we’re at the half way point in this dribble and still no outline of anything remotely looking like the fundamental reform of Arizona’s education system forever mentioned in the opening paragraphs.

After what sounds like schmoozing the institutional educational establishment with words like “dedicated, power and innovative”, they do a 180 with “… reforms that require teachers to have a deep understanding of their subjects. And experience in how to teach very different students”. Again, seemingly to contradict their previous accolades of Arizona’s teachers.

Hasn’t Arizona tinkered enough with the school systems?  Haven’t our schools become edutainment processing facilities and quasi-detention centers replete with fencing and zero tolerance?

Seriously, have you ever just watched the kids leaving their schools when the last bell rings out that their day of drudgery is over?  They just seem to plod home, void of any youthful exuberance – drones who have been “processed” for the day.  Likewise, look at the educators, you’ll see a look of tired shell shock and relief that the day is over.

John and Lisa’s final suggestion?  Pay the teachers more and “… we can expect the greatest innovative explosion in education in American history.”

What’s really going on here?  My take?  A wannabe governor is borrowing the name of a former State Superintendent of Public Instruction (an elected post) to appeal to frustrated parents who are worried the future of their children.

My father – a teacher of 42 years –  told me once, if a politician says ‘Its for the children’, whatever they’re selling, its gonna cost you money.  Take note, Arizona charter schools and private schools turn out a better student for less money.  We don’t need radical reform, we need teachers not educators and the parents to back them up.



  1. LiberalWatcher says

    Munger is a much better candidate for Governor than Brewer.

  2. ArizonaFirst says

    I would say that these views are basic conservative values. It is pretty much in line with the Goldwater Institute views on education as well. I read the piece and agree with it completely. Why wouldn’t we want the same accountability in our schools that we do for other professions. I am not sure what you do for a living but I am pretty sure Strict Accountability=Real Results. That’s how the real business world works, why can’t education be the same way?

  3. Wow! Harsh assessment. Lisa Keegan was a leader in the charter school movement and always a proponent of market-based solutions; why the big dis now? Yes she worked for “McSame” hoping to be Secretary of Education, but McCain never had any interest in the topic and outsourced it all to Keegan. So anyone that that has ever had any association with McCain is unacceptable to Arizona Republicans? You’re drawing a mighty tight circle, my friend.

  4. Bingo Henry says

    Dude – Are you paying attention? Yeah the first part is general principles (all good ones) but the teacher certification thing is huge. I build next-gen computer systems but can’t teach kids what they need to know to get a job. Duh! How many retirees in this state have a lot to offer but aren’t allowed because of the teachers unions? Arizona could be the first state that pays next to nothing for education because of all the free genius knowledge from retirees.

  5. Thank you bingo for drilling down into the specifics. Keegan is one of the smartest conservative education reformers in the country and the disrespect people are showing her is just plain weird!

  6. Veritas Vincit says

    Post #1: I may give you that one. There are shades of Jane D Hull that appear to be swirling around Jan Brewer… and Munger has the hunger.

    As of 2004 students entering college with the lowest SAT scores and HS gpa’s applied to the “School of Education”. This fact has been around for quite awhile. (There have been minor variations from time to time)

    Do you know how incredibly easy it is to obtain a degree in education?

    What does this suggest? That our teachers are indeed noble individuals on a calling from above? Perhaps some are. But I would propose that for many education is simply an easy career move with lavish time off and job security once tenure has been achieved.

    It is even worse in public universities.

    Having spent several years in high school classrooms, I suppose I was looking for more meat and less garnishment from these two individuals.

    My guess? Mr Munger wrote the article and Ms Graham-Keegan signed off on it.

  7. I had strict parent growing up, but they also showed me value in life.

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