Category Archives: Charter Schools

With AZ Ranked Badly by Many Measures, Democrats Can Beat Governor Ducey

Kelly Fryer, David Garcia and Steve Farley are Democrats running for Governor in Arizona.

Any of the three Democratic candidates — Kelly Fryer, David Garcia and Steve Farley — can beat Doug Ducey in the race for governor.

Most people familiar with moral fairy tales are well versed with the Three Little Pigs fable. In it, the wolf is able to blow down two of the pigs’ houses because they are made of either straw or sticks but is unable to wreck the third one because it is made of bricks.

Apply this tale to conditions in Arizona after three and a half years of Doug Ducey and people will find that the foundations of his house are built on straw and sticks rather than bricks. It would only take a strong problem-solving progressive Democrat one puff to blow this house down and build a new foundation that will better address Arizona’s needs.

Doug Ducey’s Arizona

In Doug Ducey’s Arizona, the state ranks:

  • 33rd overall in the list of best-managed states, according to USA Today. In the Southwest region, only New Mexico ranked worse.
  • 39th overall, according to U.S. News and World report, as the best state in the country. Within that ranking, Arizona received sub-rankings in several areas. These include being ranked:
      • 43rd in Education
      • 24th in Health Care
      • 45th in Providing Opportunity
      • 38th in Crimes and Corrections
      • 34th in Fiscal Stability
      • 39th in Quality of Life
      • 41st in Safety on a separate report.

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AZ’s Worst Legislator: Mark Finchem is Bad for Schools, Women, and Veterans

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Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) wants to sell the Grand Canyon to pay the state’s debt. That’s not the only bad idea he’s come up with since representing Oro Valley and Marana in Legislative District 11 since 2015. He injects … Continue reading

Retired Air Force Colonel Hollace Lyon Offers a Consensus-Building Vision as a State Representative In LD11

Do you think anyone regardless of credentials can teach special education children?
❌ Do you think taxpayer money should be used to help upper-income earners apply for tax credits to send their children to private religious schools?
❌ Do you think it is okay for the state to tell cities and towns the voices of their residents do not matter when they decide by a 90 percent margin to require the names of campaign donors to be publicized?
❌ Do you think people should be charged with a felony if they help senior citizens who cannot walk to their mailboxes to mail in their ballots?
❌ Do you think the process of getting citizen-sponsored initiatives on the ballot should be made harder?
❌ Do you think it is okay for people to carry concealed weapons near or on school and college campuses?
❌ Do you think people can buy weapons without a background check?
❌ Do you think tax credits for the coal industry are the best long-term energy investment strategies for the state?
❌ Do you think it is anyone’s business why a woman exercises her right to choose?
❌ Do you think there were once I.S.I.S. training camps in the northern Mexico deserts?

If you answered no to most or all of the questions above, Arizona LD 11 State Representative Mark Finchem may not be the choice voters should be making this November because he subscribes to all the views listed above.

There is, however, another candidate that voters in LD 11 may should vote for:  Colonel Hollace Lyon, who is running on a platform consensus-building and fiscal responsibility that emphasizes, “Investing in Our Future, Protecting and Preserving our Communities, and Securing our Liberties.”

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AZ Senate Candidate Ralph Atchue Advocates for Families and Small Businesses of LD 11

Ralph Atchue sees himself as an open-minded problem solver

Ralph Atchue sees himself as an open-minded problem solver

A former Air Force veteran, union steward, and postmaster from the Chicago area, LD 11 State Senate Clean Elections Candidate Ralph Atchue has launched a grassroots campaign pledging to be a consensus builder.

Atchue advocates a robust forward-looking program that includes investments in public education, comprehensive tax reform, green energy, and transportation innovations like a high-speed rail line from Tucson to Phoenix and later Las Vegas.

Gaining perspective on the competing positions from both labor as a union steward and management as a postmaster general, Atchue sees himself (unlike his opponent for the State Senate, Vince Leach) as a problem solver who can forge inclusive consensus among all stakeholders by bringing them together, discussing the issues, and arriving at compromise solutions that will be agreeable to all parties.

By prioritizing progress, individuals, families, and small businesses, Atchue believes that the residents of LD 11 will be better served that way rather than emphasizing the reactionary and obstructionist interests of the Dark Money groups that Leach subscribes to. (See AZ’s Worst Legislator: Vince Leach, not a Servant of the People in LD 11)

Seeing himself as an open-minded problem solver rather than being tied to any ideological program, Atchue’s campaign looks to attract all parties: Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who want common sense solutions that provide for the greater long-term good of the district. Independents and Republicans have joined Democrats in volunteering to help his campaign as they strive to knock on 2,000 doors a month to bring the candidates inclusive message.

Atchue’s positions on the issues are as follows: Continue reading

Evolution, Climate Change, and The Big Bang Theory to be Eliminated From Arizona K-12

Superintendent Diane Douglas

Superintendent Diane Douglas

Later this year, the Arizona State Board of Education will consider adopting new K-12 standards in both Science and History/Social Studies.

The consideration of standards for these core subjects has nearly always met increased scrutiny and controversial consideration from segments of the population with different perspectives because these disciplines touch on topics that can potentially challenge a person’s or group’s belief system.

This year is no exception as the new proposed Arizona K-12 Science Standards have invited negative reactions from members of the mainstream education and science community because of the terms and concepts it has attempted to strike away and the closed-door process Superintendent Diane Douglas’s unknown internal reviewers adopted after being presented with the original draft version of the standards.

Forbidden terms, reworded behind closed doors.

Evolution is the most prominent term altered in the proposed new Arizona K-12 Science Standards. Stricken mostly wherever it is mentioned and redefined as the Theory of Evolution, the word is not even included among the many key terms the reviewers added. Several standards and terms pertaining to the process do remain in a more openly worded form. (Changes in green writing can be found on pages 4, 20, 27, 30, 32, 42, 44, 46, 64, 69, and 72 of the Proposed Science Standards)

The term Climate Change is nowhere to be found. There is a sentence that includes the phrase change of climate and there are standards that allude to it and some concepts/terms. However, discussion of alternative energy options, depending on the grade level is nonexistent, stricken, or reworded. (Changes in green writing can be found on pages 21, 25, 40, and 60 of the Proposed Science Standards)

The Big Bang Theory: Stricken entirely and the more ambiguous consideration of all theories of the universe has been substituted in a probable attempt to appeal to the proponents of Intelligent Design. (Page 62 of the Proposed Science Standards)

One saving grace in these standards is at least we have progressed since the time of the Scopes Trial that the geological ages of the planet and continental drift are included and do not seem to be in question.

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Fully Funding Education is the Top Issue as LD 18 Democrats look to take both State Representative Seats in 2018

State Representative Mitzi Epstein

State Representative Mitzi Epstein

Education, Education, Education. That is the top issue for all three candidates competing for the two Representative seats for LD 18 as they vie to continue the trajectory of making this district increasingly blue in this year’s election.

As reported in a previous overview of LD 18, it is a district that includes Ahwatukee-Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, and Mesa. Socioeconomically, it is a mostly upper-middle-class district. It is where the main campus of Mesa Community College is located as well as technology powerhouses GoDaddy and Intel.

Jennifer Jermaine

Until recently, the district has predominately elected Republican candidates for its local seats. Democrats made their first electoral gains in the district this decade with victories for State Senator Sean Bowie and State Representative Denise “Mitzi” Epstein in 2016.

The party hopes to continue this trend by re-electing Bowie and Epstein to their current positions and electing either Jennifer Jermaine or LaDawn Stuben who will run against Republican State Representative incumbent Jill Norgaard.
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