Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas said on 4/16/15 (press release below) that she will launch a statewide public tour next week to hear directly from Arizona residents about their opinions and concerns on all K-12 education issues. The annual process includes 1) a statewide series of meetings to listen to the public; 2) recommendations from Department of Education staff based on comments grouped into categories such as standards, curriculum, instruction, general, etc.; and 3) a statewide visit to the same sites to follow up with the public on recommended actions.
“I am dedicated to continually improving the state of education in Arizona through conversations with the people it most directly affects—parents, students, teachers and administrators,” Douglas said. The Superintendent and Senate Education Chairman Kelli Ward will kick off the tour in Kingman, Ariz. on Thursday, April 23. Ward will act as Co-Chair for the meeting, which is being hosted by Mohave County School Superintendent Michael File. The public meeting will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Mohave County Administration building, 700 W. Beale St., Kingman.
Immediately upon being sworn into office, the Superintendent made it one of her top priorities to establish a process that allows local voices to be heard as important educational decisions are made, including the review of statewide standards. “It is paramount that Arizona not only has the highest standards possible, but that its standards belong to Arizona and are continually improved to best represent both student and local community needs,” said Superintendent Douglas. “This process allows us to hear every voice and set high expectations for every child.” The annual input from the public is likely to address many different topics, only one of which will be statewide standards. Those comments related to standards that are turned into draft recommendations will be presented to the State Board of Education (SBE). SBE will then open the standards for comment, and can calendar them and vote yes or no on the changes. Gov. Doug Ducey has asked the board to conduct a thorough review of Arizona’s current standards for English language arts and mathematics.
In addition to that effort, the Superintendent’s statewide “We Are Listening” tour will provide annual feedback from the public. More Tours 1-1-1 The attached process chart shows the many different inputs established by Superintendent Douglas, which include her tours, the Latino Education Advisory Committee, the African-American Education Advisory Committee, the Native American Education Advisory Committee, the normal review of portions of the standards that occurs annually within the Department of Education, and the process resulting from Gov. Ducey’s initiative. The “We Are Listening” tour will make a total of 14 stops around the state through the end of June. Members of the public also can submit their feedback via email at HearingEveryVoice@azed.gov, online at www.azed.gov/HearingEveryVoice, or via the @azedschools Twitter account using #HearingEveryVoice.