You are here
Arizona Capitol Times Morning Scoop on Higher Education
Guest Author: Ted Kraver, Ph. D.
Being an amateur reporter can be way too much fun! The Arizona Capital Times recently held their higher education panel including a free breakfast at Alexi’s. Their opening statements and comments to questions focused mostly on the future. Jim Small, Arizona News Service Editor kicked off the discussion.
Mark Brenner, Sr. VP, Apollo Education Group, opened with describing their global reach and how they were the first to go online and to use eText. Jeff Dial, Higher Education Chair in the Arizona House of Representatives, elaborated on their goal to have Arizona a leading state for citizens to live, work and raise families. Education is central to this goal and he studies its issues relentlessly. His priorities are Arizona supported research funding to support private sector partners and performance funding for community colleges and universities. Lisa Graham Keegan, Former Superintendent of Public Instruction and Education Reform Advocate, spoke of a culture that has used the tough years to focus on efficient means and expectations. We now have “Move On When Ready,” AP courses, many K-12 exemplar schools, programs and processes that are ready to enhance the effectiveness of all K-12 education. Mark Killian, Chair, Arizona Board of Regents, addressed our awesome public higher education system that is the only way to change the destiny of families in poverty. A mostly free education is in the constitution and state funding must be reestablished to meet the constitution’s requirement. We must turn back the tide of pricing higher education beyond the reach of most families. Arizona must also have informed and educated citizens and employers effective employees to succeed in the future. Brian Mueller, President/CEO Grand Canyon University, had been educating working adults that then left for out of state jobs. They have switched to on campus education with plans to grow from 25,000 to 50,000 students in four years. They focus on STEM and collaborate with local districts and Glendale Community College to graduate students in three years. He likes their green grass which facilitates mixing of high school and college students on campus.
The discussion continued the need for programs like the V12 in WWII where future officers achieved BS degrees in 2.5 years. Issues with credit transfer from private schools to public universities must also be solved. As K-12 improves, the costly remedial programs in colleges can be done away with. But Arizona companies are still unable to get enough STEM employees at all levels.
Is it the money? Real costs continue to increase but state support is less than in 1955. It was 1989 when Arizona last increased taxes. The concept of reducing school funding has not worked to improve education, our workforce, or the economy. Maybe it’s time to dump this failed concept and raise taxes and provide effective funding for schools.
A dedicated revenue source is needed, that does not need legislative approval each year. A proposal to “Just Raise Taxes” has, in the past, met with a mix of concerns from senior voters, businesses and legislators. But now “it may be time.” Wise long term financial planning and commitment is needed by state governance if Arizona is going thrive as the long term recession fades. A leading legislator from the audience had the last word. He said that a strategic plan is in the works but the details have not yet been disclosed.
HISTORY: Moving Map of
Probably the best capsule of the
history of our country ever put
together. It’s fascinating to watch
the evolution of growth from the 13
colonies up to the present, with
dates, wars, purchases, etc.
included. American history per this
short video clip.