Saturday, April 4, 2015

Regent's advice on rebuilding education to make AZ a future-oriented, competitive state

Here is an excellent op-ed in the Daily Star from Rick Myers, "a current member and former chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents, ... CEO of Tempronics and a retired IBM vice president of research and development. Contact him at Rick.Myers@azregents.edu". Snippets follow.

We live in a competitive world.

Other states and countries are aggressively working to create a better standard of living for their people. We in Arizona need to wake up to the fact that we are doing a lot more talking than we are competing.

We need to get beyond the rhetoric that we have a state budget that reflects the values of Arizona and that we must first be fiscally responsible. We all want a balanced budget, but where is the regret about what had to be cut to achieve it, and where is the plan to get our state back on track?

Our economy isn’t keeping up with other states’, and we have a workforce that doesn’t have the education to compete for the higher-paying jobs that drive a stronger economy and better quality of life for everyone.

Our "values-based" state budget spends a billion dollars on the private prisons and about $600 million on our state’s students at our public universities. I don’t believe these are the values of the people of Arizona. They certainly aren’t the values of people who truly want to compete in today’s world.

Our universities are the strongest tool our state has to create the future we desire. They help individuals realize their personal potential through education, and they support the innovative ideas that fuel new companies and jobs in our state. States and cities with well-educated populations attract more business growth.

Not everyone needs a college education, but we need enough people with higher education in order to be competitive.

We need leadership to get there.

Thank you Mr. Myers!

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