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Summer 2012 Vol. 42, No. 3

Moving the Goalposts Arizona’s ESEA Waiver Changes Measures for Student Success

Arizona Education Facts Know the Score

Board Self-Evaluations Taking Leadership Teams to the Next Level

SUMMER 2012 VOL. 42, NO. 3

l Departments

l features


President’s Message

It’s Time to ‘Stand as One’

By Michael Hughes, ASBA President

12 A Look Back at the 2012 ASBA Summer Leadership Institute



15 Profile in Leadership

Effective School Reform Begins with School Boards

By Dr. Timothy Ogle, ASBA Executive Director



By Tracey Benson, ASBA Director of Communications

10 ASBA Calendar of Events 17  Leadership Matters Board Self-Evaluation:Focus on Continuous Improvement Can Take Boards from Good to Great By Karen Beckvar, ASBA Director of Leadership Development

Jesus Rubalcava, Gila Bend USD

22 Moving the Goalposts Arizona’s ESEA Waiver By Don Harris

24  Recent Poll Shows Americans More Negative than Positive about NCLB 28 Just the Facts: Arizona Education 32

ASBA Affiliate Members

26 Capitol View November 2012 General Election Overview By Janice Palmer, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations & Public Affairs

30 Education and the Law Four Common Questions about Board Member Conflicts of Interest By Chris Thomas, ASBA General Counsel and Director of Legal and Policy Services

Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 1

Arizona School Boards Association l Officers

President Michael Hughes President Elect Randy Schiller Treasurer Carolyn Calderon Secretary Jesus Rubalcava Immediate Past President Dee Navarro

l County Directors, Caucus Leadership and NSBA Representatives Apache Arnold Goodluck Cochise Jeffery Crandall Coconino Jerry Williams Gila Frankie Dalmolin Graham Dalene Griffin Greenlee Kimberly Lunt La Paz Rudy Parker Maricopa Bill Adams Maricopa Paul Roetto Mohave William Goodale Navajo Linda Yazzie Pima Jim Coulter Pima Elaine Hall Pinal Alicia Bristow Santa Cruz Harry Clapeck Yavapai Karen McClelland Yuma Sandrea Kerr Hispanic/Native American Indian Caucus Katrina Talkalai Black Caucus David Evans NSBA Pacific Region Director Cynthia Matus Morriss NSBA Hispanic Caucus Chair Mike DeLaO

l Staff

Executive Director Dr. Timothy Ogle Director of Administrative Services Ellen White Director of Communications Tracey Benson Director of Governmental Relations/Public Affairs Janice Palmer Director of Leadership Development Karen Beckvar Director of Legal and Policy Services/ General Counsel Chris Thomas Assistant Director of Policy Services Dr. Terry Rowles Education Policy Analyst Steve Highlen Technology and Information Specialist Michael Barcia Governmental Relations Analyst Geoff Esposito Policy Technician Renae Watson Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and Liaison to the Board of Directors Shirley Simpson Administrative Secretary Jolene Hale Administrative Secretary Sara Nilsson Administrative Secretary Elizabeth Sanchez Receptionist Kristi Johnson Publication Policy: Articles printed herein may be divergent in point of view and controversial in nature. The materials published in each issue represent the ideas or beliefs of those who write them, and not necessarily the views or policies of the Arizona School Boards Association. © 2012 by the Arizona School Boards Association. Address all correspondence to: ASBA Journal Editor 2100 N. Central Ave., Suite 200 Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone: 602-254-1100; 1-800-238-4701; Website: Annual subscription rate $24 Production and Design by S&L Printing & Mailing 1428 W. San Pedro • Gilbert, AZ 85233 • 480-497-8081

Arizona School B o a r d s A ss o c i at i o n Quality leadership and advocacy for children in public schools

Our Mission Promoting community volunteer governance of public education and continuous improvement of student success by providing leadership and assistance to public school governing boards.

Our Goals Provide model training and leadership emphasizing best practices in public school governance. Represent and advocate for the diverse interests of public school governing boards. Advocate the core beliefs and political agenda as adopted by the membership.

Our Core Beliefs ASBA believes… The basic life needs of children must be met for them to succeed. Meeting the unique educational needs of all students must be the foundation of our school systems. The governance of public schools must lie with locally elected and accountable school district governing boards. The accountability for student success is a shared responsibility of the students, parents, governing board, district staff and the community. Public education funding must be broad-based, stable and at a level that assures all students receive an education that enables them to be successful. State and federal mandates must be funded. Knowledgeable and professionally trained governing board members are fundamental for ensuring student success.

Learn more at

l PresidenT’S Message By Michael Hughes, ASBA President

It’s Time to ‘Stand as One’

However, these like-minded “teams” – public Play as many. Stand as one.” It’s the new rallying education leaders included - are only as good as the “players” cry for the Arizona Cardinals as they begin the 2012 they can train, motivate and engage. This means that we NFL season. But it could be a call to action for those all – whether our fields of play are along Arizona’s rims of us who work with diligence and passion to ensure that and canyons, on its desert f loor or somewhere in between Arizona students have their own championship seasons – must advocate with members of the broader community every year that they are in our schools. for the needs of our schools and students and for our vision As board members, we come to the table with differing of public education in Arizona. backgrounds and experience, knowledge and points of This election season, we have tremendous opportunities view. However, as ASBA Executive Director Dr. Tim Ogle to do so and to “stand as one” when it comes to public so clearly articulates in his Viewpoints column in this issue education. I encourage you to review (page 5), it will be our collective the propositions on the ballot related vision and unified leadership that to education and the records of those ultimately lead to student success. This means that we all candidates asking for your vote; then Nothing could be more in our – whether our fields of do not just your part, but also rally control than that. We can play as play are along Arizona’s your team. many, but we must stand as one. As it stands now, we’re working Just as vital is our agreement as rims and canyons, towards our vision against some individual communities and as a state on its desert floor or tough odds – eroding state funding to make excellent neighborhood for our public schools and the many public schools a top priority. This is somewhere in between challenges that come with the fact essential if Arizona is to “win” when – must advocate with that a deplorable number of our it comes to economic development, members of the broader children are living in poverty. Despite civic engagement and quality of these challenges we are making life. Without the resolve to make community for the progress. We’re boosting proficiency public education a priority, we’re needs of our schools in reading and math, increasing our on a collision course with a fiscal graduation rate and decreasing the and economic disaster, as reports and students and for dropout rate. But there is much more like the one from ASU’s Morrison our vision of public to be done (Take a look at pages 28 Institute on the impact of the Latino education in Arizona. and 29 for a concise but powerful educational attainment gap reveals overview of Arizona education by in alarming detail. (Those who the numbers, from our statewide attended ASBA’s Summer Leadership goals to academics and funding.) Institute in Flagstaff will know exactly what I’m talking As those who prize public education and view it as about.) the truest and most equitable pathway to progress and Researchers and public education leaders aren’t the prosperity, the onus is on us to do more. The goals for only ones who know this. Groups like Expect More education that we have set for ourselves as a state and the Arizona and the Arizona Ready Council, which include goals each of our individual boards have set for education significant representation from business and community in our communities require nothing short of our A game. leaders, are working to create collective will and action to Let’s take every opportunity at our disposal to deliver it! make sure that our students have the opportunities they need and deserve to build successful futures for themselves and, in doing so, our state. Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 3


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4 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012




By Dr. Timothy Ogle, ASBA Executive Director

Effective School Reform Begins with School Boards


hat works in school reform? We as a state and nation have answered the question of what does not work in school reform. We now have decades of investment in workarounds like school vouchers, expanding charter options beyond their capacity to fulfill the marketplace, and generating more and more laws, rules and policies for schools. So much energy has been expended on this topic it is no wonder people have such varied opinions. Our job as school leaders is to separate opinion from fact, political posturing from common sense, and self-serving editorializing from solid scientifically based research. For the casual observer of public education, it is easy to be swayed by the latest trends or social experiments. However, as policy leaders, our actions cannot continue to be inf luenced by this debate. School reform, while socially complex, is really quite simple. We know what makes up quality schools: strong leadership, dedicated teachers and involved parents. Perhaps at times we do not have the courage to admit this because not all of these factors exist in all public schools. However, research has proven time and again that when these factors do co-exist, “educational magic” occurs and our children and our communities benefit. The national charter experiment actually gives us healthy reinforcement of we know to be true in school reform. The excellent and innovative charter schools (and there are many) have virtually identical indicators of success as high-performing district-led neighborhood public schools. Not surprisingly It must be noted, however, that charters have a clear advantage but certainly in their ability to innovate profoundly, a outside of heavy policy and legal restrictions placed upon clear-cut our neighborhood schools. At relationship the end of the day, though, the between strong commonalities of great schools – whatever their management school district structure – can be traced to leadership and initiatives focusing on strong leadership, quality teaching and higher student learning, and involving parents achievement was in their child’s education.


Because of this, efforts aimed at changing outcomes in our neighborhood schools must begin with the governing board. Providing strong leadership is the board’s imperative. In turn, the board can establish quality teaching and learning and parent engagement as top priorities, set goals related to these priorities, monitor progress toward achieving these goals, and evaluate themselves for their effectiveness in leading this charge (see “Leadership Matters” on page 17 for more on board self-evaluations). Research confirms the board as the lynchpin of change. In 2009 a landmark study was published which received far too little attention in the public policy debate. This study published by Dr. Robert Marzano and Dr. Timothy Waters reinforces what we all believe to be true in our intuition about quality schools and school reform. Utilizing meta-analysis (a method to synthesize the results of many related studies) they looked at data related to school district leadership from 1970 to 2005. More than 3.4 million student achievement scores and 2,714 school districts were included in the final analysis. Not surprisingly but certainly profoundly, a clear-cut relationship between strong school district leadership and higher student achievement was discovered. The role of the board-superintendent team in school reform was cemented! Specific leadership behaviors for boards and superintendents to emulate to achieve this outcome include: 1. Ensuring collaborative goal setting for the district. 2. Establishing nonnegotiable goals for achievement and instruction. 3. Creating board alignment in support of these district goals. 4. Monitoring achievement and instructional goals. 5. Allocating resources to support the goals for achievement and instruction. Simply stated, when the board-superintendent team exhibited these specific behaviors, student achievement was found to be better. We can do this! School reform is technically simple but socially complex. Science has given us the roadmap for school reform and it is up to us to diagnosis, prescribe and implement the elements of quality schools into our districts, schools and classrooms. We must generate the political will to tell our story and to do our work. Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 5

Elections for nine ASBA County Director seats to be held at upcoming County Meetings Elections for ASBA County Directors, who serve on the ASBA Board of Directors, will be held this fall for the following counties: Cochise, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa (one of two seats), Mohave, Pima (one of two seats), Santa Cruz and Yavapai. The elections will be held at these respective ASBA County Meetings. (See page 10 for dates, times and locations of all 15 county meetings.) Those elected will serve two-year terms with the exception of the Cochise County director, who will serve a one-year term as a result of the mid-term appointment of that county’s currently serving director. County Directors are elected by a majority vote of delegates representing the ASBA member boards present at the county meeting. Those interested in running or nominating someone to run for an ASBA County Director position should complete and submit the nomination form available in the What’s New section of the ASBA website ( by noon on the Friday before the election/meeting date so that names can be printed on an official ballot. Forms should be emailed to or faxed to 602-254-1177, attn: Shirley Simpson. Nominees must be present at the meeting. Nominations may also be made from the f loor. For more information about running for ASBA County Director and serving on the ASBA Board of Directors, contact ASBA Executive Director Dr. Tim Ogle at or 602-254-1100.

News from the ASBA Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus The Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus (HNAIC) held a business meeting during the ASBA Summer Leadership Institute in July. At the meeting, Dr. Timothy Ogle, executive director of ASBA, recommended that the caucus provide the ASBA Governance Committee with suggested wording to the ASBA bylaws that would formalize the caucus’ relationship with the association. The bylaw change would require approval by ASBA member districts at the Annual ASBA Business Meeting, which will be held Dec. 13, 2012. New caucus leadership was announced. Alicia Bristow (Oracle ESD) was appointed to fill the position of HNAIC secretary and Jeff Crandall (Tombstone USD) was appointed to Region V director. Vacancies were reported in Region VI and VI. The HNAIC Executive Committee provided members with a recap of the events that took place through the year, including a successful May 2012 one-day conference, co-presented with the Black Caucus, and two fundraisers: the September 2011 School Board Recognition Night with the Diamondbacks event and a May 2012 golf tournament. The 2012 Diamondbacks fundraiser is scheduled for Sept. 14 and a fundraising golf tournament, to be held Dec. 12 at the Biltmore Golf Club in conjunction with the ASBA-ASA Annual Conference, is in its planning stages. Prizes and lunch are part of the fun at this four person scramble best ball event.

6 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

ASBA County Meeting schedule set; early bird session to be candidate workshop Each fall ASBA holds meetings for its members in all 15 Arizona counties. This year’s County Meetings begin Sept. 25 in Mohave County and round up on Oct. 25 in Coconino County. The meetings provide an opportunity for ASBA and its elected County Directors to share issues and solutions to local challenges with members of other boards in their areas. Board member training accomplishments are celebrated with awards. This year, an early-bird session will be held at 5 p.m. for school board candidates, with dinner, dialogue, program and awards beginning at 6 p.m. Elections for ASBA County Directors, who serve on the ASBA Board of Directors, are also held at County Meetings. This year elections will be held in nine counties. (See page 6 for details.) Registration for ASBA County Meetings is required and is now open online at Registration fees vary by county but are minimal and intended to cover the cost of the meal and use of the facility.

News from the ASBA Black Caucus At the July business meeting of the Black Caucus, held in conjunction with the ASBA Summer Leadership Institute, members reviewed bylaws and goals and discussed hosting another Spring Conference after experiencing success with the one-day event held in May 2012. In addition, the blog page was unveiled, as was a plan to update blog subscribers by email newsletter each month. The Black Caucus has also announced that it is partnering with Arizona PTA on a project to provide awareness and involvement for more people of color within their local schools through PTA. More than 20,000 adults and their children are involved in Arizona PTA.

Arizona board members honored with ASBA Cactus Pin for taking service to the next level Twenty-two Arizona school board members received recognition for service to ASBA and the National School Boards Association, and for participating in activities and events beyond their regular board service that promote the vision and mission of ASBA and the local governing board. Receiving Gold Cactus Pins were Carolyn Calderon (Palominas ESD), Jeffrey Crandall (Tombstone USD), Lillian Hritz (Tombstone USD), Dee Navarro (Prescott USD), Ann Ordway (Deer Valley USD), Rudy Parker (Parker USD), Jesus Rubalcava (Gila Bend USD), Evelyn Shapiro (Isaac ESD) and Rochelle Wells (Tempe ESD). Silver Cactus Pins were awarded to Melanie Beikman (Tempe ESD), Linda Blosser (Chevelon Butte ESD), Maureen Erickson (Prescott USD), Anne Greenberg (Paradise Valley USD), Sandrea Kerr (Mohawk Valley ESD), Paul Roetto (Saddle Mountain USD), Denise Standage (Higley USD) and Linda Yazzie (Holbrook USD). Cactus Pin certificates were awarded to Patricia Foy (Seligman USD), Maxine Hill (Agua Fria UHSD), Arnold Goodluck (Sanders USD), Richard Hopkins (Buckeye ESD) and Kathy Knecht (Peoria USD). Cactus Pin winners were recognized at the ASBA Summer Leadership Institute in July. Pin awards ref lect activities between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 7

ASBA welcomes two new staff members Mike Barcia

Geoff Esposito

Role at ASBA: As the Technology and Information Systems Specialist - a new position for ASBA – I will be working to improve and enhance the ASBA member experience by optimizing and enhancing the way we deliver our services and communications through technology.

Role at ASBA: As the Governmental Relations Analyst, I will help expand our advocacy role through activities like coalition building and grassroots trainings.

Technology and Information Systems Specialist

Professional Experience: My professional and edu­ cational experience includes educational media, web development, social media marketing and analytics. Prior to joining ASBA, I worked for Mesa Public Schools. Education: I’m a graduate of Arizona public schools – Mesa’s Red Mountain High School, specifically. I received my bachelor’s in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University in 2006, and am currently pursuing a Master of Advance Study in film and media at ASU. Birthplace: Mesa, Ariz.

Governmental Relations Analysis

Professional Experience: For three years I was selfemployed as a political consultant working on various statewide and local campaigns, including bonds and overrides. Immediately prior to joining ASBA I worked for a year with the American Lung Association in Massachusetts on a grant funded advocacy position. Education: I grew up attending Arizona public schools in Kyrene and Tempe Union and graduated from the University of Arizona (Bear Down!) in December 2009. Birthplace: Arizona, born and bred. Favorite Books: That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child! Instead I’ll just say that currently I am reading “Dry” by Augusten Burroughs and before that it was Chuck Klosterman’s “IV.”

Favorite Books: “Dune” by Frank Herbert, “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King, “Falling Angel” by William Hjortsberg and “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson.

Favorite Quote: “Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life” – John F. Kennedy.

Favorite Quote: “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

Little Know Fact about Me: My father spent my whole childhood convincing me that “Chevrolet” was named after a French general.

Little Know Fact about Me: As an undergraduate at ASU, I won an Emmy for a documentary that I coproduced, which focused on homeless teens in Phoenix. Why I Think Public Education Is Important: In order for a complex and sustainable society to maintain its dominance within the global arena, a solid and robust foundation must exist to support and foster educational growth among its citizens. It is, therefore, essential that an investment be made in our public education system and the children within it. Our legacy is entirely dependent on the success of future generations. 8 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

Why I Think Public Education Is Important: My mother is a teacher, and from a young age she instilled in me a deep love of learning. I truly believe that schools can transform a child’s entire life. If we are going to move forward as a state and make progress in our quality of life, we need to be fully committed to an excellent and equitable public schools system.

Three districts recognized by ASBA Safety Committee for outstanding records The ASBA Safety Committee and SCF Arizona have proudly recognized three Arizona school districts for their outstanding safety records. For more than two decades, ASBA Safety Awards have been given to recognize districts that have made strong commitments and taken an active role in reducing employee accidents and injuries. The 2012 winners of ASBA Safety Awards are: s Category 1: Premium less than $50,000 and a maximum loss ratio of less than 1 percent Fort Huachuca Accommodation School s#ATEGORY0REMIUMRANGEOF   ANDAMAXIMUMLOSSRATIOOFPERCENT Chino Valley USD s#ATEGORY0REMIUMGREATERTHAN ANDAMAXIMUMLOSSRATIOOFPERCENT Chinle USD The awards were presented to Chino Valley and Chinle at the ASBA Summer Leadership Institute in July. Representatives from Fort Huachuca were unable to attend the event.

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ASBA Calendar of Events September 2012


Columbus Day – ASBA Office Closed


ASBA Law Conference – Phoenix



Entry deadline for ASBA Barbara Robey Lifetime Achievement Award

ASBA Cochise County Workshop Tombstone USD


School Board Recognition Night with the Diamondbacks – Phoenix

ASBA Santa Cruz County Workshop Nogales USD


ASBA Board of Directors Meeting Phoenix

ASBA Pima County Workshop Altar Valley ESD


ASBA Mohave County Workshop Colorado River UHSD

ASBA Graham/Greenlee County Workshop – Thatcher USD


ASBA La Paz County Workshop Parker USD

ASBA Gila County Workshop Payson USD


ASBA Yuma County Workshop Yuma ESD

ASBA Apache County Workshop Window Rock USD


ASBA Navajo County Workshop Holbrook USD


ASBA Coconino County Workshop Flagstaff USD


Annual Awards Entry/Nomination Deadline

14 22 25 26 27

October 2012 1

Registration opens for ASBA-ASA Annual Conference and New Board Orientation


ASBA Maricopa County Workshop Scottsdale USD


ASBA Yavapai County Workshop Beaver Creek ESD


ASBA Pinal County Workshop Oracle ESD


November 2012 12

Veteran’s Day – ASBA Office Closed


Thanksgiving – ASBA Office Closed

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10 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

G il o KO l ne


55th ASBAœASA Annual Conference Dec. 12-14, 2012

Biltmore Conference Center 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix Registration opens online Oct. 1, 2012

Keynote Speakers Dr. Yong Zhao Internationally known scholar, author and speaker on the implications of globalization and technology on education.

Jim Bearden Leadership expert, author of “The Relentless Search for Better Ways” and speaker.

Plus... 40 BREAKOUT SESSIONS Sessions specially focused on the theme “Stronger Together” GOLDEN BELL AWARDS LUNCHEON ANNUAL AWARDS DINNER EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS / SERVICES EXHIBIT AREA View a complete agenda at beginning Oct. 1. MORE INFORMATION 602.254.1100 or 800.238.4701

Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 11

A Look Back at the

2012 Arizona School Boards Association

SUMMER LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE Dr. Tim Ogle, ASBA Executive Director, welcomes governing board members, superintendents and other Arizona education leaders.

ASBA President Michael Hughes congratulates Sandrea Kerr (Mohawk Valley ESD) on receiving a silver ASBA Cactus Pin Award.

Rosie Sekayumptewa, a governing board member from Holbrook USD, takes notes during a general session presentation.

Left to right, Dr. Suzie DePrez, Dr. Ildiko Laczko-Kerr and Dr. Joe O’Reilly discuss “Accountability and the Common Core” during the Saturday morning general session.

12 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

Yavapai County Superintendent of Schools Tim Carter talks about the role education service agencies can play in Common Core implementation during a Saturday leadership session.

Nearly 250 public school leaders gathered in Flagstaff from July 26-28 for ASBA’s Summer Leadership Institute. In addition to taking advantage of opportunities to refresh and refine their leadership skills, attendees learned more about timely education issues including 21st century learning, Arizona’s Common Core Standards and the impact of the achievement gap on Arizona’s economy.

Rochelle Wells, a governing board member from Tempe ESD, and a partner participate in an exercise focused on trust during keynote speaker Larry Johnson’s presentation.

Lillian Hritz, a governing board member from Tombstone USD, uses to participate and connect with other attendees during Dysart USD’s general session on “21st Century Learning.”

Dr. Terry Rowles, ASBA Assistant Director of Policy Services, discusses policy changes resulting from the 2012 legislative session during one of nine leadership sessions offered at the event.

Hal Borhauer (front), a governing board member from Peoria USD, participates in a general session. Mr. Borhauer also won the door prize awarded at the end of the conference.

Katrina Talkalai (San Carlos USD), chair of the Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus, and David Evans (Chandler USD), chair of the Black Caucus, lead a joint business meeting of the two caucuses, held in conjunction with the Summer Leadership Institute.

Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 13

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O PROFILE IN LEADERSHIP ASBA is pleased to feature recipients of the All-Arizona School Board Award in the Profile in Leadership column, which appears in every issue of the ASBA Journal.

Jesus Rubalcava GILA BEND USD

What is your hometown? Gila Bend, Ariz. How long have you been a board member? I am currently in my fourth year on the Gila Bend USD Governing Board and previously served two years on the Paloma ESD Governing Board. What books do you have at your bedside? “Invisible No More: Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino Men and Boys” by Pedro Noguera, Aa-Da Hurtado, Edward Fergus and “Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage” by Paulo Freire. What/who inspires you? Living in a single parent home, it was my mother who taught me some great values that I use and that continue to inspire me on a daily basis. My mother is a very hardworking individual. She will advise me to work extremely hard in order to achieve my goals. She always reminds me that nothing comes easy or free. “Hard work will speak for itself when trying to accomplish great things. The effort is what people will remember you for the most,” she tells me. What is your motto as a board member? I am also a teacher, so it is “Working with children IN the classroom… Advocating for them OUT of the classroom!” What is your pie-in-the-sky vision for education? It is my hope that every child attending public school will have the education and support to become a successful adult, and that there will always be willing individuals advocating and fighting to ensure that our students’ education is a top priority. What is your advice to new board members? Realize that the choices we make as board members today will affect our children and grandchildren tomorrow. If we are committed to handing down a safe, healthy and prosperous world to future generations, we need to make the right decisions in their education today.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a board member? My greatest accomplishment as a board member has been to have been elected to serve for reasons that I am passionate about. As an 18 year old, I had the pleasure of serving on the Paloma ESD Governing Board. I had just graduated from high school and didn’t have a clear direction or career to pursue, but I did have a clear desire. I was so grateful for the education I had received that I wanted to give back. I chose service a way of doing that, so I ran and got elected. I left my hometown of Gila Bend for eight years to pursue a career. I returned to Gila Bend and learned that our schools were not performing to the best of their ability. Leadership remained consistent and so did the practices. I chose to run for election because I wanted to be a part of making the changes that would ensure that each child had an opportunity to receive an adequate education. I am proud to say that the community supported my vision and elected me to serve. Along with the other board members, staff, students, and community, we have made significant changes in our school leadership in hopes of reaching our vision to “empower the future, one student at a time”. What is your primary pet peeve as a board member? Board members who refuse to get educated on key issues that pertain to public education. Because of the lack of education and board member development, these board members make poor decisions based on personal interest rather than on what is best for the students. What is the primary reason you like being an ASBA member? I like the opportunity to be able to grow as a board member through board member development. I enjoy being part of advocacy efforts, but most importantly I enjoy the ability to come together with school board members from all over the state to discuss important issues that are affecting their schools. What would you like your epitaph to say? His life was not a diminishing candle f lame. It was similar to a blazing torch which filled the room with brightness. His passion for education burned steadily and spread to future generations with benevolence. Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 15

16 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012


Karen Beckvar, ASBA Director of Leadership Development

Board Self-Evaluation: Focus on Continuous Improvement Can Take Boards from Good to Great


est-selling author Jim Collins said that “good is the enemy of great.” If you are satisfied with where you are, you have no incentive to improve. Governing boards should be looking to make their districts better year over year, and part of that process is making sure that the board itself is on a continuous improvement track. While individual board members do get “evaluated” every four years at the ballot box, the board must take responsibility for its collective actions and review their impact on the district on a regular basis. That can be accomplished through an annual board self-evaluation. The primary purpose of evaluations is to improve performance. Evaluations begin by asking the questions: s Where are we now? s Where would we like to be? s What have we been doing well? s What are our opportunities to perform at a higher level? Because of the Open Meeting Law, board selfevaluations must take place during a public meeting in open session. This may sound a bit intimidating, but if the board keeps the focus on improving the performance of the team the self-evaluation can be both a productive process and model continuous improvement for the rest of the district. The evaluation process includes an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made by the team, as well as clarify the team’s expectations for the next level of team performance. Many board teams use a checklist-type of evaluation instrument. As a start for the process, this is fine. However, the good board is unlikely to see the continuous improvement needed to make it a great board unless the team truly looks forward and thoughtfully considers what the board could do to assist the district in moving toward the vision of excellence it is trying to achieve. The successful board will go beyond the check list by setting goals for the board and developing an action plan to accomplish those goals.





A CT Elements of a Productive Board Evaluation Review the last year of agendas and minutes. Ask the following questions: s Is the board addressing the issues that will help move the district forward? s Is the time spent discussing issues appropriate for the value of the topic to the district? Complete the evaluation instrument. Discuss the process at a board meeting, including s Feedback on the agenda/minutes review. s Evaluation instrument results. s Progress toward last year’s goals. s Goals for the next year based on identified areas for improvement. If the current evaluation instrument is not providing the board with the guidance it needs to set goals for the next year, the instrument should be changed. Develop an Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 17

Keep the focus on

evaluation instrument that provides meaningful feedback to the board. It is often helpful to have someone from outside the district facilitate the self-evaluation discussion. This enables the board president to focus on the discussion rather than running the meeting. It also serves to keep any personality conf licts out of the discussion. (ASBA is available to facilitate and assist with the self-evaluation process.)

Plans of Action Many boards have great discussions and stop. Boards focused on continuous improvement take it to the next step and write an action plan for the board. Start by defining what improvements you would like to see. Then develop the “how” – the action plans – for making it a reality. Monitoring Progress Be sure to set check points along the way to see if your board is staying on track for accomplishing the goals. Put it on your board agenda to review the progress toward the goal (about half-way through the year between evaluations is a good time). If adequate progress is not being made, the board has time to adjust the strategy or decide whether the goal itself needs to be changed. When writing the board goals (or any goals for that matter), don’t forget to include “indicators of success” that will help the board assess whether it is meeting its goals.

continuous improvement to move your board from good to great. Keep these indicators specific and measurable. If individual board members have certain responsibilities for the goal, spell those out. Be realistic in the goal setting. Remember that board members often have full-time jobs in addition to their board service. Ensure that the goals will be attainable by all board members, and the board as a team. Relate the goals back to how they will support the superintendent in accomplishing the district goals if possible. The evaluation process is most constructive when used as part of the annual planning and review process for the district. This is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize progress that has been made (both for the district and for the board). It is also a time to ref lect on areas where improvements in board governance will help the district reach the next level of performance. Keep the focus on continuous improvement to move your board from good to great.

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602.631.2600 | Get a Quote 1.888.706.4070 | En español 602.631.2302 | 18 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

The Time to

Celebrate Your Success Is Now!

Arizona School Boards Association


You are invited to participate in the ASBA Annual Awards Program by submitting nominations or entries in the following categories: Board Awards, District Awards and Student Awards. Board Awards U The Lou Ella Kleinz Award of Excellence U The All-Arizona School Board Award U The Honor Roll Award

Student Awards U Jack Peterson Scholarship U Jack Peterson Student Photography Contest

District Award U The Golden Bell Award

Nominations/Entry Deadline: Friday, Oct. 26 All nomination/entry forms are at

Recognizing Excellence in People and Programs in Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Public Schools Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 19

ASBA Governance Team Training ASBA provides individualized training and professional development opportunities throughout the year that enhance the work of Arizona governing boards and encourage continued learning and improvement. Trainings are offered when and where you need them.

Take a look at just a few of the choices available: Team Transitions Today’s leadership style and system may not always work with tomorrow’s leadership team. Job requirements, job descriptions, expectations and communication processes may change - sometimes unexpectedly - depending on the individual personalities on the team. To ensure a successful transition, ASBA offers a “Leadership Team Transition Workshop.” Help the new team discuss how they will work together, improve communications and work for continuous improvement of the district and the team.

Roles And Responsibilities Effective teams rely on understanding the role of each team member. This workshop helps the team focus on the different roles that the superintendent and the board must play to ensure a well-run district.

Strategic Planning Facilitation Allow the superintendent and the board president to participate in the planning process fully by having an ASBA facilitator coordinate your strategic planning meeting with the board. From helping develop vision, mission and belief statements to writing the high-level goals that the board will track.

Board Self-Evaluation Facilitation Allow ASBA to help the board through an open meeting and positive process that celebrates the progress the board is making as a team while developing focused goals and action plans to keep the board team improving and supporting the goals of the district.

Board Retreat Facilitation Your team develops the agenda and ASBA helps you execute a productive board retreat, allowing the board president and superintendent to participate as a member of the team.

20 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

Superintendent Authority And Board Authority How does the board’s role differ from the superintendent’s role? Are the board and superintendent struggling when items need to come to the board for a vote, and when the superintendent has the authority to make a decision without board input? This workshop helps the team reach consensus on a variety of decision areas providing clarity to all members of the team and avoiding frustration in the future. Open Meeting Law ASBA can provide a general or specific review of Arizona’s Open Meeting Law. The workshop can be tailored to meet the district’s individual needs (for example – discuss proper use of executive sessions more thoroughly). Advocacy Training ASBA provides training on how to advocate for public schools with your community, including how to connect with your legislators and local leaders.

Working with you to build knowledgeable, equipped and inspired governance teams.

Learn more about training opportunities for ASBA member boards by calling ASBA at 602-254-1100 or 800-238-4701.


Moving What Arizona’s ESEA Waiver Means for Public Schools By Don Harris


here’s a new acronym in town. A waiver granted to Arizona in July by the U.S. Department of Education requires AMOs – annual measureable objectives – to replace AYP – annual yearly progress – as federal measures of student success. The switch from the AYP system, which most considered punitive and unrealistic, to the “ambitious but achievable” AMOs is being called good news for Arizona education and local control. The development and implementation of AMOs are just one of the changes that will result from the waiver from requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002, also known as No Child Left Behind. Some of the requirements were already being met in varying degrees by Arizona initiatives already under way. The four principles of the waiver require Arizona to: Develop and implement a system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support. Adopt and implement college- and career-ready standards and aligned assessments. Develop and implement a system of teacher and principal evaluations. Evaluate and revise, as necessary, the state Department of Education’s administrative requirements to reduce duplication and unnecessary burdens on local school districts and charter schools. To date, half of all states have applied for and received waivers, with 11 more waivers under consideration. According to Karla Phillips, special assistant to the director of policy and programs for the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona sought the waiver “to provide more f lexibility for Arizona’s education community to decide how best to meet the unique needs of its diverse student population, to move from a system of compliance to one of 22 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

the Goalposts support for schools, and to link with federal accountability requirements.” Jaime Molera, president of the State Board of Education and one of the early backers of ESEA/NCLB, said he supported Arizona’s ESEA waiver application. He laments that the “well-intentioned” federal program eventually became “a bureaucratic nightmare” for governing board members and others. “It really didn’t focus on whether kids were making real progress; bureaucratic measures diluted what I thought could have been a valuable system,” he said. According to ADE’s Phillips, student growth targets will be an essential element of the new system and are being designed to monitor academic progress by accounting for each student’s trajectory toward proficiency. One of the more troubling aspects of ESEA was a requirement that all students in all subgroups be academically proficient – “make AYP” - by 2014. It required 80 percent proficiency this year, and 90 percent by 2013. Many felt that goal was impossible. “No Child Left Behind was getting unworkable as we were getting closer to the 100 percent goal,” said Joe O’Reilly, Ph.D., executive director for student achievement support at Mesa Public Schools. While it still sets high expectations for academic outcomes, the waiver extends the deadline to 2020 and gives Arizona the f lexibility to develop its own measures in the form of AMOs. For this reason and others, O’Reilly said governing board members should welcome the waiver, generally, and AMOs, specifically. “First of all, it resets the clock,” O’Reilly said. “Every school and school district is back to ground zero. They will see their performance going forward. Schools will still be judged, but won’t be measured by how every subgroup performs, subgroups such as special education and English learners.” The waiver also requires that schools be categorized differently, with lower performing schools identified not as “underperforming” but as “priority” or “focus” schools that require differentiated types and levels of support. Higher performing schools will be identified as “reward” schools, and federal officials say they should receive additional money and have more f lexibility, though no details have come forth. The waiver also provides f lexibility in how federal funds may be used to provide support to meet changing

priorities. “They (low performing schools) don’t have to set aside large amounts of their Title 1 budget for tutoring and (providing) transportation to other schools, so they have more access to Title 1 money,” explained O’Reilly. In addition, punitive action is gone. Previously, a school that fell below AYP targets for two years, even for one subgroup, could have been forced to replace its principal or staff, or turn over operations to a charter or some other organization. “Labeling a school as a whole might have been fine, but if one subgroup repeatedly did not make it you would be subject to those sanctions,” O’Reilly said. According to Molera, the changes initiated by the waiver fit hand-in-glove with Arizona’s new A-F accountability system, which he described as also being focused on student growth, and school and district improvement. “The State Board adopted this model to be very clear that when schools or school districts are graded as A or B that it meant something, that is wasn’t an arbitrary grade, but it really did focus on where a child started and how much progress they’re making,” he said. Implementation of the provisions of the waiver also are hoped to move Arizona closer to the state’s vision for student achievement. “Our goal,” said Phillips, “is for all students to be on track for college- and career-readiness within three years, or by grade ten, and to define the achievement of this goal for every child as truly closing the achievement gap.”

A recent poll indicates Americans are more negative than positive about NCLB/ESEA. See page 24 for more. Don Harris is a Phoenix-based freelance writer and editor. He covers state education, school finance, legislative and policy issues for the ASBA Journal and other statewide publications. Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 23

Recent Poll Shows Americans More Negative than Positive about NCLB


CLB could be in its final year of being a significant inf luence in American public education, and the results of a recent Gallup poll indicate that most Americans won’t mind. The results of Gallup's annual Work and Education poll, conducted Aug. 9-12, 2012, reveal that Americans are ambivalent about No Child Left Behind/ESEA and that public perceptions have changed little over the past three years. More Americans continue to think NCLB has made education worse rather than better, and the prevailing belief is still that it hasn’t made much difference to public education at all. The findings of the new poll are generally consistent with a January 2011 Gallup poll that found most Americans would prefer to eliminate the law or keep it with major revisions, neither of which Congress has had the stomach for as the deadline for 100 proficiency in 2014 has approached.

U.S. Views on No Child Left Behind Act From what you may have heard or read, do you think the No Child Left Behind Act has generally made the education received by public school students in the United States – [better, has it not make much difference, (or has it made it) worse]?ˆ Not familiar Made Not made Made No at better much difference worse opinion all with act %





Aug 9-12, 2012






Aug 6-9, 2009






Aug 9-12, 2012





Aug 6-9, 2009





National adults

Familiar with NCLB Actˆ

ˆAsked of those whose answer to the prior question was that they are very, somewhat, or not too familiar with the No Child Left Behind act Source: Gallup The poll also found no meaningful differences among key sub-groups on their views of the laws, whether by party affiliation or whether respondents had a child in grades K-12 or not. The most significant differences were found in adults in households earning less than $30,000 a year. They were more likely than those in higher-income households to believe the law has made public education better. To read the full report, visit and search “NCLB.”

24 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012


Law Conference Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;âÂ&#x153;Â&#x2DC;>Ă&#x160;-VÂ&#x2026;Â&#x153;Â&#x153;Â?Ă&#x160; Â&#x153;>Ă&#x20AC;`Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x192;Â&#x153;VÂ&#x2C6;>Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pleased to welcome more than 650 public school leaders from throughout the state to one of ASBAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most anticipated events of the year. -iÂŤĂ&#x152;iÂ&#x201C;LiĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x2C6;Â&#x2021;n]Ă&#x160;Ă&#x201C;ä£Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x160;NĂ&#x160;7Ă&#x160;>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160; >Â&#x201C;iÂ?L>VÂ&#x17D;Ă&#x160;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;-VÂ&#x153;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;`>Â?i]Ă&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;âÂ&#x153;Â&#x2DC;>

Details at

Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 25


By Janice Palmer, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations & Public Affairs

November 2012 General Election Overview By now you have voted in the primaries, and played your part in narrowing the field of candidates for the 2012 general election. Though it still feels as though summer is upon us, in just one month early ballots for the general election will be begin arriving in mailboxes across Arizona. The outcomes of this election will have huge implications for education. We will be undertaking our first election under Arizona’s new legislative and Congressional district maps. Important ballot measures affecting K-12 education will be considered as well. Further, numerous school districts will be going out for bond and override elections to help fund local priorities. As you approach these decisions, there are three things you must know.

First, it is absolutely imperative that you exercise your right and responsibility to vote in state legislative and federal Congressional races. Your vote for state-level candidates will determine Arizona policy for the next two years. At the federal level your vote for House members will impact federal policy for the next two years; your vote for Senate seats will be felt for six years. Voting is one of the most powerful ways that you can affect outcomes for the state and nation, including education budget and policy. Second, several issue-oriented ballot items, if passed, will significantly impact education budget and policy in Arizona. Proposition 118 would amend the Arizona State Constitution to change the distribution formula for the State Land Trust Permanent Endowment Fund. The fund is comprised of proceeds from the sale of state trust lands and interest earned on those funds. Arizona public schools are the beneficiary of 87 percent of trust lands and, thus, the largest beneficiary of the endowment earnings. Prop. 118 changes the current distribution formula to 2.5 percent of the average monthly market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. This change would be effective fiscal years 2013 through 2021. As you know trust land earnings from the fund supplement the Prop. 301 sales tax dollars; thus, this distribution change ends at the same time the Prop. 301 sales tax sunsets. There were 26 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

16 ballot argument submitted in favor, including: Friends of the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA), Arizona Education Association (AEA), Treasurer Doug Ducey, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Governor Jan Brewer, Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, and members of the Board of Investment. There were no ballot arguments submitted in opposition. Proposition 204 would extend the one-cent sales tax in perpetuity, and direct 80 percent of those monies to public education. Specifically, Prop. 204 delineates a funding structure based on the first $1 billion raised by the one-cent sales tax. Consider this as a bucket being filled and then overf lowing to the next bucket and so on. The first $1 billion would be allocated as follows: > First $500 million – Equalization Assistance Fund that can be used for implementation of Arizona’s Common Core Standards, teacher and principal evaluation, school accountability and improvement programs, K-3 reading, and Move on When Ready; > Next $10 million – Education Learning and Accountability Fund that is to be used for the statewide data system; > Next $90 million – Education Accountability and Learning Fund that is to be administered by the Arizona Department of Education for performance pay outlined: 50 percent on academic progress performance, 25 percent on parental satisfaction performance, and 25 percent on student engagement performance; > Next $100 million – State Infrastructure Fund for specified use, including highways, streets, public transportation, and buildings; > Next $25 million – Children’s Health Insurance Fund, also known as KidsCare; > Next $100 million – Human Services Self-Sufficiency Fund to help non-profits that serve the basic needs of children, families and vulnerable adults; > Next $50 million – University Scholarship, Operations and Infrastructure Fund to augment current scholarship funds; > Next $125 million – Set aside to fund inf lationary increases to the K-12 formula; if monies remain they go back to the Equalization Assistance Fund.

After the first $1 billion, a new threshold is established of $549 million (i.e. $1.549 billion) which would proportionately f low as follows: > 33 percent to districts and charters that qualify for free and reduced lunch students (up to $100 million); > 22.5 percent to community colleges and Tribal secondary institutions (up to $65 million); > 9 percent to Joint Technical Education Districts (up to $29 million); > 1.5 percent to the Arizona Department of Education Adult Education (up to $5 million); > 22 percent to University Scholarship, Operations and Infrastructure Fund (up to $250 million), supplementing the above; > 11 percent to State Infrastructure Fund (up to $100 million), supplementing the above. Remaining monies are allocated as follows: 50 percent to Equalization Assistance; 30 percent for districts and charters that quality for free and reduced lunch students; 10 percent for the State Infrastructure Fund; 7.5 percent for the University Scholarship, Operations and Infrastructure Fund, and 2.5% community colleges and Indian Tribal secondary institutions.

According to the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, using data from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the formula increase for districts and charter schools will be an estimated $582 per student with an additional $87.4 million available in performance funding for those districts and charters that qualify. There were 61 ballot argument submitted in favor, including: Friends of ASBA, Arizona General Contractors Association, Arizona Students Association, Arizona Education Association, and the Arizona Parent Teacher Association (PTA). There were 19 ballot arguments submitted opposed, including: The Goldwater Institute, Homebuilders of Central Arizona, Cattlegrowers’ Association, League of Cities and Towns and the Arizona Farm Bureau.

The third thing you must know regarding the 2012 ballot is that the essential importance of local funding efforts is unchanged by statewide propositions. Local override and bond measures focus on very specific community needs and priorities not addressed by state-level initiatives like Prop. 118 and Prop. 204. They are complimentary to the statewide issues. November 6 is a big day for education. Be sure that your voice helps shape the results!

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Just the Facts

Arizona Education A Plan For Success Arizona has a long-term plan for improving student academic outcomes. They are based on recommendations from a statewide council of education and business leaders. Legislative and policy changes have been put into place to support these goals, and districts statewide are now implementing them. The Arizona Ready Council is tracking progress toward these goals, and monitoring programs aimed at supporting the goals to ensure that they are effective. By 2020, we expect to:

s ) NCREASETHEPERCENTAGEOFTHIRD GRADERS meeting state reading standards to 94 percent from 73 percent in 2010.

s 2 AISETHEHIGHSCHOOLGRADUATIONRATETO percent in 2020 from 75 percent in 2010.

s ) NCREASETHEPERCENTAGEOFEIGHT GRADERS achieving at or above “basic” on the National Assessment of Education Programs (NAEP) to 85 percent in 2020 from 67 percent in math and 68 percent in reading in 2010.

s $ OUBLETHENUMBEROFSTUDENTSRECEIVING baccalaureate degrees to 36,000 per year.

Academic Outcomes Overall student performance and academic growth increased from 2011 to 2012 as demonstrated by the upward trend in the A-F letter grades given to Arizona public schools by the Arizona Department of Education. In 2012, of 1,733 Arizona schools, 23 percent received an “A” grade, while 34 percent received a “B.” In comparing 2011 and 2012, of the 1,473 schools who received letter grades in both 2011 and 2012, there was an overall increase in both “A’s” and “B’s” from 2011 to 2012, and a decrease in “C’s” and D’s. Twenty-five percent of our schools increased their letter grades, and 62 percent maintained them.

Arizona students’ math and reading results on NAEP – sometimes called “The Nation’s Report Card” because it enables meaningful comparisons across states – show that academic gains are being made despite a significant decrease in state funding. The percentage of Arizona fourth-graders who scored “at or above basic” on the math assessment rose from 74 percent in 2007 to 77 percent in 2011. Eighth-graders made gains on the math assessment as well, with those “at or above basic” rising seven percentage points from 2007 to 2011, from 61 percent to 68 percent. Students at both grade levels demonstrated improvement on the reading assessment from 2007 to 2011. The percentage of fourth graders “at or above basic” increased two points (56 percent to 58 percent) and the percentage of eight graders jumped six points (from 65 percent to 71 percent). Source: Arizona’s student NAEP performance rank increased to 36 in 2011 from 45 in 2010. Arizona showed among the greatest gains in the nation among students eligible for free and reduced price lunch from 2003-2011 on the combined NAEP fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math exams.

Source: Source: American Legislative Exchange Council Report Card on American Education (2011)

28 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

Graduation & Dropout Rates

How Funds Are Spent

Arizona’s graduation rates are increasing and its dropout rates are decreasing.

Reduced funding is resulting in an increase in Arizona’s student-teacher ratio.

Arizona’s graduation rate has increased 24 percent over the past decade, rising at a rate three times faster than the national average. Boosts in Latino graduation rates are cited as a key reason for the increase.

Arizona’s student-teacher ratio was nearly 12 percent higher than the national average in 2009, and the number of students per teacher has increased since that time.

Arizona’s 10-year increase in graduation rate is the biggest in the country. Our 72 percent graduation rate is just below the national average of 73.3 percent. Source: Education Week, “Diploma Counts” (2012)

Funding Arizona’s funding for public education is eroding. Funding decreased 5 percent from 2009 to 2011. Source: Arizona Auditor General’s Report on FY11 Classroom Spending Arizona's spending per student is 48th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. In fiscal year 2010 Arizona spent $7,848 per pupil, with only Idaho and Utah spending less. The national average was $10,615 per student, or $2,767 more per student than Arizona. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Public Education Finances: 2010”

Source: Arizona Auditor General’s Report on FY11 Classroom Spending

Arizona school districts spend fewer dollars per student on administration than any other state. Arizona spending for general and school administration was less than any other state and was $354 or almost 50 percent less than the U.S. average. For fiscal year 2010 Arizona spent $420 per student for general and school administration. The U.S. average for general and school administration was $774 per student. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Public Education Finances: 2010”

Among Arizona’s greatest challenges is the fact that a higher percentage of our students live at or below the poverty level, requiring public schools to devote a larger percentage of available dollars to “student support,” such as counselors, speech pathologists, nurses and social workers. Arizona spends 2.3 percent more on student support than the national average. Source: Arizona Auditor General’s Report on FY11 Classroom Spending Arizona is ranked fifth-highest in the nation for children living in areas of concentrated poverty. The number of children living in high-poverty communities has increased by 25 percent over the last decade. Source: KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot (2012), Annie E. Casey Foundation

Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 29


By Chris Thomas, ASBA General Counsel and Director of Legal and Policy Services

Four Common Questions about Board Member Conflicts of Interest


he ability of government in a representative democracy to effectively govern is predicated on public trust in that government. This simple fact is the reason we have such laws as the Open Meeting Law, public records, procurement and conf lict of interest laws. We need the public to believe in us. And if we do anything that makes it appear that our actions are self-serving and not about serving their interest – something they elected us to do – we shake that belief making it harder to accomplish our ultimate objective of delivering the best possible educational experience for the students in our charge. For this edition of Education and the Law, I want to focus on common questions that I get on board member conf licts of interest because this is a law that directly relates to the public’s trust in the board.

A board member is living with a teacher. Isn’t this a conflict of interest? A. Arizona Revised Statutes section 15-421 D. states that “(N)o employee of a school district or the spouse of such employee may hold membership on a governing board of a school district by which such employee is employed.” The statute is specific to spouse. Furthermore, Arizona does not recognize common law marriage. So, this is not a statutory conf lict of interest. However, this is a perfect illustration of 1) how our statutes have not kept up with the times in terms of relationships that would give rise to obvious conf licts and 2) how statute is not the only factor that should guide us in analyzing these problems. This situation creates a strong appearance of a conf lict and it undermines the board member’s objectivity and, potentially, the public’s confidence that the board is focused first on the needs of the community and the students in its charge. I would strongly suggest that the board member not serve in this capacity for this reason – though I cannot say that the law compels this.

30 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

A board member is serving as a volunteer at the school. Isn’t this a conflict? A. In most instances, yes. The Arizona Attorney General opined in 1990 that board members cannot serve as volunteers in the district in which they serve regardless of lack of remuneration - under the common law doctrine of incompatibility of public offices. That doctrine simply states that a person cannot both be the policy maker and also be subject to those same policies – which a board member would do if also wearing the hat of an employee or non-paid volunteer. The analysis does not end there, however. Board members also are often parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents and family friends of students. In those capacities, I do not believe they shed their rights to volunteer; they maintain the rights that other similarly situated individuals who are not school board members have. I believe the school board member parent can volunteer as a parent without violating the prohibition on volunteering. However, the board member must understand that he or she completely must take off the “board member” hat in doing so. This means no observations of staff and no critiquing educational programs during those volunteer opportunities. Furthermore, if the board member cannot fully extricate their perspective as a board member from their school volunteering, the district administration can put a stop to the volunteering altogether. I am a board member whose business has a relationship with the district. Isn’t this a conflict? A. No. A board member can own a business or work for a business that has dealings with the school district. However, the board member must refrain from taking part in any specific decision – discussion and vote – “which concerns the appointment, employment or remuneration of such member or any person related to such member who is a spouse or a dependent.” (A.R.S. §15-323)

I am a board member that would like to apply for a job with the school district. I know I will need to resign my board position if I get the job, but are there other restrictions involved? A. Yes. It is a conf lict of interest for any member of the governing board to “vote on the employment of a person who is a member of the governing board or who is the spouse of a member of the governing board.” (A.R.S. §15-321) In other words, the entire board is conf licted on voting for the hiring of a governing board member to a staff position in the district. Therefore, the board member would need to resign his or her position on the board before the board considers the hire of the board member to a staff position in the district. This can be accomplished by the hiring committee or individual making a pending recommendation to the board for the board member to be hired at a particular board meeting and the board member resigning as a board member just before the hiring item is considered.

It’s Time! New laws and rules mean your policy manual may be out of date. Update your policies. Call ASBA at 602-254-1100 for details.

Funding Available!


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Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 31

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32 ASBA Journal I Summer 2012

D2 Data Driven Software Education software Matt Winebright 900 Jackson St., Ste. 380 Dallas, TX 75202 972-490-4044 Dairy Council of Arizona Patricia Johnson 2008 S. Hardy Drive Tempe, AZ 85282 480-966-8074 David Hunt Architecture Brian Robichaux 1747 E. Morten Ave,. Ste. 306 Phoenix AZ 85020 602-595-8200

EMC2 Group Architects Architects, planners Barbara Schuck 1635 N. Greenfield Rd., Ste. 144 Mesa, AZ 85205 480-830-3838 First Financial Group of America Benefit Plan Administration, Independent Insurance and Investment Services Mike O’Malley 2201 San Pedro Dr. NE, Bldg. 1, Ste. 2101 Albuquerque, NM 87110 800-365-3860

DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy John C. Richardson 2525 E. Broadway, Ste. 200 Tucson, AZ 85716 520-322-5000

G.V. Enterprises Project managers, procurement consulting Gordon Vasfaret 9102 W. Marshall Ave. Glendale, AZ 85305 623-872-1852

Diversified Human Resources Anita Grantham 3020 E. Camelback Rd. Ste. 213 Phoenix, AZ 85016 480-941-5588

Gust Rosenfeld Robert Haws 201 E.Washington, Ste. 800 Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-257-7422

DLR Group Karen Heck 6225 N. 24th St., Ste. 250 Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-381-8580 D.L. Withers Construction Dan Withers 3220 E. Harbour Drive Phoenix, AZ 85034 602-438-9500 eBOARDsolutions Web-based board governance software Mark Willis, Diane Sandifer 5120 Sugarloaf Parkway Lawrenceville, GA 30043 800-226-1856 Edupoint Educational Systems Richard Lessard 1955 S.Val Vista Dr., #210 Mesa, AZ 85204 480-833-2900

H2 Group Jeff Cook 17470 N. Pacesetter Way Scottsdale AZ 85255 480-743-7520 HACI Service Scott Wright 2108 W. Shangri-La Rd. Phoenix AZ 85029 602-944-1555 Hardison Downey Construction Kevin Vandermolen 6150 N. 16th St. Ste. A Phoenix AZ 85016 602-722-8857 HDA Architects LLC Pete Barker 459 N. Gilbert Rd., Ste. C-200 Gilbert, AZ 85234 480-539-8800 Heinfeld, Meech & Co. Gary Heinfeld 10120 N. Oracle Rd., #100 Tucson, AZ 85704 520-742-2611

Hufford, Horstman, Mongini, Parnell & Tucker C. Benson Hufford 120 N. Beaver St. Flagstaff, AZ 86001 928-226-0000 Immediaedu Daniel Leis 8321 E . Gelding Dr., Ste. 100 Scottsdale AZ 85260 480-483-3399 Kennedy Partners LLC Cary Ballou 5415 E. High St., Ste 410 Phoenix, AZ 85054 480-515-3765 Konica Minolta Business Solutions, USA Jay Douglas 4415 E. Cotton Center Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85040 602-531-2910 Kraus-Anderson Construction Company Steve Bellew 16419 N. 91st St., Ste. 100 Scottdale, AZ 85260 480-538-3120 LaSota & Peters Jack LaSota 722 East Osborn, Ste. 100 Phoenix, AZ 85014 602-248-2900 Lewis & Roca LLP Mary Ellen Simonson 40 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-262-5317 Mangum Wall Stoops & Warden Kellie Peterson P.O. Box 10 Flagstaff, AZ 86002 928-779-6951 Maricopa County Community College Dr. Rufus Glasper 2411 W. 14th St. Tempe AZ 85281

Arizona School Boards Association appreciates the support for public education shown by its organizational affiliate members.

Meritain Health Leanne Appledorn 18444 N. 25th Ave. Ste., 410 Phoenix, AZ 85023 602-789-1170 Miller, LaSota & Peters Jack LaSota 722 E. Osborn Road #100 Phoenix, AZ 85014 602-248-2900 M.L. Riddle Painting Inc. Mike Riddle 5922 N. Black Canyon Hwy. Phoenix, AZ 85017 602-277-3461 Mohave Educational Services Co-op Deborah Sandoval 625 E. Beale St. Kingman, AZ 86401 928-753-6945 NTD Architecture Scott Beck 2800 N. 44th St., Ste. 500 Phoenix, AZ 85008 602-956-8844 The O’Malley Group Facilities, project, construction management Tim O’Malley, Sharon O’Malley 80 W. State Ave., Ste. 300 Phoenix, AZ 85021 602-906-1905

PracticeMax Inc. Medicaid billing for special education services Chuck Engelmann 9382 E. Bahia Dr., Ste. B202 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 480-421-9700 Professional Group Public Consulting, Inc. Caroline Brackley P.O. Box 30850 Mesa, AZ 85275 480-699-4458

SDB Lisa Bentley 14700 N. Frank Lloyd Wright #157 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 480-298-9596 Smartschoolsplus, Inc. Phased retirement services Sandra McClelland P.O. Box 11618 Tempe, AZ 85284 480-839-8747

Sodexo Shane Jacobs 9330 E. Onza Ave. Pueblo Mechanical & Controls Mesa, AZ 85212 Design, build HVAC specialist 480-313-8804 Steve Barry 6771 E. Outlook Dr. SPS + Architects Tucson, AZ 85756 Herb Schneider 520-545-1044 8681 E.Via De Negocio Scottsdale, AZ 85258-3330 480-991-0800 RBC Capital Markets John Snider Stantec 2398 E. Camelback Rd., Annette Zacherson Ste. 700 8211 S. 48th St. Phoenix, AZ 85016 Phoenix AZ 85044 602-381-5361 602-707-4778 Regional Pavement Maintenance Steve Leone P2435 S. 6th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85003 480-963-3416

The Orcutt/Winslow Partnership Paul Winslow 3003 N. Central Ave., 16th Fl. Phoenix, AZ 85012 602-257-1764

Rodel Charitable Foundation Carol Peck 6720 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 380 Scottsdale, AZ 85253 480-367-2920

Piper Jaffray & Co. William C. Davis 2525 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 925 Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-808-5428

SCF Arizona Workers’ compensation insurance Tod Dennis 3030 N.Third St. Phoenix, AZ 85012 602-631-2000

Stone & Youngberg Financial services Bryan Lundberg 2555 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 280 Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-794-4000 Strategic Technology Communications Deborah Long 13828 N. 41st. Place Phoenix AZ 85032 480-281-6400 Summit Food Service Dave Brewer 2703 Broadbent Pkwy. NE, Ste. F Albuquerque, N.M. 87107 505-341-0508

Sunland Asphalt Asphalt, concrete, sport courts, tracks, turf and bleachers John McCormack 775 W. Elwood St. Phoenix, AZ 85041 602-323-2800 TCPN – The Cooperative Purchasing Network Gary Wells 2100 N. Central Ave. #220 Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-405-9402 Technology Coordinators Utilities and building renewal projects Ed Schaffer 2116 W. Del Campo Circle Mesa, AZ 85202 888-474-5509 Thunderbird Mountain Facilities Facilities performance services David Johnson P.O. Box 10130 Glendale, AZ 85318 623-825-1730 Traaen & Associates, LLC Human resources management, training and organizational development Teri J. Traaen, Ed.D., DPA 4831 E. Calle Tuberia Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-510-3989 Trane Dave Palty 850 W. Southern Ave. Tempe, AZ 85282 602-258-9600

The Trust Jane Schemers 333 E. Osborn Road #300 Phoenix, AZ 85012 602-222-2110 Udall Shumway & Lyons PLC Denise Lowell-Britt 1138 N. Alma School Rd. #101 Mesa, AZ 85201 480-461-5300 Valic (formerly AIG Retirement) Group retirement plans, individual financial services Sandra Jackson 11201 N.Tatum Blvd., Ste. 100 Phoenix, AZ 85028 602-674-2614 Valley Schools Mgmt. Group Patrick Dittman P.O. Box 41760 Phoenix AZ 85024 623-594-4370 Wedbush Morgan Securities (PHS&G) Financial advisor, underwriter, investment banker Jim Stricklin 3200 W. Camelback Rd, Ste. 290 Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-952-6800 Wholesale Floors LLC Dan McShane 8855 N. Black Canyon Hwy. Phoenix, AZ 85021 602-741-4552 Kevin Daily 1518 W. Fort Lowell Rd. Tucson AZ 85705 520-262-1726

Summer 2012 I ASBA Journal 33


Arizona School Boards Association 2100 North Central Avenue Suite 200 Phoenix, Arizona 85004

$6.00 24607 © S&L Printing 2012


New Board Member

Wednesday December 12, 2012


Arizona Biltmore 2400 East Missouri Avenue Phoenix, Arizona


Online Registration Opens Oct. 1 You may register for the New Board Member Orientation online at the ASBA website beginning Oct.1. Go to There will be a link on the home page for the New Board Member Orientation registration. Should you require assistance with the registration process, please call the ASBA office at 602.254.1100.

The Purpose of the New Board Member Orientation Is: To provide new governing board members and superintendents with an accurate look at school governance including roles and responsibilities. To help new board members understand the legal and ethical responsibilities of the office. To provide an overview of Arizona school finance and budgeting. To create opportunities for new board members to ask questions and develop professional relationships with other board members, superintendents and ASBA staff.

Summer 2012 ASBA Journal