KINGMAN – Candidates are making their way across the state of Arizona talking to the people of this sunny state. David Schapira, running for Superintendent of Public Instruction, stopped in Kingman to talk about the #RedForEd movement, wrap-around services and overall the education crisis in Arizona.
Schapira started off the conversation with acknowledging the impact the #RedForEd movement had on the state.
“Sixty-five thousand of my dearest friends joined me to march on our state Capitol and to demand better for our students,” Schapira said.
He claimed the movement was “inspiring” and that for the first time in a long time there were lines wrapped around the Capitol of people trying to get into the committee hearings.
“Eighty percent of the schools closed around the state because we had had enough,” Schapira said.
Educational success requires attention for the needs of all students. Schapira touched on the Gates Foundation pilot programs where teacher evaluations are based on the students’ standardized test scores which is a not good way of improving student success.
He reiterated how the Gates Foundation pilot programs said you can put the best teacher on the planet in a classroom with low-income minority students but if other things, like having clean clothes, food or making sure they get to school every day, in those students’ lives don’t change then success will be hard to achieve.
“It doesn’t matter how good the teacher is in that classroom, you’re not going to make any substantial outcomes for that student,” Schapira said.
To make sure students have those wrap-around services, such as ways of getting to school, having food security, and having the tools to become successful resources in the community need to come together.
“The Department of Education and school districts should be working with their communities to make sure those resources exist,” Schapira said.
Schapira has a master’s degree in Education Leadership and a background of working in education as a high school teacher, administrator, university instructor, and a school board member. He has served in the Arizona House of Representatives, the state Senate, and as a Minority Leader of the Senate.
The event was hosted by the Mohave County Democrats of District one.