For decades, the number one policy issue that’s been top-of-mind for most Americans is education. This comes as no surprise as our nation’s north star for leadership is sustainability: mentoring and empowering the next generation of leaders. And lately,

Common Sense Institute Arizona has been delving into crucial issues revolving around education policy in the 2020 decade – especially after the ripple-effects of a global pandemic and subsequent political shifts in state legislatures across the nation. Please see our report School Facilities & The Accumulation of District Space Since 2007 for further reading.

Joining Host and Chairman Earl Wright on this episode to discuss whether our Southwest states, particularly Arizona, may be moving backwards as it relates to educational excellence is Lisa Graham Keegan, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors at the Common Sense Institute Arizona and Glenn Farley, CSI Arizona’s Director of Policy & Research. The conversation provides abundant data, insight, recommendations, and a deeper understanding of the realities of Arizona’s educational system.

Thank you for listening to Common Sense Digest. Please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcatcher. All of our podcasts can be found here.

Lisa is an unmatched expert in K-12 education policy and dedicated public servant. For over 17 years, she’s been Principal Partner at the Keegan Company, where she leads numerous projects on emerging innovations in American education and has developed a national reputation as a strong advocate for student-based education policies. Previously, in 2000 and 2008, she was education advisor to the John McCain Campaigns for President, and was interviewed in 2000 by President-Elect Bush for the job of US Secretary of Education.

And Lisa spent a decade from 1991 – 2001 serving Arizona communities as an elected official, first in the Arizona House of Representatives and then as state school superintendent. During her tenure, she championed clear and challenging academic standards and publicly transparent assessments, and fought successfully for the implementation of school choice, including Arizona’s landmark free open enrollment, charter school and tuition tax credit laws.

Glenn Farley is CSI Arizona’s Director of Policy & Research. For the past eight years he has worked in the Office of the Arizona Governor, most recently as Gov. Doug Ducey’s Chief Economist and a policy advisor. In that role he advised on issues of tax, fiscal, and regulatory policy, and was one of the Governor’s lead architects of his two major tax reforms – the 2018 tax overhaul that established the State’s first remote sellers sales tax and dedicated the proceeds to a major simplification and overhaul of the individual income tax, followed by the 2021 income tax omnibus which phased in a 2.50% flat tax (the lowest in the country).