Education is the foundation for our future in so many ways. Sadly, Arizona has not been a leader in years past. Yet, how well our work force is educated greatly impacts the economic picture of business and industry for the future of our State.
Since becoming Superintendent of Public Instruction in January, I have focused the mission at the Arizona Department of Education on ensuring all students have access to a quality education that prepares them to be college- and career-ready.
According to a Gallup poll, only 50 percent of our students are engaged in the classroom. Unfortunately, they are not finding their education relevant. ADE is working with business, industry and higher education on developing education and career paths for our students that are relevant to real-world applications, tying the academic and theoretical to practical career paths. Through an aggressive STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiative, a P21 skills initiative, “move on when ready” implementation providing alternative diplomas, enhanced career and technical education programs, and an E-Cap initiative requiring students in middle schools to begin mapping their career objectives, we are confident students will begin thinking in terms of their future career goals and will develop the skills to accomplish them. Career- and college-ready context for all our students in their formative years is key to the successful development of a future skilled work force. We are focused on infusing Arizona’s education system with education relevance that, in turn, infuses our work force with professional and skilled labor.
In this issue, In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh interviews several outspoken Valley business people, scholars and economic leaders to discuss the status of education in Arizona and what business leaders are doing to support education. In other pages, John Hamm shares how building a culture of trust can empower a company and heighten employees’ job performance. In the Sector feature, Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell writes about her conversations with some of the Valley’s best-known restaurateurs who are taking our market and turning it into one of the country’s best culinary hot spots.
In Business Magazine introduces its educational series of subjects with the September issue. The “Education” features begin with Kathy Heasley’s Heart & Mind Branding series. Ms. Heasley, a marketing and communications professional, focuses business owners on what their passions bring to their business and presents five steps they can implement to consciously address improvements to their company’s success through these best practices. This six-part series is just the beginning. Upcoming issues of In Business Magazine will bring educational series on other components of business.
I am pleased to be the guest editor of the “Education” issue of In Business Magazine. Bringing the subject of education and how it will shape our economic future to the forefront will improve business for Arizona. Enjoy this issue.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
State of Arizona
Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal began his career in public service 26 years ago as a Chandler city councilman. He served 18 years in the state legislature, consistently either on or chairing education committees, and authored and passed more than 200 bills, many of them focused on education. Huppenthal holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Arizona State University.