Monday, January 5, 2015

A Final Political Kumbaya Moment (Before The Nastiness Begins)

Posted By on Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Savor this moment. Maybe clip a few of these quotes and hang them on your wall for future reference. Our new Governor Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Douglas have shown us their nonpartisan, sensitive sides in their final comments before taking office.

Here are a few lovely moments Diane Douglas gave us in an interview with Howard Fischer and a recent media release.

“We have to educate the whole child. We have to make sure that our children are not only ready to contribute to society but know how to be self-governing adults.” [Turn-of-the-twentieth-century progressive education philosopher John Dewey would beam with pride if he could hear those words from our conservative Ed Supe.]

"Funding is not the only factor in the success of education, but it is clear that Arizona schools are suffering due to years of frugal budgets and cutbacks." [Preach, Diane, Preach!]

"I will do everything in my power to assist them [the executive branch and the state Legislature] through this difficult process while advocating for the funding so desperately needed in our classrooms." [Keep preaching! Keep the faith!]

Douglas, 58, who grew up in New Jersey, acknowledged that in the 1950s and early 1960s there was a big emphasis in schools on patriotism. And she said she’s not proposing that sort of one-sided approach to teaching history and civics.

“But has the pendulum swung too far the other way?” she asked. “Have we gone from being too positive to being too negative?” [Acknowledging that our patriotism-heavy education was once "one-sided" and "too positive" is a first important step in acknowledging that we have to be more honest about our history.]

And some equally lovely moments from an op ed penned by Doug Ducey.

"Arizonans want us to come together, put aside politics and solve problems. You want us to do our jobs in way that reflects the best of our state. You want us to stop and listen — something that doesn't always come naturally to people in politics." [Meaning you'll listen with an open mind to all those Democratic state legislators, since they also have good ideas about what's best for our state. Right?]

"I've said I want to be governor for all — and I mean it. Whether you voted for me or not, I believe I have an obligation to represent the entire state and listen to all Arizonans." [Me too, Doug? You'll listen to me too? Be still my heart.]

"In every way I know, I plan to work as governor to make Arizona a more just, compassionate and welcoming place." [Compassionate conservatism. Sounds lovely. {Wait, where have I heard that phrase before?}]

"One state can't set everything right, but here in Arizona, we can set an example for the rest of the country in how those of us in elected office conduct ourselves and interact with each other and our constituents." [Arizona: that shining state on a saguaro-studded hill, setting a positive example for the nation. I. Can't. Wait.]

"We have to ensure that all Arizona students have access to an excellent education." [You might consult with Diane Douglas on that one, Doug, about how "Arizona schools are suffering due to years of frugal budgets and cutbacks." She's right on the money. Literally.]

I know, I know. Every one of those statements can be spun to mean the opposite of what I want it to mean. But a progressive can dream, can't he?

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