Friday, February 20, 2015

That Was Fast. Who's Behind the Douglas-Ducey Robopoll?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Two people told me they took a robocall poll a few days ago. Apparently there were four questions. Two were a variation on the question, "Do you think the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction position should be elected or appointed?" The other two asked what the respondent thinks of Diane Douglas and Doug Ducey.

Well, that was fast. The poll is clearly a response to the fight over last week's firing and reinstatement of two Board of Education employees, which means it must have been created over the weekend. My understanding is, robopolls are cheap, quick and easy to put together, meaning they don't take much in the way of time, effort or deep pockets, so lots of people could be behind it. Logic tells me it's people in the Ducey camp. They would be most interested in testing the waters to see if they could make the Ed Supe a gubernatorial appointee, as the position is in many states, so they would never again have to face choices like, say, the anti-Common Core and loose cannon Douglas or the progressive, Democratic David Garcia.

So, is Ducey money behind the poll? Is it the Arizona Chamber of Commerce? The Lisa Graham Keegan/Craig Barrett coalition? The "shadow faction of charter school operators" Douglas wrote about, headed by Board of Ed president and founder of Challenge Charter School Greg Miller working in tandem with the Arizona Charter Schools Association? All of the above?

It would be very interesting to learn the answer.

Fun Facts About Challenge Charter School: Greg Miller, president of the Arizona Board of Education, is the CEO of Challenge Charter in Glendale. According to the school's 2012 tax form, he made $121,875 that year, as well as $26,956 in "Retirement and other deferred compensation." His wife, Pamela Miller, Executive Director and Vice President, made the same salary and deferred compensation. Their daughter, Wendy Miller, Principal and Secretary, made $99,167. The school spends about 20 percent of its budget on administration.
(Semi-interesting sub-note: Gene Glass of the National Education Policy Center and I often post about the same subject without knowing it, especially when it comes to Arizona issues. After I finished this Fun Facts note, I discovered Glass wrote about the Millers Monday: Education in Two Worlds: Arizona Has No Concept of a "Conflict of Interest.")

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