Correction: Ducey-Leadership Summit story

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — In a story May 14 about a leadership summit organized by Gov. Doug Ducey, The Associated Press misidentified the president of the American Enterprise Institute. He is Arthur Brooks, not Joel Klein. Also, Brooks is a self-described independent, not a Republican.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Gov. Doug Ducey lays groundwork for major education overhaul

Gov. Doug Ducey lays political groundwork for major overhaul of K-12 education


Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey laid the political groundwork Thursday for a major overhaul of the state's education system during a summit of business, education and political leaders from around the state.

The Republican governor's highly choreographed event at the University of Phoenix Stadium included a Ducey-led panel discussion with education leaders who oversaw school overhauls in New Orleans and New York City.

Ducey brought in former Louisiana schools chief Paul Pastorek and ex-New York City schools leader Joel Klein to talk about how they overhauled schools. Their thoughts mainly echoed what Ducey has laid out as his vision: more money in classrooms, funding following children and replicating excellent schools in other areas by using vacant school buildings.

"So much money in education goes to bureaucracy that's utterly useless," Klein told the crowd that Ducey called to Glendale. "The money belongs to the child — whether that child goes to a district school or a charter school, the money goes with the child."

Pastorek explained how he went into New Orleans and created open enrollment for parents, focused on letting local schools make decisions on what to do with scarce money. That led to a turnaround that began with 67 percent of city schools getting failing grades and ended with just 7 percent failing.

"When you empower them, when you allow the principal to make important decisions around money, they bring the right resources to bear because they know what's needed in the classroom," Pastorek said. "People at the central office and people at the state don't know."

Ducey then turned to the crowd and asked if they saw the beginning of a legislative reform agenda.

"I've gotten to know both of these gentlemen and really this is no different than the conversation we had when Joel came up to (the governor's office,) in terms of a briefing of what our educations system can look like," Ducey said. "I found it so hopeful and optimistic and that it can be done. It just takes a partnership with the business community and our legislative leaders to roll it out."

The event — highly touted by the governor's office — drew state government department heads and dozens of their staffers, and well as members of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, lawmakers and educators.

Although Ducey said the event wasn't political, two other speakers were well-known conservatives, including Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and a self-described independent, and Republican communications consultant Frank Luntz. Their talks were GOP-themed.

Ducey led off the event by saying he wanted to improve the image of Arizona and gave a sort-of pep talk for the state, which he acknowledged has earned a negative reputation around the country that returned here and permeated the social conscious.

"I believe that too many have fallen into a doom-and-gloom cycle where everything is wrong, where the cynic is winning, telling others that nothing is right," Ducey said. "I say it's time we shed an inferiority complex inside this state.

"I'd ask you to avoid the mindless negativity that permeates so much of our public discussion and debate these days," Ducey said.

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