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New Statewide Pro-Education Movement Launches In Arizona

Photo of Teacher and Students

Effort Kicks off with Arizona Students’ Perspectives about Education

PHOENIX (April 28, 2009) — Focusing on the future of education in our state, Expect More Arizona, a new nonpolitical public-private partnership is launching a multi-year effort to create a statewide movement of Arizonans who value education as Arizona’s top priority. The $2 million public awareness and engagement effort asks people to join the cause by going to As a prelude to the statewide mass media component of the campaign, which starts in early May, partners are hosting a series of “Open Microphone” events at five high schools across the state starting today in Maricopa County and concluding on May 6th in Yuma.

“This collaborative statewide effort is about every Arizonan taking an active role in strengthening education in our state,” said Paul J. Luna, President/CEO of Helios Education Foundation and Chairman of Expect More Arizona’s Oversight Board. “It is meant to challenge all of us—parents, students, educators, retirees, policymakers, employers, and concerned Arizonans—to expect more of ourselves, our students and each other when it comes to what we are putting into education. And in the end, it will benefit us all.”

Commenting from a business perspective, Tom Franz, President/CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership said, “Businesses within Arizona and across the country are faced with the challenge of having a sufficient pool of talented, knowledgeable and skilled workers to keep them competitive in today’s 21st global economy. Only by making education Arizona’s top priority can we ensure that tomorrow’s workforce is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and the workplace, which ultimately fuels a strong Arizona economy.”

Kent Scribner, Superintendent of Phoenix Union High School District comments, “Expect More Arizona creates a valuable platform for positive and proactive dialogue about the future of education in Arizona. And while we believe that excellence occurs in education across our state, there is still a lot of work to be done. We need every Arizonan to take a active role in improving and prioritizing education in our state.”

The high school events in Phoenix and Mesa at North High School and the East Valley Institute of Technology, respectively are the first in a series. Similar events will be held at Amphi High School, Tucson; Flagstaff High School, Flagstaff and Kofa High School, Yuma over the next ten days. An informal poll completed by more than 1,600 ninth through 12th grade students across Arizona, including the launch schools, provided valuable student-insights about education. The results will be the foundation of the discussions at the various launch sites. The responses reveal that parents continue to play an important role in a student’s education experience, while students believe graduating from high school is extremely important to their future and show some understanding that they will be competing with people globally upon graduation. Additional poll highlights as well as images from the events can be reviewed at

What makes this pro-education effort unique is its emphasis on the entire education continuum – Early Learning, K-12 and Postsecondary – and its multi-year, multi-faceted approach which includes advertising, online and social media, public relations and grassroots outreach strategies. Expect More Arizona intends to make education Arizona’s top priority by: educating Arizonans about the importance of the entire education continuum, spanning birth through career; increasing public awareness of the issues affecting education in Arizona and their impact on individuals, local communities and our state; and providing Arizonans with opportunities to be actively involved in strengthening education.

Expect More Arizona is governed by an Oversight Board including representatives from the Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona State University, First Things First, Helios Education Foundation, Northern Arizona University, Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona, University of Arizona and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. Each organization represented has committed $100,000 or more to the statewide effort.

For more information about Expect More Arizona, and to become involved, visit them at

Marilee Dal Pra, Program Director, Piper Charitable Trust and Expect More Arizona board member, discusses the importance of the entire education continuum on ABC 15’s Sonoran Living Live.

Click on the screen below to view the interview and read the accompanying article.