Superintendent Tom Horne discusses his time in office
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne (R) discusses his first 100 days in office including the ESA voucher program, Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other topics.
Since the last time Horne was in this office, “the situation is much more dire in terms of students learning less and lower test scores, and that’s the total focus of the department now,” Horne said.
The biggest reason Horne stepped down from the attorney general office to go back to superintendent is because he believes the biggest problem now is in the schools, which is what he wants to work on.
“We’ve got all 600 people focused on one goal and that is that the students learn more. And anybody who was doing anything that doesn’t ultimately lead to that goal changes what they’re doing,” Horne said.
How Does English Immersion Help Students Learn?
Horne has recently called for a lower criteria to pass the English proficiency test, which follows a voter passed initiative that calls for English immersion in classrooms.
“The english immersion teaches kids English so that then they can function in the regular classroom, do well academically and do well in life. Under bilingual education, only 4% of kids were becoming proficient. It was a complete failure,” Horne said.
$50 Million Cut for All-Day Kindergarten
Governor Hobbs recently cut $50 million dollars that former Gov. Doug Ducey had set aside for voucher expansion to cover all-day kindergarten for private schools, and Horne disagrees with this decision.
“A lot of students learned to read in kindergarten because they had it all day, which is much harder when you only have a half day,” Horne said.
All-day kindergarten was put on hold in 2008 because of the recession.
“We need it back because it’s the best for student education to have all-day kindergarten. To take away $50 million that has kids in kindergarten all day so they can learn to read is anti-educational,” Horne said.