Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

November 13, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

Arizona Asian-American Report

  |   Video
  • A report on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in Arizona is being released for the first time. Learn about Arizona's Asian-American and Pacific Islander population from Dr. Karen Leong. The report is being issued by the Arizona State University Asian Pacific American Studies program and the ASU Public Affairs Office.
Guests:
  • Rudy Espino - Policital Science professor, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Karen Leong - Associate professor, Women and Gender Studies and former Director of the A.S.U. Asian Pacific American studies, Arizona State University
  • Sarah Baird - Arizona’s Teacher of the Year


View Transcript
Ted Simons:
>> Tonight on horizon, president-elect Barack Obama is filling the ranks of his administration and A.S.U. political science professor will discuss that. There's a new report out on the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in our state. Meet Arizona's new teacher of the year. That's next on horizon.

Announcer:
>> Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends after eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>> Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on horizon. I'm Ted Simons. In the news tonight the stock market roller coaster continues with the market gaining 553 points today, closing at 8835. The market was responding to the upcoming meeting in Washington among global leaders with hope that there could be plans to help with global economic problems. Speaking of the economy, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano testified today in Washington, saying that a second stimulus plan is needed. The governor would like to see the money go to Medicaid and infrastructure projects already planned and ready to be built. The governor says investing in infrastructure would help create jobs.

Ted Simons:
>> And a big astronomical discovery today. Astronomers at the Lowell observatory in flagstaff captured images of three planets circling a star outside of the solar system. The star is about 128 light years away. The planets are several times larger than Jupiter. Scientists hope to use the images to study the chemical composition of the planets.

Ted Simons:
>>> President-elect Barack Obama continues to work on his transition to the white house, reaching deep into President Clinton's former staff for talent. And among those working on his transition team, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. Here to talk about the transition to power is Arizona state university political science professor Rudy Espino. Thank you so much for joining us again on horizon.

Rudy Espino:
>> Thank you for having me.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about this transition now. What do you see happening now between what Obama wants to do and what he can get done?

Rudy Espino:
>> Well, the key thing that he has to signal to the voters is that he's bringing change towards -- he is concerned about the economy and that he's serious about that with the picks that he's making. And the signals that he's sending right now with some of the staff that he's already picking from the Clinton cabinet are indicating that he is moving in that directions, that the economy is on his mind and that he's going to do something about that.

Ted Simons:
>> will he cross party lines, do you think? Is there room for a Chuck Hagel or maybe other folks in the G.O.P.?

Rudy Espino:
>> Absolutely. The signals that he's send something may not be just one appointment of republicans, maybe two or three republicans. This would be a strong signal not were just to congress but Washington insiders but public at large he really is serious about changing, going to reach across party lines and do something about the economy and then the war.

Ted Simons:
>> I want to ask you about the election itself. Do you think that 20, 30, 40 years from now we will look at this as a transformative election?

Rudy Espino:
>> Well, it could be, right? The key thing to that is, if the young voters that turned out this record numbers that we saw last week continue to maintain their partisan social identity that is we saw expressed last week. Then absolutely. This is going to be a cohort that's going to be around for many elections to come. But we won't know for 30 or 40 years from now. Again, we might have heard that 1964 was that critical election or 1972. Huge electoral defeats first by the Republican Party in 1964, the democratic party in 1972. And each party returned four years later to win lots of offices.

Ted Simons:
>> Well talk about the G.O.P. and where it stands right now. Is it wise, as many in the G.O.P. want or at least they say they want, to make Sarah Palin the face of the party?

Rudy Espino:
>> It's not wise to appoint someone at this point. You just lost an election. Retreat, lick your wounds, come together. Come together with a single message. Right now republicans are having a problem communicating to the public at large what their one message is. And a lot of the things right now, given the economic times you don't want to be running, pushing too hard on the social issues because you're getting no track on them. You need to show you'll be serious about the economy, reaching across the aisle and working with Barack Obama and maybe presenting alternatives you would say than Barack Obama has to offer.

Ted Simons:
>> By the same token we have the administration now with a congress ostensibly on its side. And we'll see some fights there as well.


Rudy Espino:
>> Absolutely. You have democratic control of the both branches there. But there is some concern that with all these republican gains and many former red states, red counties, that there's going to have to be a lot of deals, not necessarily reached between the republicans and democrats but within the democratic caucus itself so that democratic leadership is going to have to deal with their own rank and file members and their wants, their needs and their concerns.

Ted Simons:
>> I was going to ask you as well kind of similar to that point, yes, America elected a democrat. And it was pretty much a landslide here. But did that signal America moving to the left? Or did that signal America saying we've had enough of what we just had?

Rudy Espino:
>> You know, I think it largely signaled that they were tired of the incumbent. The incumbent administration and the incumbent republican party. What the Republican Party stood for in 2008 was much different than what we heard George Bush saying it stood for in 2000. So the republican party and the republican elders need to come back -- come together and realize what is it that we need to be telling the American public what we stand for.

Ted Simons:
>> And yet you refer to social issues and these sorts of things. We had prop 8 over in California, 102 here, both passing which kind of goes back to my previous question, what does that say about the electorate moving left by way of the presidential election and many congressional elections and yet on some of these social issues moving right?

Rudy Espino:
>> well, not necessarily. It just means that there's this other cross-cutting dimension that is not falling on our traditional liberal democratic scale, that there is this other social cultural scale that could be splitting, you know, within the democratic ranks. For instance, we saw blacks and African-Americans in California voting in record numbers for proposition 8, right? And this shows that the social cultural issues really don't necessarily align with our stereotype of who is a liberal voter.

Ted Simons:
>> Interesting. Honeymoon for Obama. Going to last longer than usual? Or because of the economic climate he hasn't got much time?

Rudy Espino:
>> I think he doesn't have much time. But, you know, he's already hitting the ground running. He's not waiting. And he is making these announcements. He's actually working with the bush administration. I think the public is happy to see that, that during the campaign there was a lot of rhetoric about bush was bad, coming from the Obama camp. But now he's reaching out and put will that all aside. And bush is actually reaching out and responding in kind. So I actually think that there's some hope for republicans in bush's actions right now.

Ted Simons:
>> As far as what president-elect Obama is going to do once he takes over the white house, everyone's talking about an economic stimulus plan. First of all, is that what you're seeing as well? And are we going to see the business where you hand out checks or something that Governor Napolitano was talking about today, some sort of infrastructure push?

Rudy Espino:
>> At the end of the day this is ultimately going to be up to democratic leadership in congress. Now, Obama is going to have a heavy hand in influencing this. And so i think there's probably going to be some compromise between the two. The democratic leadership from their constituency is getting the push that help us out with another bailout. But Barack Obama, you know, hess there for a mandate. And he's probably going to reach some compromise. He's really going to be cautious about this.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about race relations in America and what the election says and what you read from the electorate considering the vote. I mean, for older folks this is -- this is absolutely monumental. I'm not sure some of the younger folks realize how incredible this is to many Americans.

Rudy Espino:
>> They hear this from older Americans. They were the ones around to see the social tensions in the 1950s and 1960s, from the riots in Birmingham, being hosed down by the firemen to forced school integration in the 1970s. And we've can come a long way as a country since then. What was interesting to see in the polls was there was no so-called Bradley effect or white voters were expressing to interviewers they would vote for a black candidate and change their mind in the election booth. If anything it was showed the opposite, that voters from all democratic groups from all stripes voted for the democratic candidate.

Ted Simons:
>> Was this because Obama is a special candidate, or was a special candidate and i assume will be again? Or is this something that says race relations will no longer be the same because of this election, politically?

Rudy Espino:
>> I think we're moving into a new era of race relations. And Barack Obama embodies that new era. The way he talks about race is not the old civil rights, you know, black and white dichotomy. He's talking about, I am a black man, I have a black father, a white mother. There's this blending of races going on and there's this transcendence of race that it's no longer black versus white, there's shades of great. That's the era that we're entering into and I think the public is recognizing that.
Ted Simons:
>> Last question, what surprised you most about the election?

Rudy Espino:
>> Honestly there was little surprises with respect to the polls. There might be some surprises with respect to many of these former strong red states having shifted to the blue category. But when you take into account that the fundamentals of voting behavior points to the economy, the economy, the economy, people really at the end of the day want to vote on their pocketbook when the economy is in such dire straits. That explains why we saw some of these blue states shift so much from 2004.

Ted Simons:
>> All right. Rudy, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Rudy Espino:
>> thank you so much.

Ted Simons:
>> The state of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Arizona is a new report being released today by the Arizona State University Asian pacific American studies program and the Arizona office of public affairs. Earlier I talked to Dr. Karen Leong an associate professor of women and gender studies and former director of the A.S.U. Asian Pacific American studies program about the report. Dr. Karen Leong, thank you for joining us on horizon.

Karen Leong:
>> Thank you very much for having me.

Ted Simons:
>> What is the state of Asian Americans and pacific islanders in Arizona?

Karen Leong:
>> well, first of all, it's a report that we're releasing today that addresses this very question about where do Asian Americans and pacific islanders stand in terms of population, socioeconomic status, education levels. Basically it's a report to introduce Arizonans to this population that's growing at quite a strong rate. And we feel it's imperative that the state of Arizona become more aware of this diverse community and the different challenges it faces and the opportunity that it presents.

Ted Simons:
>> Growth rate population growth 29\% a year. That's a lot. Is Arizona in particular attractive in the west? Or is that just a lot of folks coming from a lot of areas?

Karen Leong:
>> Well, it is -- Arizona is attracting quite a few Asian Americans and pacific islanders from California. Add immigrants. And it is one of the fastest-growing in terms of population because it has a small population to begin. With but it is -- that's why it's growing at such a large rate. Other than Nevada, it's one of the most rapidly-growing populations in the interior west.

Ted Simons:
>> And again, we had some pretty good high tech action going on for awhile. That seems to have changed a little bit. But are there certain things that attract Asian Americans to Arizona?

Karen Leong:
>> Part of its that California is the most -- has the largest population of Asian Americans and pacific islanders. But the cost of living has been very high there. So part of what's attracting them to Arizona is the lower cost of living. Part of it has been in the past the growth of a knowledge economy. Around so we see that as there's been high tech, biomedical research developing here, that does attract highly-skilled workers who are of Asian descent and pacific islanders decent.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about all the ethnic groups within this particular rubric. Because it sounds like there are a whole host folks.

Karen Leong:
>> Yes. According to the way the U.S. census determines Asian American there's over 40ethnic groups. In this report we looked at the top 12 or so groups. Even then that's quite a diverse range. So it goes from East Asians most popularly seen as Asian Americans, Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans, sometimes Korean American. But now we have Southeast Asian Americans, people from Vietnam, Malaysia. We also have pacific islanders who are actually a very different group but they're often -- until 2000 the U.S. census lumped them together as part of Asian Americans. And they are people who are native Hawaiians, people from Guam or Tonga or the Marshall islands even.

Ted Simons:
>> Talk about the differences between these groups and how folks maybe from the pacific islands -- would differ in terms of needs, challenges and what they're facing in Arizona as opposed to the folks from china.

Karen Leong:
>> Well, what we see from china is that we either have people who have been here for quite a long time from the 19th century, as early as the 1870s in Tucson and in Prescott, and they settled and they have roots here. So they've been here for many generations. And they also therefore are in some ways more Americanized or assimilated. We also have recent immigrants from china and many of them are highly skilled, highly educated. That's part of the reason they're able to come to the United States is because of the h 1 b visas. We have pacific islanders who have a very different history with the United States than people in East Asia. They were colonized by the U.S. military. Many of the jobs available and the economies are either around the U.S. military bases that are on their islands or through tourism. And that's very limited in terms of transferable skills, I would say. It's more service-oriented. Low-paying service-oriented. So what we see is that we have lower education rates among pacific islanders than we do among people from East Asia like Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans. And then we have the refugee population or descendants from the refugee population in the 70s who also come from varying backgrounds. So they are not as when they first come here they are not as able to reach those education levels. It takes a generation or so.

Ted Simons:
>> And with that in mind, talk if you would as well about language concerns, about health concerns, as they again overall with Asian Americans but again so many different aspects within the group.

Karen Leong:
>> Right. Well, one of the thing that differs of Asian Americans and pacific islanders is the language issue. There's so much diversity of languages. They don't even overlap. And this leads to many challenges. Over and over again, with focus groups, we held over 22 community focus groups with the different ethnic communities. And over and over again, many of them stated that language barriers were an issue to access. Access to information about mortgages, access to information about education, concern about how to even fill out financial aid forms. And so that's something that's really important, for example, A.S.U. has offered workshops in Navajo on how to fill out the financial aid forms, in Spanish. But they spend very little in terms of Asian language outreach. And this is important when we have so many diverse groups. And then health care is also very important. We have a cultures that are not comfortable talking about health issues, about their bodies. And then they are also in some ways intimidated and afraid to talk about things when they don't really understand each other. They might have a family member or child, for example, championing for them but that child may not have the proper terminology to use in these translations.

Ted Simons:
>> There are so many aspects of this. Real quickly, what do you want the public to take out of this property?

Karen Leong:
>> I think several things, but the first thing is just to understand the diversity of Asian Americans and pacific islanders. That not a model minority. There's been an assumption they're all highly well-educated and successful. That's not the case across the board. There are certain groups getting lost in the shuffle. Again to note that pacific islanders aren't the same and we need to aggregate this information to better serve the needs of this very diverse community.

Ted Simons:
>> It's a fascinating report and we thank you so much for joining us on horizon.


Karen Leong:
>> Well, thank you very much.

Ted Simons:
>> And a programming note, Horizonte is coming up right after horizon. And they will be discussing a new report out on the Hispanic community. Meanwhile, the Arizona educational foundation announces its selection for teacher of the year. She is Sarah Baird, an elementary math schoolteacher and coach at Kyrene de Las Lomas and Kyrene de las Lomas and Kyrene Del Milenio schools. She's been a teacher for 10 years. I'll talk more about her but first here's a video by Sarah Baird provided by the educational foundation.

Student 1:
>> She helps us with the activities. But we don't do that much math. But when Miss Baird comes in it's really fun because she teaches us about math a lot.

Student 2:
>> I think Miss Baird has made a change in my life because usually she's making it easier and she'll do anything to help us with math.

Student 1:
>> Like once she used a basketball players to help us figure out math made easier.

Student 3:
>> That's what she did to us, too.

Student 1:
>> And once she used different ways so we understand stuff.

Student 3:
>> Oh, yeah. I didn't learn that one. But all the girls in my class did.

Sarah Baird:
>> If [inaudible] say ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Students:
>> Ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Sarah Baird:
>> Oh, yeah? If you're an expert at making partners say ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Students:
>> Ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Nancy Branch:
>> Sarah Baird makes a difference in the life of her students by encouraging and engaging them in the world of mathematics and making them understand that they can love math and that they can be the best at it. She really believes in teaching children how to be thinkers. And the great thing that we love here at Milenio about not only does she teach them and engage them but she celebrates them as math thinkers. And we catch that enthusiasm throughout all of our classrooms here at Milenio as she goes into grades k-5 and we see children excited about math but also improving in their math skills and their math understanding.

Sarah Baird:
>> I think what really makes a great teacher stand out above and beyond is the energy and the passion that they have for just being in a room with children. And the commitment to knowing that that lesson or even that 30 minutes, that hour, is going to be something that is going to transcend past that day, past those walls out into their lives into the community.

Ted Simons:
>> And here now is Arizona's teacher of the year, Sarah Baird. Congratulations to you!

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, thank you so much!

Ted Simons:
>> How did you find out? And what was your response when you found out?

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, they' announced yesterday at a luncheon at the camelback inn. And my reaction -- at first I had to stop and kind of put my head in my hand and think, was that my name i just heard? I mean, as hard as I have worked and as much as I have done to put forth for this, I know that every teacher in that room has done the same. And so when you sit there and you think it could be me, it is surreal.

Ted Simons:
>> What got you into teaching? Did you always want to be a teacher?

Sarah Baird:
>> You know, I wasn't sure. I don't think I was sure what I wanted to be. When i was really young, 17, I used to coach gymnastics for the YMCA. It was such a good time with those kids. And I thought ways going to go into education to be like high school math or some kind of math teacher. He'd had a math teacher influence me so much in high school and really was part of -- she had a profound impact on me. So I thought that's what i was going to go do. And here I find where I belong with the little kiddos.

Ted Simons:
>> Yeah. When you were a little kiddo, were you a good student?



Sarah Baird:
>> Well, you know, what exactly is a good student? I guess it was hard for me. It was hard. I had some hardships in my life, like so many of our kids in Arizona have. And I had a mom who was working so hard to do the best she could for us, and so school was -- there was a lot of transition for me. And school was a place where I'm not sure I was there long enough to have those relationships that you need to feel like you're successful and you're doing great. So it wasn't until high school that I had that teacher that really helped me see that I had some potential. So, you know, I tried my best as a student. That's for sure. Like so many of them do.

Ted Simons:
>> And we're seeing you trying extra hard with those kids in that video. And a quote they read from you, as a way to a child's mind is through the heart.

Sarah Baird:
>> Yeah.

Ted Simons:
>> Talk to us about that.

Sarah Baird:
>> you know, I mean, the same as for us as adults or for any person, you going to learn best when you know that whoever is talking to you and is working with you cares about you as a person and wants you to know what you're teaching isn't because I have to teach it, it's because it matters for your life and for what we're doing. And just that smile, just smiling at them? I mean, they look at you so differently when they feel like you care about them.

Ted Simons:
>> Things like assessment tests, obviously very controversial here in Arizona. Folks have different ideas. Talk to us about how you feel about education and where testing, especially assessment tests, how that place into it.

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, assessment is really essential in education to help a teacher really, you know, guide where their practice is going to go. I think that when the word "assessment" is so controversial it is what is good assessment? And not every assessment is good for the type of information you're looking for. And so i think that data is something that is scary. It's scary because you can collect so much of it, you can collect it in so many ways, but knowing when to collect it, knowing which assessment is the best and then knowing what to do with it after is -- it's really hard. And it takes a lot of -- a lot of time and conversations. So though i think it's really needed we're constantly trying to figure out the balance between what is great assessment and what is helpful for kids.



Ted Simons:
>> Indeed. And there are some kids who after being assessed may not do as well as their parents would like. I know there are some parents who say you know, little Bobby or Suzie, they're just not good at math. Some kids are good, they're not so good. How would you respond?

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, I sure hope their kids don't think that. Because their confidence and feeling like they can do it is half the battle. It really is. I mean, just changing the feeling of I am so good at this. I'm going to try it. Hard problems don't scare me. That right there takes away that frustration that's kind of shuts their brains down a little bit. So even for us as students when we would think about story problems it's like Ahh! All of us kind of get that little twitch going. Well, I want kids to look at it and think, I'll tackle. It I'll give it a shot. I may not know but I'm going to try it.

Ted Simons:
>> Last question. The kids, are they giving you the business yet?

Sarah Baird:
>> They're so excited. They are. There is nothing better. If you're having a bad day, just walk into a kindergarten room or preschool room or even fifth grade. They love it. Today this little boy said to me, he said, "so did you find out?"And I said, yeah. He said did you get it? You did? You got to be kidding! So their reaction is the same as mine. They fill me up. They really do. It's a joy to be with them.

Ted Simons:
>> It's a joy having you on the program and again congratulations. It's a great honor.

Sarah Baird:
>> thank you so much. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>> We'll look at some unresolved election issues as well as the future of the republican party in Arizona and a check on the values housing market to see if there's anything positive news there. That's Friday at 7:00 on horizon. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

Obama Administration

  |   Video
  • President-Elect Barack Obama continues his transition to power. Arizona State University Political Science Professor Rudy Espino talks about Obama's transition to power.
Guests:
  • Rudy Espino - Policital Science professor, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Karen Leong - Associate professor, Women and Gender Studies and former Director of the A.S.U. Asian Pacific American studies, Arizona State University
  • Sarah Baird - Arizona’s Teacher of the Year
Category:

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
>> Tonight on horizon, president-elect Barack Obama is filling the ranks of his administration and A.S.U. political science professor will discuss that. There's a new report out on the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in our state. Meet Arizona's new teacher of the year. That's next on horizon.

Announcer:
>> Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends after eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>> Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on horizon. I'm Ted Simons. In the news tonight the stock market roller coaster continues with the market gaining 553 points today, closing at 8835. The market was responding to the upcoming meeting in Washington among global leaders with hope that there could be plans to help with global economic problems. Speaking of the economy, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano testified today in Washington, saying that a second stimulus plan is needed. The governor would like to see the money go to Medicaid and infrastructure projects already planned and ready to be built. The governor says investing in infrastructure would help create jobs.

Ted Simons:
>> And a big astronomical discovery today. Astronomers at the Lowell observatory in flagstaff captured images of three planets circling a star outside of the solar system. The star is about 128 light years away. The planets are several times larger than Jupiter. Scientists hope to use the images to study the chemical composition of the planets.

Ted Simons:
>>> President-elect Barack Obama continues to work on his transition to the white house, reaching deep into President Clinton's former staff for talent. And among those working on his transition team, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. Here to talk about the transition to power is Arizona state university political science professor Rudy Espino. Thank you so much for joining us again on horizon.

Rudy Espino:
>> Thank you for having me.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about this transition now. What do you see happening now between what Obama wants to do and what he can get done?

Rudy Espino:
>> Well, the key thing that he has to signal to the voters is that he's bringing change towards -- he is concerned about the economy and that he's serious about that with the picks that he's making. And the signals that he's sending right now with some of the staff that he's already picking from the Clinton cabinet are indicating that he is moving in that directions, that the economy is on his mind and that he's going to do something about that.

Ted Simons:
>> will he cross party lines, do you think? Is there room for a Chuck Hagel or maybe other folks in the G.O.P.?

Rudy Espino:
>> Absolutely. The signals that he's send something may not be just one appointment of republicans, maybe two or three republicans. This would be a strong signal not were just to congress but Washington insiders but public at large he really is serious about changing, going to reach across party lines and do something about the economy and then the war.

Ted Simons:
>> I want to ask you about the election itself. Do you think that 20, 30, 40 years from now we will look at this as a transformative election?

Rudy Espino:
>> Well, it could be, right? The key thing to that is, if the young voters that turned out this record numbers that we saw last week continue to maintain their partisan social identity that is we saw expressed last week. Then absolutely. This is going to be a cohort that's going to be around for many elections to come. But we won't know for 30 or 40 years from now. Again, we might have heard that 1964 was that critical election or 1972. Huge electoral defeats first by the Republican Party in 1964, the democratic party in 1972. And each party returned four years later to win lots of offices.

Ted Simons:
>> Well talk about the G.O.P. and where it stands right now. Is it wise, as many in the G.O.P. want or at least they say they want, to make Sarah Palin the face of the party?

Rudy Espino:
>> It's not wise to appoint someone at this point. You just lost an election. Retreat, lick your wounds, come together. Come together with a single message. Right now republicans are having a problem communicating to the public at large what their one message is. And a lot of the things right now, given the economic times you don't want to be running, pushing too hard on the social issues because you're getting no track on them. You need to show you'll be serious about the economy, reaching across the aisle and working with Barack Obama and maybe presenting alternatives you would say than Barack Obama has to offer.

Ted Simons:
>> By the same token we have the administration now with a congress ostensibly on its side. And we'll see some fights there as well.


Rudy Espino:
>> Absolutely. You have democratic control of the both branches there. But there is some concern that with all these republican gains and many former red states, red counties, that there's going to have to be a lot of deals, not necessarily reached between the republicans and democrats but within the democratic caucus itself so that democratic leadership is going to have to deal with their own rank and file members and their wants, their needs and their concerns.

Ted Simons:
>> I was going to ask you as well kind of similar to that point, yes, America elected a democrat. And it was pretty much a landslide here. But did that signal America moving to the left? Or did that signal America saying we've had enough of what we just had?

Rudy Espino:
>> You know, I think it largely signaled that they were tired of the incumbent. The incumbent administration and the incumbent republican party. What the Republican Party stood for in 2008 was much different than what we heard George Bush saying it stood for in 2000. So the republican party and the republican elders need to come back -- come together and realize what is it that we need to be telling the American public what we stand for.

Ted Simons:
>> And yet you refer to social issues and these sorts of things. We had prop 8 over in California, 102 here, both passing which kind of goes back to my previous question, what does that say about the electorate moving left by way of the presidential election and many congressional elections and yet on some of these social issues moving right?

Rudy Espino:
>> well, not necessarily. It just means that there's this other cross-cutting dimension that is not falling on our traditional liberal democratic scale, that there is this other social cultural scale that could be splitting, you know, within the democratic ranks. For instance, we saw blacks and African-Americans in California voting in record numbers for proposition 8, right? And this shows that the social cultural issues really don't necessarily align with our stereotype of who is a liberal voter.

Ted Simons:
>> Interesting. Honeymoon for Obama. Going to last longer than usual? Or because of the economic climate he hasn't got much time?

Rudy Espino:
>> I think he doesn't have much time. But, you know, he's already hitting the ground running. He's not waiting. And he is making these announcements. He's actually working with the bush administration. I think the public is happy to see that, that during the campaign there was a lot of rhetoric about bush was bad, coming from the Obama camp. But now he's reaching out and put will that all aside. And bush is actually reaching out and responding in kind. So I actually think that there's some hope for republicans in bush's actions right now.

Ted Simons:
>> As far as what president-elect Obama is going to do once he takes over the white house, everyone's talking about an economic stimulus plan. First of all, is that what you're seeing as well? And are we going to see the business where you hand out checks or something that Governor Napolitano was talking about today, some sort of infrastructure push?

Rudy Espino:
>> At the end of the day this is ultimately going to be up to democratic leadership in congress. Now, Obama is going to have a heavy hand in influencing this. And so i think there's probably going to be some compromise between the two. The democratic leadership from their constituency is getting the push that help us out with another bailout. But Barack Obama, you know, hess there for a mandate. And he's probably going to reach some compromise. He's really going to be cautious about this.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about race relations in America and what the election says and what you read from the electorate considering the vote. I mean, for older folks this is -- this is absolutely monumental. I'm not sure some of the younger folks realize how incredible this is to many Americans.

Rudy Espino:
>> They hear this from older Americans. They were the ones around to see the social tensions in the 1950s and 1960s, from the riots in Birmingham, being hosed down by the firemen to forced school integration in the 1970s. And we've can come a long way as a country since then. What was interesting to see in the polls was there was no so-called Bradley effect or white voters were expressing to interviewers they would vote for a black candidate and change their mind in the election booth. If anything it was showed the opposite, that voters from all democratic groups from all stripes voted for the democratic candidate.

Ted Simons:
>> Was this because Obama is a special candidate, or was a special candidate and i assume will be again? Or is this something that says race relations will no longer be the same because of this election, politically?

Rudy Espino:
>> I think we're moving into a new era of race relations. And Barack Obama embodies that new era. The way he talks about race is not the old civil rights, you know, black and white dichotomy. He's talking about, I am a black man, I have a black father, a white mother. There's this blending of races going on and there's this transcendence of race that it's no longer black versus white, there's shades of great. That's the era that we're entering into and I think the public is recognizing that.
Ted Simons:
>> Last question, what surprised you most about the election?

Rudy Espino:
>> Honestly there was little surprises with respect to the polls. There might be some surprises with respect to many of these former strong red states having shifted to the blue category. But when you take into account that the fundamentals of voting behavior points to the economy, the economy, the economy, people really at the end of the day want to vote on their pocketbook when the economy is in such dire straits. That explains why we saw some of these blue states shift so much from 2004.

Ted Simons:
>> All right. Rudy, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Rudy Espino:
>> thank you so much.

Ted Simons:
>> The state of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Arizona is a new report being released today by the Arizona State University Asian pacific American studies program and the Arizona office of public affairs. Earlier I talked to Dr. Karen Leong an associate professor of women and gender studies and former director of the A.S.U. Asian Pacific American studies program about the report. Dr. Karen Leong, thank you for joining us on horizon.

Karen Leong:
>> Thank you very much for having me.

Ted Simons:
>> What is the state of Asian Americans and pacific islanders in Arizona?

Karen Leong:
>> well, first of all, it's a report that we're releasing today that addresses this very question about where do Asian Americans and pacific islanders stand in terms of population, socioeconomic status, education levels. Basically it's a report to introduce Arizonans to this population that's growing at quite a strong rate. And we feel it's imperative that the state of Arizona become more aware of this diverse community and the different challenges it faces and the opportunity that it presents.

Ted Simons:
>> Growth rate population growth 29\% a year. That's a lot. Is Arizona in particular attractive in the west? Or is that just a lot of folks coming from a lot of areas?

Karen Leong:
>> Well, it is -- Arizona is attracting quite a few Asian Americans and pacific islanders from California. Add immigrants. And it is one of the fastest-growing in terms of population because it has a small population to begin. With but it is -- that's why it's growing at such a large rate. Other than Nevada, it's one of the most rapidly-growing populations in the interior west.

Ted Simons:
>> And again, we had some pretty good high tech action going on for awhile. That seems to have changed a little bit. But are there certain things that attract Asian Americans to Arizona?

Karen Leong:
>> Part of its that California is the most -- has the largest population of Asian Americans and pacific islanders. But the cost of living has been very high there. So part of what's attracting them to Arizona is the lower cost of living. Part of it has been in the past the growth of a knowledge economy. Around so we see that as there's been high tech, biomedical research developing here, that does attract highly-skilled workers who are of Asian descent and pacific islanders decent.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about all the ethnic groups within this particular rubric. Because it sounds like there are a whole host folks.

Karen Leong:
>> Yes. According to the way the U.S. census determines Asian American there's over 40ethnic groups. In this report we looked at the top 12 or so groups. Even then that's quite a diverse range. So it goes from East Asians most popularly seen as Asian Americans, Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans, sometimes Korean American. But now we have Southeast Asian Americans, people from Vietnam, Malaysia. We also have pacific islanders who are actually a very different group but they're often -- until 2000 the U.S. census lumped them together as part of Asian Americans. And they are people who are native Hawaiians, people from Guam or Tonga or the Marshall islands even.

Ted Simons:
>> Talk about the differences between these groups and how folks maybe from the pacific islands -- would differ in terms of needs, challenges and what they're facing in Arizona as opposed to the folks from china.

Karen Leong:
>> Well, what we see from china is that we either have people who have been here for quite a long time from the 19th century, as early as the 1870s in Tucson and in Prescott, and they settled and they have roots here. So they've been here for many generations. And they also therefore are in some ways more Americanized or assimilated. We also have recent immigrants from china and many of them are highly skilled, highly educated. That's part of the reason they're able to come to the United States is because of the h 1 b visas. We have pacific islanders who have a very different history with the United States than people in East Asia. They were colonized by the U.S. military. Many of the jobs available and the economies are either around the U.S. military bases that are on their islands or through tourism. And that's very limited in terms of transferable skills, I would say. It's more service-oriented. Low-paying service-oriented. So what we see is that we have lower education rates among pacific islanders than we do among people from East Asia like Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans. And then we have the refugee population or descendants from the refugee population in the 70s who also come from varying backgrounds. So they are not as when they first come here they are not as able to reach those education levels. It takes a generation or so.

Ted Simons:
>> And with that in mind, talk if you would as well about language concerns, about health concerns, as they again overall with Asian Americans but again so many different aspects within the group.

Karen Leong:
>> Right. Well, one of the thing that differs of Asian Americans and pacific islanders is the language issue. There's so much diversity of languages. They don't even overlap. And this leads to many challenges. Over and over again, with focus groups, we held over 22 community focus groups with the different ethnic communities. And over and over again, many of them stated that language barriers were an issue to access. Access to information about mortgages, access to information about education, concern about how to even fill out financial aid forms. And so that's something that's really important, for example, A.S.U. has offered workshops in Navajo on how to fill out the financial aid forms, in Spanish. But they spend very little in terms of Asian language outreach. And this is important when we have so many diverse groups. And then health care is also very important. We have a cultures that are not comfortable talking about health issues, about their bodies. And then they are also in some ways intimidated and afraid to talk about things when they don't really understand each other. They might have a family member or child, for example, championing for them but that child may not have the proper terminology to use in these translations.

Ted Simons:
>> There are so many aspects of this. Real quickly, what do you want the public to take out of this property?

Karen Leong:
>> I think several things, but the first thing is just to understand the diversity of Asian Americans and pacific islanders. That not a model minority. There's been an assumption they're all highly well-educated and successful. That's not the case across the board. There are certain groups getting lost in the shuffle. Again to note that pacific islanders aren't the same and we need to aggregate this information to better serve the needs of this very diverse community.

Ted Simons:
>> It's a fascinating report and we thank you so much for joining us on horizon.


Karen Leong:
>> Well, thank you very much.

Ted Simons:
>> And a programming note, Horizonte is coming up right after horizon. And they will be discussing a new report out on the Hispanic community. Meanwhile, the Arizona educational foundation announces its selection for teacher of the year. She is Sarah Baird, an elementary math schoolteacher and coach at Kyrene de Las Lomas and Kyrene de las Lomas and Kyrene Del Milenio schools. She's been a teacher for 10 years. I'll talk more about her but first here's a video by Sarah Baird provided by the educational foundation.

Student 1:
>> She helps us with the activities. But we don't do that much math. But when Miss Baird comes in it's really fun because she teaches us about math a lot.

Student 2:
>> I think Miss Baird has made a change in my life because usually she's making it easier and she'll do anything to help us with math.

Student 1:
>> Like once she used a basketball players to help us figure out math made easier.

Student 3:
>> That's what she did to us, too.

Student 1:
>> And once she used different ways so we understand stuff.

Student 3:
>> Oh, yeah. I didn't learn that one. But all the girls in my class did.

Sarah Baird:
>> If [inaudible] say ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Students:
>> Ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Sarah Baird:
>> Oh, yeah? If you're an expert at making partners say ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Students:
>> Ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Nancy Branch:
>> Sarah Baird makes a difference in the life of her students by encouraging and engaging them in the world of mathematics and making them understand that they can love math and that they can be the best at it. She really believes in teaching children how to be thinkers. And the great thing that we love here at Milenio about not only does she teach them and engage them but she celebrates them as math thinkers. And we catch that enthusiasm throughout all of our classrooms here at Milenio as she goes into grades k-5 and we see children excited about math but also improving in their math skills and their math understanding.

Sarah Baird:
>> I think what really makes a great teacher stand out above and beyond is the energy and the passion that they have for just being in a room with children. And the commitment to knowing that that lesson or even that 30 minutes, that hour, is going to be something that is going to transcend past that day, past those walls out into their lives into the community.

Ted Simons:
>> And here now is Arizona's teacher of the year, Sarah Baird. Congratulations to you!

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, thank you so much!

Ted Simons:
>> How did you find out? And what was your response when you found out?

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, they' announced yesterday at a luncheon at the camelback inn. And my reaction -- at first I had to stop and kind of put my head in my hand and think, was that my name i just heard? I mean, as hard as I have worked and as much as I have done to put forth for this, I know that every teacher in that room has done the same. And so when you sit there and you think it could be me, it is surreal.

Ted Simons:
>> What got you into teaching? Did you always want to be a teacher?

Sarah Baird:
>> You know, I wasn't sure. I don't think I was sure what I wanted to be. When i was really young, 17, I used to coach gymnastics for the YMCA. It was such a good time with those kids. And I thought ways going to go into education to be like high school math or some kind of math teacher. He'd had a math teacher influence me so much in high school and really was part of -- she had a profound impact on me. So I thought that's what i was going to go do. And here I find where I belong with the little kiddos.

Ted Simons:
>> Yeah. When you were a little kiddo, were you a good student?



Sarah Baird:
>> Well, you know, what exactly is a good student? I guess it was hard for me. It was hard. I had some hardships in my life, like so many of our kids in Arizona have. And I had a mom who was working so hard to do the best she could for us, and so school was -- there was a lot of transition for me. And school was a place where I'm not sure I was there long enough to have those relationships that you need to feel like you're successful and you're doing great. So it wasn't until high school that I had that teacher that really helped me see that I had some potential. So, you know, I tried my best as a student. That's for sure. Like so many of them do.

Ted Simons:
>> And we're seeing you trying extra hard with those kids in that video. And a quote they read from you, as a way to a child's mind is through the heart.

Sarah Baird:
>> Yeah.

Ted Simons:
>> Talk to us about that.

Sarah Baird:
>> you know, I mean, the same as for us as adults or for any person, you going to learn best when you know that whoever is talking to you and is working with you cares about you as a person and wants you to know what you're teaching isn't because I have to teach it, it's because it matters for your life and for what we're doing. And just that smile, just smiling at them? I mean, they look at you so differently when they feel like you care about them.

Ted Simons:
>> Things like assessment tests, obviously very controversial here in Arizona. Folks have different ideas. Talk to us about how you feel about education and where testing, especially assessment tests, how that place into it.

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, assessment is really essential in education to help a teacher really, you know, guide where their practice is going to go. I think that when the word "assessment" is so controversial it is what is good assessment? And not every assessment is good for the type of information you're looking for. And so i think that data is something that is scary. It's scary because you can collect so much of it, you can collect it in so many ways, but knowing when to collect it, knowing which assessment is the best and then knowing what to do with it after is -- it's really hard. And it takes a lot of -- a lot of time and conversations. So though i think it's really needed we're constantly trying to figure out the balance between what is great assessment and what is helpful for kids.



Ted Simons:
>> Indeed. And there are some kids who after being assessed may not do as well as their parents would like. I know there are some parents who say you know, little Bobby or Suzie, they're just not good at math. Some kids are good, they're not so good. How would you respond?

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, I sure hope their kids don't think that. Because their confidence and feeling like they can do it is half the battle. It really is. I mean, just changing the feeling of I am so good at this. I'm going to try it. Hard problems don't scare me. That right there takes away that frustration that's kind of shuts their brains down a little bit. So even for us as students when we would think about story problems it's like Ahh! All of us kind of get that little twitch going. Well, I want kids to look at it and think, I'll tackle. It I'll give it a shot. I may not know but I'm going to try it.

Ted Simons:
>> Last question. The kids, are they giving you the business yet?

Sarah Baird:
>> They're so excited. They are. There is nothing better. If you're having a bad day, just walk into a kindergarten room or preschool room or even fifth grade. They love it. Today this little boy said to me, he said, "so did you find out?"And I said, yeah. He said did you get it? You did? You got to be kidding! So their reaction is the same as mine. They fill me up. They really do. It's a joy to be with them.

Ted Simons:
>> It's a joy having you on the program and again congratulations. It's a great honor.

Sarah Baird:
>> thank you so much. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>> We'll look at some unresolved election issues as well as the future of the republican party in Arizona and a check on the values housing market to see if there's anything positive news there. That's Friday at 7:00 on horizon. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

Teacher of the Year

  |   Video
  • Arizona's Teacher of the Year has been named. Meet Kyrene Elementary Math Teacher Sarah Baird
Guests:
  • Rudy Espino - Policital Science professor, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Karen Leong - Associate professor, Women and Gender Studies and former Director of the A.S.U. Asian Pacific American studies, Arizona State University
  • Sarah Baird - Arizona’s Teacher of the Year
Category: Education

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
>> Tonight on horizon, president-elect Barack Obama is filling the ranks of his administration and A.S.U. political science professor will discuss that. There's a new report out on the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in our state. Meet Arizona's new teacher of the year. That's next on horizon.

Announcer:
>> Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends after eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>> Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on horizon. I'm Ted Simons. In the news tonight the stock market roller coaster continues with the market gaining 553 points today, closing at 8835. The market was responding to the upcoming meeting in Washington among global leaders with hope that there could be plans to help with global economic problems. Speaking of the economy, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano testified today in Washington, saying that a second stimulus plan is needed. The governor would like to see the money go to Medicaid and infrastructure projects already planned and ready to be built. The governor says investing in infrastructure would help create jobs.

Ted Simons:
>> And a big astronomical discovery today. Astronomers at the Lowell observatory in flagstaff captured images of three planets circling a star outside of the solar system. The star is about 128 light years away. The planets are several times larger than Jupiter. Scientists hope to use the images to study the chemical composition of the planets.

Ted Simons:
>>> President-elect Barack Obama continues to work on his transition to the white house, reaching deep into President Clinton's former staff for talent. And among those working on his transition team, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. Here to talk about the transition to power is Arizona state university political science professor Rudy Espino. Thank you so much for joining us again on horizon.

Rudy Espino:
>> Thank you for having me.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about this transition now. What do you see happening now between what Obama wants to do and what he can get done?

Rudy Espino:
>> Well, the key thing that he has to signal to the voters is that he's bringing change towards -- he is concerned about the economy and that he's serious about that with the picks that he's making. And the signals that he's sending right now with some of the staff that he's already picking from the Clinton cabinet are indicating that he is moving in that directions, that the economy is on his mind and that he's going to do something about that.

Ted Simons:
>> will he cross party lines, do you think? Is there room for a Chuck Hagel or maybe other folks in the G.O.P.?

Rudy Espino:
>> Absolutely. The signals that he's send something may not be just one appointment of republicans, maybe two or three republicans. This would be a strong signal not were just to congress but Washington insiders but public at large he really is serious about changing, going to reach across party lines and do something about the economy and then the war.

Ted Simons:
>> I want to ask you about the election itself. Do you think that 20, 30, 40 years from now we will look at this as a transformative election?

Rudy Espino:
>> Well, it could be, right? The key thing to that is, if the young voters that turned out this record numbers that we saw last week continue to maintain their partisan social identity that is we saw expressed last week. Then absolutely. This is going to be a cohort that's going to be around for many elections to come. But we won't know for 30 or 40 years from now. Again, we might have heard that 1964 was that critical election or 1972. Huge electoral defeats first by the Republican Party in 1964, the democratic party in 1972. And each party returned four years later to win lots of offices.

Ted Simons:
>> Well talk about the G.O.P. and where it stands right now. Is it wise, as many in the G.O.P. want or at least they say they want, to make Sarah Palin the face of the party?

Rudy Espino:
>> It's not wise to appoint someone at this point. You just lost an election. Retreat, lick your wounds, come together. Come together with a single message. Right now republicans are having a problem communicating to the public at large what their one message is. And a lot of the things right now, given the economic times you don't want to be running, pushing too hard on the social issues because you're getting no track on them. You need to show you'll be serious about the economy, reaching across the aisle and working with Barack Obama and maybe presenting alternatives you would say than Barack Obama has to offer.

Ted Simons:
>> By the same token we have the administration now with a congress ostensibly on its side. And we'll see some fights there as well.


Rudy Espino:
>> Absolutely. You have democratic control of the both branches there. But there is some concern that with all these republican gains and many former red states, red counties, that there's going to have to be a lot of deals, not necessarily reached between the republicans and democrats but within the democratic caucus itself so that democratic leadership is going to have to deal with their own rank and file members and their wants, their needs and their concerns.

Ted Simons:
>> I was going to ask you as well kind of similar to that point, yes, America elected a democrat. And it was pretty much a landslide here. But did that signal America moving to the left? Or did that signal America saying we've had enough of what we just had?

Rudy Espino:
>> You know, I think it largely signaled that they were tired of the incumbent. The incumbent administration and the incumbent republican party. What the Republican Party stood for in 2008 was much different than what we heard George Bush saying it stood for in 2000. So the republican party and the republican elders need to come back -- come together and realize what is it that we need to be telling the American public what we stand for.

Ted Simons:
>> And yet you refer to social issues and these sorts of things. We had prop 8 over in California, 102 here, both passing which kind of goes back to my previous question, what does that say about the electorate moving left by way of the presidential election and many congressional elections and yet on some of these social issues moving right?

Rudy Espino:
>> well, not necessarily. It just means that there's this other cross-cutting dimension that is not falling on our traditional liberal democratic scale, that there is this other social cultural scale that could be splitting, you know, within the democratic ranks. For instance, we saw blacks and African-Americans in California voting in record numbers for proposition 8, right? And this shows that the social cultural issues really don't necessarily align with our stereotype of who is a liberal voter.

Ted Simons:
>> Interesting. Honeymoon for Obama. Going to last longer than usual? Or because of the economic climate he hasn't got much time?

Rudy Espino:
>> I think he doesn't have much time. But, you know, he's already hitting the ground running. He's not waiting. And he is making these announcements. He's actually working with the bush administration. I think the public is happy to see that, that during the campaign there was a lot of rhetoric about bush was bad, coming from the Obama camp. But now he's reaching out and put will that all aside. And bush is actually reaching out and responding in kind. So I actually think that there's some hope for republicans in bush's actions right now.

Ted Simons:
>> As far as what president-elect Obama is going to do once he takes over the white house, everyone's talking about an economic stimulus plan. First of all, is that what you're seeing as well? And are we going to see the business where you hand out checks or something that Governor Napolitano was talking about today, some sort of infrastructure push?

Rudy Espino:
>> At the end of the day this is ultimately going to be up to democratic leadership in congress. Now, Obama is going to have a heavy hand in influencing this. And so i think there's probably going to be some compromise between the two. The democratic leadership from their constituency is getting the push that help us out with another bailout. But Barack Obama, you know, hess there for a mandate. And he's probably going to reach some compromise. He's really going to be cautious about this.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about race relations in America and what the election says and what you read from the electorate considering the vote. I mean, for older folks this is -- this is absolutely monumental. I'm not sure some of the younger folks realize how incredible this is to many Americans.

Rudy Espino:
>> They hear this from older Americans. They were the ones around to see the social tensions in the 1950s and 1960s, from the riots in Birmingham, being hosed down by the firemen to forced school integration in the 1970s. And we've can come a long way as a country since then. What was interesting to see in the polls was there was no so-called Bradley effect or white voters were expressing to interviewers they would vote for a black candidate and change their mind in the election booth. If anything it was showed the opposite, that voters from all democratic groups from all stripes voted for the democratic candidate.

Ted Simons:
>> Was this because Obama is a special candidate, or was a special candidate and i assume will be again? Or is this something that says race relations will no longer be the same because of this election, politically?

Rudy Espino:
>> I think we're moving into a new era of race relations. And Barack Obama embodies that new era. The way he talks about race is not the old civil rights, you know, black and white dichotomy. He's talking about, I am a black man, I have a black father, a white mother. There's this blending of races going on and there's this transcendence of race that it's no longer black versus white, there's shades of great. That's the era that we're entering into and I think the public is recognizing that.
Ted Simons:
>> Last question, what surprised you most about the election?

Rudy Espino:
>> Honestly there was little surprises with respect to the polls. There might be some surprises with respect to many of these former strong red states having shifted to the blue category. But when you take into account that the fundamentals of voting behavior points to the economy, the economy, the economy, people really at the end of the day want to vote on their pocketbook when the economy is in such dire straits. That explains why we saw some of these blue states shift so much from 2004.

Ted Simons:
>> All right. Rudy, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Rudy Espino:
>> thank you so much.

Ted Simons:
>> The state of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Arizona is a new report being released today by the Arizona State University Asian pacific American studies program and the Arizona office of public affairs. Earlier I talked to Dr. Karen Leong an associate professor of women and gender studies and former director of the A.S.U. Asian Pacific American studies program about the report. Dr. Karen Leong, thank you for joining us on horizon.

Karen Leong:
>> Thank you very much for having me.

Ted Simons:
>> What is the state of Asian Americans and pacific islanders in Arizona?

Karen Leong:
>> well, first of all, it's a report that we're releasing today that addresses this very question about where do Asian Americans and pacific islanders stand in terms of population, socioeconomic status, education levels. Basically it's a report to introduce Arizonans to this population that's growing at quite a strong rate. And we feel it's imperative that the state of Arizona become more aware of this diverse community and the different challenges it faces and the opportunity that it presents.

Ted Simons:
>> Growth rate population growth 29\% a year. That's a lot. Is Arizona in particular attractive in the west? Or is that just a lot of folks coming from a lot of areas?

Karen Leong:
>> Well, it is -- Arizona is attracting quite a few Asian Americans and pacific islanders from California. Add immigrants. And it is one of the fastest-growing in terms of population because it has a small population to begin. With but it is -- that's why it's growing at such a large rate. Other than Nevada, it's one of the most rapidly-growing populations in the interior west.

Ted Simons:
>> And again, we had some pretty good high tech action going on for awhile. That seems to have changed a little bit. But are there certain things that attract Asian Americans to Arizona?

Karen Leong:
>> Part of its that California is the most -- has the largest population of Asian Americans and pacific islanders. But the cost of living has been very high there. So part of what's attracting them to Arizona is the lower cost of living. Part of it has been in the past the growth of a knowledge economy. Around so we see that as there's been high tech, biomedical research developing here, that does attract highly-skilled workers who are of Asian descent and pacific islanders decent.

Ted Simons:
>> Let's talk about all the ethnic groups within this particular rubric. Because it sounds like there are a whole host folks.

Karen Leong:
>> Yes. According to the way the U.S. census determines Asian American there's over 40ethnic groups. In this report we looked at the top 12 or so groups. Even then that's quite a diverse range. So it goes from East Asians most popularly seen as Asian Americans, Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans, sometimes Korean American. But now we have Southeast Asian Americans, people from Vietnam, Malaysia. We also have pacific islanders who are actually a very different group but they're often -- until 2000 the U.S. census lumped them together as part of Asian Americans. And they are people who are native Hawaiians, people from Guam or Tonga or the Marshall islands even.

Ted Simons:
>> Talk about the differences between these groups and how folks maybe from the pacific islands -- would differ in terms of needs, challenges and what they're facing in Arizona as opposed to the folks from china.

Karen Leong:
>> Well, what we see from china is that we either have people who have been here for quite a long time from the 19th century, as early as the 1870s in Tucson and in Prescott, and they settled and they have roots here. So they've been here for many generations. And they also therefore are in some ways more Americanized or assimilated. We also have recent immigrants from china and many of them are highly skilled, highly educated. That's part of the reason they're able to come to the United States is because of the h 1 b visas. We have pacific islanders who have a very different history with the United States than people in East Asia. They were colonized by the U.S. military. Many of the jobs available and the economies are either around the U.S. military bases that are on their islands or through tourism. And that's very limited in terms of transferable skills, I would say. It's more service-oriented. Low-paying service-oriented. So what we see is that we have lower education rates among pacific islanders than we do among people from East Asia like Chinese Americans or Japanese Americans. And then we have the refugee population or descendants from the refugee population in the 70s who also come from varying backgrounds. So they are not as when they first come here they are not as able to reach those education levels. It takes a generation or so.

Ted Simons:
>> And with that in mind, talk if you would as well about language concerns, about health concerns, as they again overall with Asian Americans but again so many different aspects within the group.

Karen Leong:
>> Right. Well, one of the thing that differs of Asian Americans and pacific islanders is the language issue. There's so much diversity of languages. They don't even overlap. And this leads to many challenges. Over and over again, with focus groups, we held over 22 community focus groups with the different ethnic communities. And over and over again, many of them stated that language barriers were an issue to access. Access to information about mortgages, access to information about education, concern about how to even fill out financial aid forms. And so that's something that's really important, for example, A.S.U. has offered workshops in Navajo on how to fill out the financial aid forms, in Spanish. But they spend very little in terms of Asian language outreach. And this is important when we have so many diverse groups. And then health care is also very important. We have a cultures that are not comfortable talking about health issues, about their bodies. And then they are also in some ways intimidated and afraid to talk about things when they don't really understand each other. They might have a family member or child, for example, championing for them but that child may not have the proper terminology to use in these translations.

Ted Simons:
>> There are so many aspects of this. Real quickly, what do you want the public to take out of this property?

Karen Leong:
>> I think several things, but the first thing is just to understand the diversity of Asian Americans and pacific islanders. That not a model minority. There's been an assumption they're all highly well-educated and successful. That's not the case across the board. There are certain groups getting lost in the shuffle. Again to note that pacific islanders aren't the same and we need to aggregate this information to better serve the needs of this very diverse community.

Ted Simons:
>> It's a fascinating report and we thank you so much for joining us on horizon.


Karen Leong:
>> Well, thank you very much.

Ted Simons:
>> And a programming note, Horizonte is coming up right after horizon. And they will be discussing a new report out on the Hispanic community. Meanwhile, the Arizona educational foundation announces its selection for teacher of the year. She is Sarah Baird, an elementary math schoolteacher and coach at Kyrene de Las Lomas and Kyrene de las Lomas and Kyrene Del Milenio schools. She's been a teacher for 10 years. I'll talk more about her but first here's a video by Sarah Baird provided by the educational foundation.

Student 1:
>> She helps us with the activities. But we don't do that much math. But when Miss Baird comes in it's really fun because she teaches us about math a lot.

Student 2:
>> I think Miss Baird has made a change in my life because usually she's making it easier and she'll do anything to help us with math.

Student 1:
>> Like once she used a basketball players to help us figure out math made easier.

Student 3:
>> That's what she did to us, too.

Student 1:
>> And once she used different ways so we understand stuff.

Student 3:
>> Oh, yeah. I didn't learn that one. But all the girls in my class did.

Sarah Baird:
>> If [inaudible] say ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Students:
>> Ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Sarah Baird:
>> Oh, yeah? If you're an expert at making partners say ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Students:
>> Ask me, Mrs. Baird.

Nancy Branch:
>> Sarah Baird makes a difference in the life of her students by encouraging and engaging them in the world of mathematics and making them understand that they can love math and that they can be the best at it. She really believes in teaching children how to be thinkers. And the great thing that we love here at Milenio about not only does she teach them and engage them but she celebrates them as math thinkers. And we catch that enthusiasm throughout all of our classrooms here at Milenio as she goes into grades k-5 and we see children excited about math but also improving in their math skills and their math understanding.

Sarah Baird:
>> I think what really makes a great teacher stand out above and beyond is the energy and the passion that they have for just being in a room with children. And the commitment to knowing that that lesson or even that 30 minutes, that hour, is going to be something that is going to transcend past that day, past those walls out into their lives into the community.

Ted Simons:
>> And here now is Arizona's teacher of the year, Sarah Baird. Congratulations to you!

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, thank you so much!

Ted Simons:
>> How did you find out? And what was your response when you found out?

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, they' announced yesterday at a luncheon at the camelback inn. And my reaction -- at first I had to stop and kind of put my head in my hand and think, was that my name i just heard? I mean, as hard as I have worked and as much as I have done to put forth for this, I know that every teacher in that room has done the same. And so when you sit there and you think it could be me, it is surreal.

Ted Simons:
>> What got you into teaching? Did you always want to be a teacher?

Sarah Baird:
>> You know, I wasn't sure. I don't think I was sure what I wanted to be. When i was really young, 17, I used to coach gymnastics for the YMCA. It was such a good time with those kids. And I thought ways going to go into education to be like high school math or some kind of math teacher. He'd had a math teacher influence me so much in high school and really was part of -- she had a profound impact on me. So I thought that's what i was going to go do. And here I find where I belong with the little kiddos.

Ted Simons:
>> Yeah. When you were a little kiddo, were you a good student?



Sarah Baird:
>> Well, you know, what exactly is a good student? I guess it was hard for me. It was hard. I had some hardships in my life, like so many of our kids in Arizona have. And I had a mom who was working so hard to do the best she could for us, and so school was -- there was a lot of transition for me. And school was a place where I'm not sure I was there long enough to have those relationships that you need to feel like you're successful and you're doing great. So it wasn't until high school that I had that teacher that really helped me see that I had some potential. So, you know, I tried my best as a student. That's for sure. Like so many of them do.

Ted Simons:
>> And we're seeing you trying extra hard with those kids in that video. And a quote they read from you, as a way to a child's mind is through the heart.

Sarah Baird:
>> Yeah.

Ted Simons:
>> Talk to us about that.

Sarah Baird:
>> you know, I mean, the same as for us as adults or for any person, you going to learn best when you know that whoever is talking to you and is working with you cares about you as a person and wants you to know what you're teaching isn't because I have to teach it, it's because it matters for your life and for what we're doing. And just that smile, just smiling at them? I mean, they look at you so differently when they feel like you care about them.

Ted Simons:
>> Things like assessment tests, obviously very controversial here in Arizona. Folks have different ideas. Talk to us about how you feel about education and where testing, especially assessment tests, how that place into it.

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, assessment is really essential in education to help a teacher really, you know, guide where their practice is going to go. I think that when the word "assessment" is so controversial it is what is good assessment? And not every assessment is good for the type of information you're looking for. And so i think that data is something that is scary. It's scary because you can collect so much of it, you can collect it in so many ways, but knowing when to collect it, knowing which assessment is the best and then knowing what to do with it after is -- it's really hard. And it takes a lot of -- a lot of time and conversations. So though i think it's really needed we're constantly trying to figure out the balance between what is great assessment and what is helpful for kids.



Ted Simons:
>> Indeed. And there are some kids who after being assessed may not do as well as their parents would like. I know there are some parents who say you know, little Bobby or Suzie, they're just not good at math. Some kids are good, they're not so good. How would you respond?

Sarah Baird:
>> Well, I sure hope their kids don't think that. Because their confidence and feeling like they can do it is half the battle. It really is. I mean, just changing the feeling of I am so good at this. I'm going to try it. Hard problems don't scare me. That right there takes away that frustration that's kind of shuts their brains down a little bit. So even for us as students when we would think about story problems it's like Ahh! All of us kind of get that little twitch going. Well, I want kids to look at it and think, I'll tackle. It I'll give it a shot. I may not know but I'm going to try it.

Ted Simons:
>> Last question. The kids, are they giving you the business yet?

Sarah Baird:
>> They're so excited. They are. There is nothing better. If you're having a bad day, just walk into a kindergarten room or preschool room or even fifth grade. They love it. Today this little boy said to me, he said, "so did you find out?"And I said, yeah. He said did you get it? You did? You got to be kidding! So their reaction is the same as mine. They fill me up. They really do. It's a joy to be with them.

Ted Simons:
>> It's a joy having you on the program and again congratulations. It's a great honor.

Sarah Baird:
>> thank you so much. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>> We'll look at some unresolved election issues as well as the future of the republican party in Arizona and a check on the values housing market to see if there's anything positive news there. That's Friday at 7:00 on horizon. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

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