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May 29, 2014

Host: José Cárdenas

Disconnected Youth Summit

  |   Video
  • The Maricopa County Education Service Agency hosted a summit focused on reconnecting disconnected youth in Phoenix. The summit explored the problem and its impact on individuals and communities. Laurie King, director of learning and communication systems for Maricopa County Education Service Agency talks about the summit.
  • Laurie King - Director, Learning and Communication Systems for Maricopa County Education Service Agency
Category: Community   |   Keywords: community, youth, disconnected, summit, phoenix, impact,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: The Maricopa County Educational Service Agency hosted a summit focused on reconnecting disconnected youth in Phoenix. The summit explored the problem and its impact on individuals and communities. We will talk more about what was discussed at the summit, but first here's a look at what happened that day.

(Sound on tape)

>> On May 7th, McESA sponsored its first disconnected youth summit.

>> Metropolitan Phoenix has the greatest number of disconnected youth. That's a wicked problem.

>> Leaders from across the country came together to discuss the issue.

>> If my kids are disadvantaged, they have all of the disadvantages of success.

>> And begin to mobilize towards effective solutions.

>> The imagination will allow us to do something transformative that we can only do together. We can't do it alone.

>> McESA and the greater Phoenix metropolitan community: working together to connect the disconnected. For more information, visit education.maricopa.GOV/connect.

>> Get the inside scoop on what's happening at Arizona PBS. Become an eight insider. You'll receive weekly updates on the most anticipated upcoming programs and events. Get the eight insider delivered to your email in box. Visit www.azpbs.org to sign up today.

José Cárdenas: With me to talk about the Disconnected Youth Summit is Laurie King, director of learning and communication systems for the Maricopa County Education Service Agency. Laurie, welcome to "Horizonte." So we use the word "disconnected" but disconnected in what sense? What does that mean?

Laurie King: Well, disconnected is a term that has been given to youth ages 16 through 24 who aren't in school or aren't working.

José Cárdenas: And this was the first summit of its kind here in Arizona, as I understand it. Why now? What happened that made your organization and others decide to focus on this issue?

Laurie King: Well, back in September, a front page article was published in the "Arizona Republic" by a reporter named Eugene Scott that broke the story about disconnected youth in Phoenix. And it named Phoenix as the number one city in America with the highest number of disconnected youth. He was reporting on a study that came out of the Measure of America, which is an organization out of New York City that did a study of the entire country and named metro Phoenix as the number one metro area in the country with disconnected youth.

José Cárdenas: Now, some of the kids we're talking about are people that your organization has been working with, and many other organizations in the valley. Why was this such a shock?

Laurie King: Well, I think that when you think about it, it wasn't so much of a shock that it exists, but that metro Phoenix is such -- had the highest number. So that was -- that's a sobering statistic, any time you look at your own community and say, wow, we're known for this, and so we really knew that we had to get involved as the Education Service Agency for the county that we needed to quickly jump on this and try to connect these kids.

José Cárdenas: And from what I understand, the summit was very successful in bringing people together to talk about this problem. What were the results of the summit?

Laurie King: Well, the summit was fantastic. We had about 174 people from different local agencies, nonprofits. We had political leaders, community leaders coming together, and really the point of the summit was to raise awareness of this issue and to really bring to light. What came out of that was a commitment from the people that were there to come together, to do something about this. These organizations are already doing great things for kids in this demographic that we would consider disconnected. Fantastic things are going on in pockets throughout metro Phoenix, throughout the state. But what we wanted to do is bring them together and start connecting what they're doing to really cast the net over metro Phoenix to gather up as many of our youth as possible to reconnect them.

José Cárdenas: And there were a number of disturbing aspects of the original report, one we've already talked about, Phoenix is number one in this category, but also at least on a national basis, amongst Hispanic youth. It’s the one group were the number of female disconnected is greater than male disconnected, why is that?

Laurie King: Right. Well, what we've seen in the research is that young women who have children are three times likely, more likely to be disconnected. And we're also seeing that in metro Phoenix there are pockets, ZIP codes, neighborhoods that have more disconnected youth than others. And the expectations in the neighborhoods, friends influencing friends, families influencing families, we're seeing more, we're seeing the disconnection through those pockets. And so as we look into our neighborhoods that are more segregated, then that's what we're seeing. And that's a big issue that we need to tackle.

José Cárdenas: We've only got about 30 seconds left. Big job ahead of everybody, what's the next step?

Laurie King: We have a next summit is October 15th of this year. Where we are bringing these groups back together as well as anybody else who is interested and looking at creating this collective impact model where we're going to be coming together and making some steps forward of -- as different organizations and different groups, how we're connecting together to really wrap around these kids and get them reconnected into school and into work.

José Cárdenas: Laurie King, thank you for joining us on “Horizonte” to talk about this

Laurie King: Thank you.

Election Preview 2014

  |   Video
  • Legislative, congressional, and statewide races will be on this year's election ballot. Jaime Molera, partner with Molera Alvarez and John Loredo, former Arizona lawmaker and political consultant preview the upcoming general and primary elections.
  • Jaime Molera - Partner, Molera Alvarez
  • John Loredo - Former Lawmaker and Political Consultant, Arizona
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: elections, preview, arizona, primary, general, congress, state, legislative,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: Thank you for joining us. The Arizona primary election is less than one month away. Legislative, congressional, and statewide races will be on this year's election ballot. Here with me to talk about upcoming primary and general elections are Jaime Molera, partner with Molera Alvarez, and John Loredo, former Arizona lawmaker and political consultant. Gentlemen, welcome back. You've been on the show before. Lots to talk about. Let's start with gubernatorial race. Jaime, you've got at least five Republican candidates of stature, probably the most prominent, a lot of discussion about Doug Ducey and whether he's already faltering because everybody thought he was a frontrunner. He’s trying to lower expectations. What's going on there?

Jaime Molera: Well, the unfortunate thing for Doug was that he was the one who had the most money and probably the largest organization. He got endorsed by people like Jon Kyle and Jerry Colangelo, and so the expectations were that the poll numbers were automatically going to translate to, you know, he was going to have have 40, 50%. But nobody knows Doug Ducey. Nobody knows who the state treasurer is. And even though he's known in the establishment world, he's really, when you go to greater Arizona and go to Republican districts, they don't know who he was. So there's a huge gap between like a Ken Bennett, Christine Jones, Doug -- Scott Smith, so their numbers are in the early teens, maybe single digits, but they're 60% of Republicans that are undecided. And so that's the expectation he has to overcome. At the end of the day, he's still seen as a front-runner because with that kind of money and that kind of organization behind him, it's expected that he's going to be able to now that he's doing commercials, now that he's doing radio, his numbers should go up soon. Unless it's countered by some of the other candidates.

José Cárdenas: Who do you see coming out of the Republican primary?

Jaime Molera: The bet is still Ducey just because of that kind of money that's behind him, and the other thing is, I.E.s are going to play a big role in this election cycle, independent expenditures. And there's a lot of business interests that are lining themselves behind Ducey. And that's probably what will give him the edge. A lot of people are talking about Scott Smith because he has a lot of connections to different cities around Arizona being the very prominent mayor, Christine Jones having a lot of money, Ken Bennett, the question whether he can catch fire with the precinct committee people and the rank and file Republicans. But Ducey has that that core establishment and those dollars, that should be effective for him.

José Cárdenas: So John, the thinking is that on the Democratic side, Fred Duval's best shot is if these 4 Republicans, and there are a couple more than four, tear themselves apart in the primary and don't have enough time to recover for the general. What do you think of that?

John Loredo: Sure, I mean, that's always the bet. It's good for Duval to be sitting there with no primary opponent for sure; he can spend time raising money and doing what he needs to do to prep himself for the general election in November.

José Cárdenas: Any concern though that he gets off the radar and nobody is even thinking about him?

John Loredo: I don't think so. It's a good opportunity for him to raise money and not have to spend it now. He can push all of it out to November. And whereas in the Republican primary, you're going to have people running against each other. With that many people in the field, they're going to have to spend their money in order to make sure they win. That's the bottom line. There's going to be undecided voters, they're going to have to spend a lot of money. They're going to have to raise a lot of money to replenish their funds in a shorter period of time than DuVal would have had.

José Cárdenas: And who is the ideal candidate from Duval's perspective to run against him in the general?

John Loredo: Probably Al Melvin I think, or Andrew Thomas would be great.

José Cárdenas: Neither of whom are likely to come out.

John Loredo: No. You know, I think -- I think it's a pretty general belief that the person who will pull it out is going to be Doug Ducey. Like Jaime said, resources matter. Especially when you're in a crowded field, the way you pull away from the field is by spending money. And you either have it or you don't. And for Ducey, I think Jaime’s correct. He's going to have outside spending coming in and, you know, when you're in it to win it, you're going to do what you need to do to pull out in front. And when you've got the resources, you have the advantage.

José Cárdenas: Let's go to the congressional races. Three I want to talk about, two are the races are subject to a toss-up really in terms of the Republican-Democratic candidates. You have two incumbents, Barber and Kirkpatrick. And what should be tough races for them. How much impact is the current scandal over the Veterans’ Administration going to have in those races?

Jaime Molera: Well that’s one of those things that's like a drum beat. You have that issue that's ongoing, and certainly the Obama administration is taking the brunt of it. You combine that with the economy that's still so somewhat sluggish, you combine that with the huge continuing angst over Obamacare, combine that with foreign policy blunders, all of those things and traditionally as we know in a second term of an incumbent president's mid-term elections that president's party tends to do very bad. And there's a lot of -- For whatever reason, maybe it's a lot of angst for that president, maybe it's -- They're just tired of that party. But the opposing party tends to do well. In Arizona in particular, you have 168,000 more Republicans than you do Democrats.

Every poll that I've seen shows Republicans tend to be just a little bit more motivated to vote. And a lot of it is because when you have stories about the V.A., and people blaming Obama, and anybody that's tied to Obama gets the collateral damage. So, Republicans are going to jump on that. And they're using every wedge issue they can, and when you have races and districts like Kirkpatrick's district, and then you have Barber's district, it's pretty even. Maybe the Democrats might enjoy in Kirkpatrick's district maybe 2%, actually with Barber, the Republicans have a 3, 4% advantage there. That’s something they’re going to trying and capitalize on, and especially when the margins are so tight, you're going to see a lot of, again, outside money coming in, with the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, which opens a lot more dollars into these races, you're going to see a lot of outside money coming into Arizona, especially from business interests to try and push, if it's Tobin, who's a current speaker of the house, and Martha McSally, who is a very popular candidate in Tucson. They could have a good chance of pulling those races out.

José Cárdenas: So John, do you see those seats going to Republicans?

John Loredo: No. I don't think so. The bottom line here is I think for the Democratic incumbents, they're going have one defense, and the defense is going to be voting records. And you're going to see proposals and voting records in which more funding for V.A. services and for veterans that has been on the table, especially in the house, being rejected by the Republican majority. So those proposals have been pushed by and large by Democrats. And then those cuts have been coming through on the Republican side. So there's a defense there, but the real bottom line here is that voters are more concerned about the economy, they're more concerned about education than they are anything else. And those are the issues that will override I think anything else. The V.A. issue is a very important issue, especially in districts that have military bases and retirees like down in Arizona – southern -- Tucson. And so those issues will be big, but by the time the election – the general election comes, it will be all about the economy and jobs.

José Cárdenas: Let's switch now to the race to succeed congressman Pastor. There are the issues whether it’s going to be a Democrat or Republican. It's going to be a Democrat, but which democrat. You got Mary Rose Wilcox endorsed by the congressman and then you got a pretty strong challenger in Ruben Gallego.

John Loredo: You know, there have been a number of polls, Senator Steve Gallardo was in the race up until I think last week and he has dropped out and is now pursuing Mary Rose's old seat at the County Board of Supervisors. Now it's a head-to-head matchup between Wilcox and Gallego. I think you’re going to see a pretty tight race there. And in a lot of ways, it is kind of a battle for -- between generations, right? You've got Gallego with a much younger electorate, a much younger base of support, and you've got Mary Rose with older voters and an older base of support. I think what it's really going to come down to is which side gets out their base of supporters more. I don't see a whole lot of persuadable voters in this thing. They're either going to be on one side or the other early. And I think that's where they’re going to stay. So, it comes down to boots on the ground, it's going to come down to money. Just like with the other races, whoever has the ability to do more persuasion, to be out there on the field, and in the mail, that's who's going to win this race. And I think so far we see that Gallego is the one that has more of both.

José Cárdenas: So we're almost out of time. I want to talk about one other race quickly, the Attorney General's race. It's starting to get pretty nasty.

Jaime Molera: Well, I'm not sure if it's getting nasty as much as that there's a lot of body blows that are being -- every day in the "Arizona Republic" there's story after story after story on the incumbent Tom Horne. And I would imagine that Felicia is saying that's great, but stop running those stories so much because I'd rather have him as a candidate than maybe a Mark Brnovich who might have the entire the entire weight of the Republican establishment behind him. It's certainly something that Tom has nine lives, a lot of people have always thought about, you know, he's been able to win elections when they never thought he would be able to. And I think though that he's going to have a tough time getting out of this primary.

José Cárdenas: We're really completely out of time, but do you see Horne surviving?

John Loredo: I don't think he survives the primary, but I still think Rotellini wins in general.

José Cárdenas: Thanks for joining us. There's a lot more to talk about. We'll have you back on the show to discuss the elections.

Loyola Academy

  |   Video
  • Loyola Academy opened in 2011 to prepare academically gifted boys from underprivileged families for Brophy College Preparatory. Recently, the academy promoted its first class. Horizonte talks to Kendra Krause, Loyola Academy director and Bob Ryan, Brophy College Preparatory principal about the school's progress since it opened three years ago.
  • Kendra Krause - Director, Loyola Academy
  • Bob Ryan - Principal, Brophy College Preparatory
Category: Education   |   Keywords: education, school, families, students, loyola, academy, phoenix,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: Loyola Academy opened in 2011 to prepare academically gifted boys from underprivileged families for Brophy College Prepatory. This month the academy graduated its first class. We’ll talk about the school’s progress since it opened three years ago. But first, here's a little of what Loyola Academy is all about.

(Sound on tape)

>> Nobody has ever graduated from college in my family, and I'd really like to be the first one to do that.

>> Every child deserves an opportunity. I mean, it's that simple.

>> When I found out I was coming to Loyola, I was ecstatic.

>> Loyola Academy is a middle school at Brophy College Prepatory.

>> We don't refer to ourselves as students, because students, they come to school because they have to.

>> We call them scholars.

>> Scholars, they come to school because they like to.

>> Our scholars are low-income students, most come from public schools, so all families have to qualify for free or reduced lunch.

>> A Loyola scholar is eager to learn, bright, typically hasn't been in a school where he's been challenged.

>> I love to learn. Someday I'd like to become like a marine biologist.

>> I want to become a lawyer or a cardiologist.

>> To get to Loyola, I leave my house at 6:30 in the morning and get home at 7 o’clock at night.

>> Kids are here 10 hours a day, 11 months a year.

>> Academically, we're asking them to meet the demands of a rigorous curriculum. They have gaps already, so we want to close those and then we want to push them.

>> The ethic here is that kids do well. College is an expectation, but we recognize that there's more than academics.

>> Everybody is one big family, one big brotherhood.

>> Loyola!

José Cárdenas: Here with me are Kendra Krause, Loyola Academy director, and Bob Ryan, Brophy College Prepatory principal. Thank you both for being back with us on "Horizonte." We were here three years ago, talking about your first class. There was a lot of excitement. And now you've reached quite a milestone. As we're talking, we're going to show footage of this ceremony. What do you call it, promotion ceremony? As these kids are going into the ninth grade. Lessons learned from these first three years with these kids?

Kendra Krause: I think fortunately a lot of them, a lot of lessons have been affirmations of what we believed before we started. So to kids that are really committed to education and families that are as well, give them a lot of opportunity, access to really great teachers, a ton of support, and they do well. And I think that's been the biggest lesson. The kids really flourish when the community and the culture, the ethic is geared all based around them. And what is going to allow them to be successful.

José Cárdenas: This first cohort started with 32 kids. Is that right?

Bob Ryan: Yes.

José Cárdenas: And how many participated in the promotion ceremony?

José Cárdenas: Twenty-five promoted last week to the ninth grade. So --

José Cárdenas: And we'll be seeing some of them in a moment on the screen going through the ceremony. It must have been a feeling of tremendous accomplishment for you as well as for them.

Bob Ryan: It was a great moment for the whole school, the whole community. Really proud of the boys, proud of the teachers that spend every day with them, the great work they've done. And as Kendra said, it really just affirmed for us what's possible with kids when they have the right support system and structure in place.

José Cárdenas: Now, when we were here last time you were Both surprised at the number of kids who stuck with it even that first semester, I think is where we had been. Twenty-five out of 32 seems pretty impressive. And I'm sure there's some disappointment they all didn't make it, but do you feel pretty good about that number?

Bob Ryan: Very much so. In fact, it's still surprising to me, you get seventh, eighth grade boys who show up at 7:30, no later than 7:30, some are there earlier than that, and they're there until 5:30 every day. And they don't mind it. They're not pining to get out of there every afternoon. And I think that speaks to the culture that Kendra mentioned that I think has been the absolute key to the program. The real sense of community that's been established up there, the boys feel connected to each other, they feel connected to the school, and so they're not anxious to leave at 5:30.

José Cárdenas: Kendra, we just finished watching some scenes of you shaking hands with these young men as they're going through. You got two more classes now. What are you going to be doing differently, if at all, with these kids as compared to the ones who just made it up?

Kendra Krause: That’s a great question. We're going to learn a ton in the next year, as they're ninth graders for the first time. What are they struggling with and what isn't a struggle at Brophy. So, I know, I know we'll make a ton of adjustments, probably a year from now especially. But we've continuously adjusted, everything from adding time to study vocabulary, to different trips we've taken, to different support mechanisms in place, like we have a parent family coordinator now that we didn't have when we started. So I think one of the graces of our position and our place is the ability to be flexible based on what kids and families need.

José Cárdenas: And Bob, how is life going to be different for this group now that they're in the general population?

Bob Ryan: They kind of exist in a little bit of a cocoon on the top floor of this old classroom building, where they -- that's where they take their classes, it's their big student union, where they spend time in the morning and after school in kind of a study hall session. And then the next year they'll be integrated into the general high school student population of 1,250 boys. So we believe that the whole reason the program exists is so that when boys do get to ninth grade they're ready for all of the challenges and opportunities that await them. But it will be, I mean, it will be different. They're used to having Kendra and her staff, you know, know everything about them on a minute by minute basis, and that won't necessarily be the case next year. But I'm really -- everybody is excited for what they're going to accomplish next year.

José Cárdenas: And Kendra, the whole purpose of the program was to prepare these boys for the prep school. So that will be the real test of whether you've succeeded, but along the way you've been doing testing. Tell us about the results.

Kendra Krause: Right. So, our kids take the IOB 6 skills test, which is a fairly common standardized test. They take it every October, September. And in general, our kids have made two years of academic growth for every year that they’ve been with us. So, if they came in at a sixth grade level, in theory, tested at a 10th grade level at the beginning of 8th grade. So we're definitely seeing academic growth from an objective metric.

José Cárdenas: So you're pretty comfortable they're going to make it in prep school?

Kendra Krause: Yeah, very. They're awesome.

José Cárdenas: So talk very briefly about the selection process for the kids who are going to start in your program.

Kendra Krause: The biggest thing is they have to qualify financially, so they have to qualify for free or reduced lunch. We want kids and families committed to the education, 10-hour day and 11-month year isn't for everybody. Those 2 things alone make up the driving force of the decision making process. And then we look for kids who are really curious. They've done well in school, but maybe haven't had as much opportunity. And they generally come from schools that wouldn't otherwise -- that don't normally send kids to Brophy.

José Cárdenas: We're almost out of time. Finances, how do you pay for this?

Bob Ryan: The school -- the reason the program exists is because we believe all young people deserve a quality education. And so we have had financial aid in place for students at the high school for years, but realized that for kids that came from underserved communities, finances were only part of the equation. So, the school made a commitment to make it possible for these kids beginning in sixth grade. So it's a combination of the state tax credit, but the primary source of funding is private donations. We've had really generous funders that have supported us.

José Cárdenas: And you've done very well with what you've had, so my congratulations to both of you. I hope to see you guys back, what, three years from now when these kids are graduated from high school?

Bob Ryan: We'd love it.

José Cárdenas: And we’ll see how things did then.

Kendra Krause: Thank you.

José Cárdenas: That's our show for tonight. From all of us at eight and "Horizonte" I'm José Cárdenas. Have a good night.