Arizona Republic
June 27, 2007

 The (Phoenix, AZ)Author: Mark Anderson
Estimated printed pages: 2

The world is changing rapidly every day.

The American K-12 education system is struggling to keep up. One way to ensure that our students are competitive in today's global society is to increase their knowledge of foreign language, culture, business and history.

That is the purpose of the American Competitiveness Project, which was approved by the Legislature just days ago and was the subject of an Arizona Republic article by Pat Kossan.

The article indicated that the legislation had died, when in fact it passed, creating the program and the fund with the only missing element being the
$1.6 million state dollars requested to start.

In reality, the program will move forward with a combination of corporate, foundation and federal grant dollars, which will be much more easily obtained now that the Legislature has given its endorsement and granted authority for the fund to be established.

The project allows selected schools to become "schools of international studies," which means children will start learning a foreign language in kindergarten and a second language beginning in ninth grade. Upon graduation, they will be trilingual. They will learn world history, cultures and international business with an emphasis on math and science as well.
They will be prepared to compete with students from around the world, thereby strengthening our nation's future.

State Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa, represents District 18 and is chairman of the House K-12 Education Committee.

Global education debate

State Rep. Mark Anderson and Sen. Karen Johnson, both Mesa Republicans, were
on opposite sides of a debate last week over Anderson's bill to fund special
public schools that focuses on international studies. Ultimately the
Legislature endorsed the concept without providing funds. We invited
Anderson and Johnson to submit their sides of the debate, excerpts of which
appear here. Their unabridged positions appear at under My Turn.

CAPTION: Mark Anderson
Edition: Final Chaser
Section: Chandler Republic
Page: 31