Governor Doug Ducey: Pioneering Education Reform in Arizona

February 28, 2024

Governor Doug Ducey is known as one of America's most successful entrepreneurs and most successful governors.

In this episode, Governor Doug Ducey provides insights into the education landscape in Arizona, drawing from his background in business and politics. He emphasizes the importance of innovation and choice in the education system and discusses success stories such as charter schools and programs like Teach for America.

The conversation delves into various aspects of education, including competition, school choice, fundamental education, innovation, and the role of community colleges. Governor Ducey also touches on the future of free enterprise and economic freedom.

  • Innovation and choice are crucial in the education system.
  • Success stories like charter schools and Teach for America demonstrate the potential for positive change.
  • The education establishment often prioritizes protecting its interests over student outcomes.
  • Arizona's culture allows for greater innovation and change in education.
  • Competition can lead to improvement in schools.
  • School choice empowers parents and can enhance both charter and district K-12 schools.
  • Concerns about school choice include the loss of neighborhood community and political alignment.
  • Fundamental education should prioritize reading, writing, and arithmetic.
  • Innovation, such as educational savings accounts and online platforms, can transform learning.
  • Community colleges play a crucial role in providing affordable education and skills training.
  • Economic freedom and entrepreneurship are essential for individual and national success.

Governor Ducey was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, where he began his career in business with Procter & Gamble, and later served as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery. There, Ducey led the expansion of the ice cream franchise from one single store into a business with 1,400 locations in the United States and 10 other countries.

Elected Arizona’s 23rd Governor in 2014 and reelected by an even wider margin in 2018, Ducey successfully championed historic policy initiatives, enacting the lowest flat income tax rate in the nation, introducing a first-in-nation law that requires students to pass a Civics test before graduating from high school, knocking-down licensing requirements that stood as a barrier to work, and eliminating or improving over 3,365 regulations resulting in the equivalent of a $183 million dollar tax cut.

Ducey may be best known for pioneering Education Scholarship Accounts and universal school choice – providing every family with the opportunity to have their student attend whatever school is best for them. As the Hill reported, Arizona’s program “has become the standard that school choice advocates argue other states need to emulate.”

Legendary Conservative Columnist George Will described Ducey as the “most successful 21st century governor.”

Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona also experienced unparalleled growth with the state’s economy having boomed while the size of government has shrunk. When Ducey left office, Arizona’s government employed 5,000 less state workers than when he took office, and the state’s economy added over 500,000 private sector jobs.

Learn more about Doug Ducey:


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