Ex-Intel CEO Ready to Remake Arizona Schools

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The former chief executive of Intel wants to essentially blow up everything in public education in Arizona, from how teachers are trained to how they are paid.

And Craig Barrett is getting a platform to do just that with his appointment Monday by Gov. Jan Brewer as chairman of the Arizona Ready Education Council.

In a wide-ranging interview with Capitol Media Services, Barrett said public school children are doing far worse than the national average.

"We're kind of the bottom 10 or 15 percent of states," he said.

He said the prime goal of the council will be to get Arizona to adopt core national standards and then, using those as benchmarks, making sure Arizona youngster improve.

But Barrett, while acknowledging Arizona is "not terribly high" on funding per students compared to other states, rejected the idea that more money is at least part of the answer.

In fact, Barrett said he does not even believe that the state needs to pay teachers more to attract the best and the brightest into education. He says the key is paying each teacher not only according to his or her performance but according to the business practices of supply and demand.

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