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New Board Of Education President Could Ease Friction With Diane Douglas

The Arizona Board of Education will have a new president, after Greg Miller resigned yesterday, at the request of Gov. Doug Ducey.

Greg Miller and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas had a rocky relationship which featured disputes on a number of issues, as well as an accusation by Douglas that Miller assaulted her at a board meeting. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office ultimately declined to file charges.

For his part, Miller agreed with the governor that there needed to be some kind of change.
"She's the elected official. She's going to be there for another two-plus years," Miller said. "So I'm the expendable piece. She is not."
The Show has two perspectives today on what Miller’s resignation could mean for the Board of Education going forward, as well as its relationship with the state education department.

"I just think it's a shame," said Rebecca Gau, the executive director of Stand For Children Arizona. "I think he's been such a strong voice on things that many of us believe in— accountability, rigor, putting kids first."

Lisa Graham Keegan is a former superintendent of public instruction for Arizona. She opposed Diane Douglas’ candidacy but more recently has had some praise for the superintendent and her staff. She said she hopes this will remove some of the tension between the superintendent of public instruction and the board.

"It's an interesting dance, but the better everybody can be focused on larger principals, the better off the state is going to be," Keegan said.

Earlier today, Gov. Ducey announced the appointment of two new members to the State Board of Education: Vail Unified School District Superintendent Calvin Baker and Janice Mak, who teaches STEM courses in the Paradise Valley Unified School District.

Those appointments will fill already-open seats on the board and don’t relate to Greg Miller’s resignation. Gov. Ducey could make that appointment at any time.

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.