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Ducey's summer camps get mixed reviews for approach to pandemic learning loss

Gov. Doug Ducey earlier this year set aside around $100 million of federal COVID-19 relief money to try and help students overcome pandemic-related learning loss.

The AZ OnTrack Summer Camp program ended up serving around 100,000 students around the state; the camps were different lengths and had different programming.

But to Bob Robb, they were not the best way to try to get students caught up on what they’ve missed over the last couple of years.

Robb writes about politics and policy on Substack, and recently wrote about why he didn’t think this was the right approach

The Show spoke with him and asked if, in concept, the idea seems like a good one.

The program’s supporters, not surprisingly, have a different perspective.

Lisa Graham Keegan is the chair of the AZ OnTrack Summer Camps; she’s also a former state schools superintendent. 

The Show spoke with her about some of Robb’s concerns, starting with the format: a voluntary camp, rather than Robb's preferred method — a statewide, comprehensive program.

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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.