The most important responsibility a state has is the education of its children. When education is viewed as gaining knowledge, rather than simply passing from grade to grade to graduation, leaders recognize that every qualitative aspect of a society is determined by the success or failure of its educational system. Whether economic progress, health and wellness, law and order, fiscal responsibility, social cohesion or participation in the democratic process, education sets the tone for how the society will prosper or fail.
Using the metaphor of Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities,” the author compares the school systems of Arizona and Massachusetts, including a comparison of the “grades’ of the systems and a comparison of the “policy” that produces those grades. The discussion looks at the process of getting to the current status of the two school systems. The author then concludes as to which state’s leaders value education and are willing to take responsibility for providing the environment for a quality education and which do not.