100 Day Action Plan

January 2019

  • WEEK 1, DAYS 1-7
    • Hold all-hands meeting for Arizona Department of Education employees to introduce the executive team, lay out short- and long-term plans, and provide an opportunity for questions and feedback from the very beginning.
    • Begin daily one-on-one meetings with ADE employees, starting with department heads, to hear concerns and determine resources needed for success. 
      1. Goal: Meet with all 600+ Department employees within the first 14 months of the Superintendent’s term.
    • Produce legislative session action plan.
      1. Schedule weekly conference call with County Superintendents and other education leaders to gather their feedback and pass it on to the legislature.
      2. Schedule weekly meetings or calls with the heads of the Senate and House Education Committees. Ensure open lines of communication, provide feedback, and testify at committee meetings as necessary.
      3. Goal: Obtain authorization and appropriation for new statewide audit of special education costs. Find sponsors in both houses and produce lobbying plan for passage.

  • WEEK 2, DAYS 8-14
    • Hire or designate Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) Accountability Chief
      1. This person will ensure maximum transparency of the ESA program and strict oversight of proper use of these taxpayer dollars.
      2. This person will also investigate the best solution for managing ESA accountability: is there a technology solution that can restrict purchases to pre-approved / education-only items and reduce the administrative burden? Should ADE manage most of this process internally or utilize a third party vendor?
      3. Goal: Produce a detailed ESA Accountability Plan by Day 100 of the Superintendent’s term
    • Hire or designate Information Technology Systems Chief.
      1. This person will examine the connections, interplay, and usability of ADEConnect, SIS (AzEDS), and Common Logon. Goals:
        • Maximize ease of use / customer satisfaction: Systems should “talk” to each other as much as possible and reduce the need for school or district staff to enter the same data multiple times and remember multiple logins.
        • Maximize accuracy of student enrollment data. There should be no discrepancies between ADE enrollment counts, individual school/district enrollment counts, and student counts used by other governmental agencies.
        • Solicit extensive feedback from LEAs to determine the most critical needs and most commonly requested improvements to the systems.
      2. This person will manage the replacement and modernization of the APOR/CHAR school finance system.
      3. Goal: Produce a first draft ADE Four-Year Comprehensive Technology Master Plan by Day 100 of the Superintendent’s term. Public feedback and edits to the plan will continue beyond this point.
    • Designate an ADE Employee as the General Public Ombudsman, a single point of contact for any member of the public with comments, questions, or suggestions
    • Designate an ADE Employee as the Schools Ombudsman, a single point of contact for any schools with comments, questions, or suggestions

  • WEEK 3, DAYS 15-21
    • Begin crafting RFP for continuation or replacement of the AzMERIT test.
      1. Investigate costs and regulatory requirements associated with replacing the high school AzMERIT with the ACT or SAT as the default test.
      2. Success metric: Post RFP by Day 100 of the Superintendent’s term. Close RFP and make recommendation to State Board of Education on AzMERIT replacement or continuation by August 1, 2019. If AzMERIT is not continued, target 2020-21 school year as first year for replacement so as not to spring a new item on schools with little notice.
    • Meet with ADE staff to discuss plan for implementation of the Menu of Assessments, which allows schools to choose from multiple standardized tests to meet compliance requirements.

  • WEEK 4, DAYS 22-28
    • State Board of Education meeting
      1. Coordinate with State Board on next steps toward implementing the Menu of Assessments.
      2. Invite Board staff to return and be based in the Department of Education building to better facilitate productive working relationships.
    • Initiate audit of Department of Education budget. Determine potential cost savings, including in federally funded programs and staff.
      1. Success metric: Complete audit, including recommendations for any changes, by day 120 of Superintendent’s term. Recommendations should include specific suggestions for asking U.S. Department of Education for additional flexibility in use of federal dollars, which would reduce administrative costs.

  • WEEK 5, DAYS 29-35
    • Send out internal employee satisfaction survey for all ADE employees. Track results and set goals for improvement.
    • Begin hosting the bimonthly Arizona Educational Staff Roundtable at ADE, bringing together key staffers from ADE, the Board of Education, the House Education Committee, the Senate Education Committee, the Governor’s Office, various County Superintendents’ Offices, and various school district offices, to ensure effective and open communication between all government agencies dealing with public education.


  • WEEK 6, DAYS 36-42
    • Initiate regular contact with innovative and effective Superintendents of Public Instruction from other states to share best practices, including but not limited to Colorado, North Dakota, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
    • Launch the Students Advisory Group that meets quarterly with the Superintendent.

  • WEEK 7, DAYS 43-49
    • Send out customer feedback surveys to all schools and teachers who interact with ADE. After two weeks, begin analyzing results and set goals for improvement.
    • Launch the Educators Advisory Group that meets quarterly with the Superintendent.

  • WEEK 8, DAYS 50-56
    • State Board of Education meeting
    • Launch the Superintendents, School Leaders, and School Board Members Advisory Group that meets quarterly with the Superintendent.

  • WEEK 9, DAYS 57-63
    • Launch the Industry Advisory Group that meets quarterly with the Superintendent.


  • WEEK 10, DAYS 64-70
    • Continue outreach to legislature, department audit, production of ESA plan, production of IT plan, analysis of feedback surveys, etc.

  • WEEK 11, DAYS 71-77
    • Open improved online portal / “hotline” for public feedback, linked from the ADE homepage, that goes to the General Public Ombudsman with a copy directly to the Superintendent.

  • WEEK 12, DAYS 78-84
    • State Board of Education meeting
    • Determine feasibility of creating an interactive section of the website where members of the public can submit suggestions for how to improve Arizona’s education system, with the ability to vote and comment on ideas.

  • WEEK 13, DAYS 85-91
    • After soliciting feedback from ADE department heads and staff, begin rolling out new, streamlined organizational structure for the Department. Further changes may occur based on results of department audit.


  • WEEK 14, DAYS 92-98
    • Previously launched projects ongoing

  • WEEK 15, DAYS 99-100
    • Approximate end of legislative session
    • Completion of ESA Accountability Plan and first draft ADE Four-Year Comprehensive Technology Master Plan.
    • Audit of ADE budget 80 percent complete.


Proposed Arizona Department of Education organizational chart
(Draft, subject to change. Click for larger version.)

Org chart


Have any feedback? Email us at info@gelbartforaz.com.