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Arizona Department of Education receives strong rating for ESSA plan


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  • Stefan Swiat/ Arizona Department of Education

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The Arizona Department of Education’s ESSA plan was praised in a report released by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute today.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s “Rating the Ratings Report” determined that Arizona submitted one of the highest-rated plans, earning a “strong” rating in the main three categories of evaluation.

“Arizona has taken the lead nationally in regards to ESSA implementation and innovation,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas said. “Not only am I extremely proud that Arizona was the first to submit its state ESSA plan, but also for the well-earned accolades the state has received from this report. I credit the hours of hard work undertaken by my staff, as well as the thousands of comments we have received from parents, teachers, administrators, stakeholder groups, community members and elected officials that truly helped make this a plan for all of Arizona.”

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute evaluated the first 17 state ESSA plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education this year, naming Arizona as one of only three states to receive “strong” ratings in all three categories.

Arizona was singled out for clear and intuitive school ratings, a rating system that encourages schools to focus on all students and a rating system that is fair to all schools.

“The most important thing ESSA does is empower states to design improved school rating systems,” Thomas B. Fordham Institute President Mike Petrilli said. “Arizona has done just that, developing one of the best approaches we’ve seen to date. With clear and intuitive A-F ratings, a design that signals that all students matter, and an approach that is fair to all schools, including high poverty ones, Arizona has become a national exemplar.”

Those interested in learning more about Arizona’s ESSA state plan can log on to http://www.azed.gov/essa/.

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