As students across Arizona return to school, Education Forward Arizona seeks to unite sectors, interests and communities across the state to improve education outcomes and close achievement gaps, from early learning through K-12 and postsecondary attainment. This new organization aims to change the way people think about and support education as the key to improving the economy and the quality of life in Arizona.
“Arizonans want bold action that moves education forward in Arizona,” said Rich Nickel, president and CEO of Education Forward Arizona. “It’s time to close the aspiration gap between what people in the state repeatedly say they want and the underfunded and inequitable system we have. We need to work together, statewide, to find solutions that advance the prosperity of all Arizonans.”
In a launch event this morning featuring leading business, workforce, community and education partners statewide, Education Forward Arizona announced its new name and action plan to ensure all Arizona students can succeed. The organization is the next evolution of the work of three well known education non-profits who joined forces earlier this year — Achieve60AZ, College Success Arizona and Expect More Arizona.
“The launch of Education Forward Arizona is a turning point for education in our state,” said Vince Roig, chair of Education Forward Arizona’s board of directors. “Education and the economy are inextricably linked. To get where we want to go, we need every student to thrive. As a state, we must prioritize supporting our underserved students.”
Education Forward Arizona will focus on building the case for education as an investment and not an expense, collaboratively driving action to close achievement gaps and influencing courageous actions to meet the goals in the Education Progress Meter. The organization will also lead innovative programs to serve primarily low-income and first-generation students to help them reach and complete a postsecondary education.
The organization launches with support from partners from across the state from the education, business, philanthropic, community and nonprofit communities. Launching Education Forward Arizona with these partners demonstrates how the organization sees its mission being achieved — with all sectors and stakeholders working together to build the public and political will needed to meet the goals in the Arizona Education Progress Meter.
To learn more about Education Forward Arizona, visit educationforwardarizona.org.