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More than 30 Arizona groups get behind progress indicators for education


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  • Shannon Sowby/ Expect More Arizona

AttainmentHP

Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona announced today an unprecedented collaboration of government agencies, nonprofits, education and business groups from around the state that have endorsed a set of key metrics that support a shared vision for a world-class education in Arizona.

The vision is that all students, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to succeed at every step of the education continuum, from the early years through career.

More than 30 Arizona groups get behind progress indicators for education ArizonasEducationProgressMeter

After years of discussion among community leaders, educators and policy makers about how to improve education in Arizona, the new Arizona Education Progress Meter was developed by Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona to provide a roadmap for success.

The two nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations have collaborated to elevate the shared aspirations for education in Arizona, including the set of widely accepted indicators by which Arizonans can measure progress, celebrate successes and take action together. The education progress meter represents key milestones on the path to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all Arizonans.

The group of more than 30 organizations behind  this effort share a commitment to student success along the entire education continuum. Progress made in each area will ultimately create a more prosperous economy, ensure students have the knowledge and credentials necessary for good jobs and improve the civic health of  communities.

The groups worked closely with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University on data collection. The progress meter utilizes the most current data available to create a simple, visual way to assess the status of education, both for the state as a whole and for individual counties where available. Each indicator includes additional resources, examples of excellence and ways to take action. The data will be made available to all, and organizations are encouraged to link to or host the data on their own websites.

“We created this progress meter because Arizona voters believe that education is one of the most important issues facing our state,” said Pearl Chang Esau, president and CEO of Expect More Arizona. “We need a nonpartisan, shared source of information to inform where we stand and to help unify us around where we want to go so we can continue to make progress together.”

The groups have identified eight primary metrics that will be used to gauge progress being made in the education of Arizona students. These include:

• Post-secondary attainment: Percent of Arizona residents who have completed a 2- or 4- year degree
• College going: Percent of recent Arizona high school graduates who enrolled in a postsecondary institution
• Opportunity youth: Percent of 16-24 year olds working or attending school
• High school graduation: Percent of high school students who graduate on time
• 8th grade math: Percent of 8th graders who scored proficient or highly proficient on the math portion of the AzMERIT assessment
• 3rd grade reading: Percent of 3rd graders who scored proficient or highly proficient on the AzMERIT English language arts test
• Preschool enrollment: Percent of 3- and 4-year-olds who are enrolled in preschool in a public, private or homeschool setting
• Teacher pay: Median elementary teacher salary in Arizona compared to the national median

Over time, Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona will work with stakeholders to identify goals for the indicators. This process will begin with a post-secondary education attainment goal, including certificates, credentials and degrees, which is being developed through a task force convened by the Arizona Board of Regents.

“It will take the cooperation of many diverse groups and individuals to create meaningful progress on these indicators,” said Lattie Coor, chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona. “Ultimately, this will boost the quality of life for all Arizonans, since improved education outcomes lead to a more stable economy, lower crime rates and greater civic
participation.”

A wide range of groups has endorsed the education indicators. These include the Governor’s Office of Education, the Arizona Board of Regents, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona Charter Schools Association, Read On Arizona, First Things First and Helios Education Foundation. A full list of endorsers can be found on the website.

As a demonstration of leadership on the Arizona Education Progress Meter, Governor Ducey and the Governor’s Office of Education were the first to sign on as supporters of this effort.

“Education is a top priority,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “I’m glad to put my Office of Education’s full support behind this statewide collaborative effort to improve opportunities and outcomes for Arizona’s students. I look forward to working with everyone to ensure world-class educational opportunities for every child, regardless of their background or zip code.”

“We’re grateful for our partnership with the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Governor’s Office of Education and all of the organizations who have endorsed and agreed to share in this vision,” said Tom Franz, Chairman of Expect More Arizona. “Of course, the real accolades go to the many tireless educators and dedicated students who the future of our state.”

For more information, please contact Shannon Sowby with Expect More Arizona, media@expectmorearizona.org or (602) 615-6235 and Jennifer Liewer with Center for the Future of Arizona at JenniferLiewerPR@gmail.com or (602) 920-6461.

About Expect More Arizona
Expect More Arizona is a statewide nonprofit education advocacy organization that champions a world-class  education – from the early years through career – for every child. Learn more at ExpectMoreArizona.org

About Center for the Future of Arizona
Center for the Future of Arizona is helping define and shape Arizona’s future through an action-oriented agenda that  focuses on issues critical to the state. More than a think tank, CFA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “do tank” that combines research with collaborative partnerships and initiatives that serve the common good and drive the state’s economic prosperity, quality of life and civic health. On the web connect to arizonafuture.org, @arizonafuture on Twitter or Center for the Future of Arizona on Facebook.