Tag: Arizona Daily Star

Counselor crisis: Arizona has highest ratio of students to school counselors in US. See related news here

| August 15, 2018
Counselor crisis: Arizona has highest ratio of students to school counselors in US. See related news here

Arizona’s student to school counselor ratio is the highest in the nation, averaging 903 students to every one counselor in public schools in the 2015-16 school year, according to data from the American School Counselor Association.

Arizona held a 743-1 ratio a decade ago, but climbed as high as 941-1 in the post-recession years before slowly improving, data shows.

The improved ratio — still more than three times the recommended number — has been a sticking point for Arizona’s March for Our Lives student and #RedForEd teacher movements.

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Race, income-based achievement gaps remain as Arizona kids make small gains on AzMerit. See related education news here

| August 7, 2018
Race, income-based achievement gaps remain as Arizona kids make small gains on AzMerit. See related education news here

Arizona public school children showed small gains on this year’s AzMerit tests, as the number of students passing the annual English and math test grew by one and two percentage points respectively.

Still, only 41 percent of students statewide passed either portion of the test, which was administered last school year.

AzMerit, like many standardized tests, has been criticized by scholars and policymakers as being overly reflective of a student’s socioeconomic status.

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Arizona Chamber of Commerce files suit to quash education tax proposal. See related news here

| July 25, 2018
Arizona Chamber of Commerce files suit to quash education tax proposal. See related news here

PHOENIX — The fate of whether voters get to decide on a higher income tax on the wealthy could depend on a judge’s math decision.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry contends the petitions circulated by the #InvestInEd committee are “objectively false and misleading.” Attorney Kory Langhofer wants a judge to block the issue from getting on the November ballot.

The measure, if approved, would boost income tax rates on individuals making more than $250,000 and couples in the $500,000-plus range, to raise an estimated $690 million for education.

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Arizona not keeping up when it comes to helping vulnerable kids, report says

| July 4, 2018
Arizona not keeping up when it comes to helping vulnerable kids, report says

If Arizona’s progress were measured on a growth chart, recent years haven’t seen even an inch for the state’s most vulnerable children.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count report finds Arizona failing to keep up with national trends in several categories, most notably child poverty, which has fallen nationwide for four consecutive years and now averages about 19 percent.

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Evolution is and ‘will remain’ part of Arizona’s science curriculum, Ducey says. See related education news here

| May 30, 2018
Evolution is and ‘will remain’ part of Arizona’s science curriculum, Ducey says. See related education news here

When it comes to teaching science in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey is apparently on a different page than School Superintendent Diane Douglas.

Ducey said evolution should stay a part of the state’s science curriculum, while creationism should remain out of science class.

“Evolution is part of the curriculum and will remain part of the curriculum,” he said.

The governor’s comment comes after we reported earlier this month that the Arizona’s Department of Education, under Douglas, made revisions to a draft of updated science standards prepared by some of the state’s teachers.

The revisions by the department omitted and watered down references to “evolution” and “evolve.”

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Statewide news: Ducey signs education budget bill on day six of teacher walkout. See related stories here

| May 3, 2018
Statewide news: Ducey signs education budget bill on day six of teacher walkout. See related stories here

On day six of the teacher walkout, the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate both passed an education budget bill which includes Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan of 20 percent teacher pay raises by 2020.

The bill then went to Gov. Doug Ducey who signed it almost immediately.

“Signed,” Ducey tweeted. “Teacher raises are on the way.”

But teachers at the Capitol Thursday morning are not happy, saying it’s not enough. They’re already preparing for November.

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Bill amending Arizona’s English-language-learner model is revived

| April 25, 2018
Bill amending Arizona’s English-language-learner model is revived

A bill allowing students learning English to spend just two hours a day in language-development classes, rather than four, has been resurrected from its seeming death at the Arizona Capitol — after the sponsor promised to water it down.

The bipartisan measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Paul Boyer of Phoenix has a broad array of supporters and had sailed through the House with only one vote against it before being stopped dead in its tracks in Arizona Senate President Steve Yarbrough’s Rules Committee.

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Allhands: Forced recess in Arizona? Now, this is a mandate I can get behind. See other state education news here

| April 11, 2018
Allhands: Forced recess in Arizona? Now, this is a mandate I can get behind. See other state education news here

If you care about your kid’s grades, you’ll applaud the new mandate for two school recess periods each day.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1083 last week. The bill applies to both district and charter schools in kindergarten through third grade initially and kindergarten through fifth grade after August 2019.

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Arizona Teachers Protest Low Pay at State Capitol. See related stories here

| March 21, 2018
Arizona Teachers Protest Low Pay at State Capitol. See related stories here

Hundreds of red-shirted educators jammed into Capitol hearings rooms and marched around the Legislature Wednesday to protest what they call dismal pay and conditions for their students.

The protesters included dozens of teachers from nine schools in west Phoenix and Glendale who called in sick in the first job action teachers have called since organizing earlier this month. The move left Pendergast Elementary School District parents scrambling as the schools were closed with little notice and hundreds of students missed a day of school.

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Six-figure media campaign paints positive picture of education in Arizona. See related stories here

| January 24, 2018
Six-figure media campaign paints positive picture of education in Arizona. See related stories here

Some Arizona businesses and their lobbying groups are spending money this week in a bid to convince voters that the state’s education situation is not as bad as some would say.

Matthew Benson, spokesman for the newly formed Arizona Education Project, said it has made a “six-figure” buy of TV ads in the Phoenix area this week to counter what he called the “negative voices” in education. He would not identify who they are.

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