Tag: Expect More Arizona

13 years. Eight ambitious goals. Can Arizona do it?

| September 20, 2017
13 years. Eight ambitious goals. Can Arizona do it?

Arizona business, education and nonprofit leaders say that reaching the new goals they’ve set as part of the Arizona Education Progress Meter will better prepare students for success and boost the state’s long-term economy.

“Arizonans believe that education is one of the most important issues facing our state,” said Erin Hart, interim president and CEO of Expect More Arizona, a nonprofit education advocacy organization that helped develop the meter. “We must close the achievement gap that leaves so many children behind, while increasing educational attainment overall and preparing Arizona with a highly-skilled workforce.”

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Addressing the unique challenges of urban and rural schools

| September 13, 2017
Addressing the unique challenges of urban and rural schools

It shouldn’t matter whether a child walks three blocks, rides a bus for an hour or carpools with neighborhood kids to get to school. They should all have access to the best educational opportunities.

Here in Arizona, about half of our public school students are enrolled in urban schools, with the remaining youth split between suburban, small towns and rural areas. This geographic diversity can create wide disparities in how schools are able to deliver on their goal to prepare their students for the next step. We spoke with seven districts across the state to better understand how their location plays a role in their ability to educate Arizona students.

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Arizona Education Progress Meter Shows steep but ‘obtainable’ climb

| August 30, 2017
Arizona Education Progress Meter Shows steep but ‘obtainable’ climb

If all goes according to a set of goals supported by dozens of Arizona education and business groups, the state’s elementary teachers will earn the national median of $56,000 in five years and most third-graders will read at grade level by 2030.

Those are among the benchmarks that make up the Arizona Education Progress Meter, a data-tracking effort education advocates hope will drive statewide policy decisions and address longstanding student achievement gaps.

The meter, developed by education nonprofits Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona, tracks areas — such as teacher pay, high school graduation rates and reading and math literacy — that indicate student achievement.

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Missing School Matters: Why You Should Keep Absences to a Minimum

| August 9, 2017
Missing School Matters: Why You Should Keep Absences to a Minimum

How do you know if your child is missing too much school? It only takes two lost days per month to be considered chronically absent. That’s about 10 percent of the school year in Arizona, and while two days per month doesn’t seem like much, it can have a big impact on learning.

In fact, students who are are chronically absent in kindergarten and first-grade score lower on third-grade reading tests and are more likely to repeat a grade. By the time a student gets to sixth grade, attendance rates are a key predictor of whether they’ll graduate from high school.

Missing a few days a year for illness or travel is inevitable, but how can you minimize the impact of lost class time for your child? Here are some ideas:

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Arizona Eighth Grade Math Performance – A More Complete Picture

| August 2, 2017
Arizona Eighth Grade Math Performance – A More Complete Picture

This past fall, when the statewide results of the 2016 AzMERIT exam were published, the eighth-grade math test pass rate was pegged at 26 percent. Though this figure is true for the students who took the general eighth-grade math exam, it does not represent all eighth-grade students in Arizona, because many students take advanced math classes and therefore take a different exam.

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Flagstaff Unified Middle Schools Create Academic Intervention Program to Ensure Students Are Prepared for High School. See more education stories here

| July 26, 2017
Flagstaff Unified Middle Schools Create Academic Intervention Program to Ensure Students Are Prepared for High School. See more education stories here

It was hard to work into the daily schedule, but it has been worth it. Six years ago, the team at Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff Unified School District recognized that not all of their students were making it to high school with the skills that they needed to be successful, so they created a robust monitoring and intervention program to catch students’ challenges early. The district’s elementary schools were already seeing great success with their intervention programs, so it only made sense to continue the effort as students progressed.

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Proposition 301 – What you need to know

| July 12, 2017
Proposition 301 – What you need to know

We can’t repeat this often enough: Arizona needs a long-term solution to increase education funding (Pre-K through postsecondary), with a focus on equity and outcomes for every student. And, we believe a long-term solution must include the renewal and expansion of Proposition 301. Here is a little background and the reason we think Prop 301 is so important.

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‘Talk, talk, talk’ is key to avoiding summer ‘brain drain.’ Please see related stories

| June 14, 2017
‘Talk, talk, talk’ is key to avoiding summer ‘brain drain.’ Please see related stories

Summertime is synonymous with fun — no homework, no tests, no essays and no math formulas.

Such fun, though, can prompt what some educational professionals refer to as the “summer brain drain,” a true phenomenon statistics suggest can lead students to forget as much as 20 percent of what they learned during the prior school year.

“People don’t realize how important the summer months are,” said Denise Murphy, the early literacy coordinator for Arizona Reads Now, a program of the Yavapai County Educational Service Agency.

So how do families combat this syndrome? 

With the same fun that children crave on their summer vacations, Murphy sand fellow educators said.

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Expect More Arizona bilingual report: Turn a trip to the grocery store into an opportunity for learning

| June 14, 2017
Expect More Arizona bilingual report: Turn a trip to the grocery store into an opportunity for learning

Headed to the grocery store today? Don’t let a great educational opportunity pass you by – even a routine trip to your neighborhood store can be an ideal time to engage with your kids and help bring school learning to life.

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Expect More Arizona: Smart Talk for Smart Development. See more education stories here

| May 31, 2017
Expect More Arizona: Smart Talk for Smart Development. See more education stories here

From birth to age 3, a child’s brain develops very fast—more than at any other time in life. To help children grow in ways that promote learning and reading and support later success in school, Read On Arizona developed Smart Talk, a campaign designed to give parents, caregivers and family members the tools and the confidence to have quality interactions with their little ones.

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