Tag: KJZZ

Arizona Not Currently Tracking Teacher Supply And Demand. See related story

| February 7, 2018
Arizona Not Currently Tracking Teacher Supply And Demand. See related story

At the start of this school year, more than 1,300 Arizona classrooms needed teachers. The shortages are affecting school districts across the country.

But a national study found only 16 states track teacher supply and demand.

“One of the reasons behind this study is we felt more states needed to have this information for policy makers,” said Chad Aldeman, a principal at Bellwether Education Partners. “To respond to their particular situation they need to know what their specific challenges are.”

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Arizona Teacher Academy offers free tuition for prospective teachers. See related stories

| September 27, 2017
Arizona Teacher Academy offers free tuition for prospective teachers. See related stories

A newly launched program aims to increase the number of qualified teachers in Arizona K-12 public schools by providing a tuition waiver for participating students at the three state universities.

Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, first pitched the Arizona Teacher Academy idea in his “State of the State” speech in January. Tuesday, he announced 230 students enrolled for the first year.

“Teaching isn’t just a job, it’s a noble public service,” Ducey said.

Aspiring teachers sign a deal to join the academy. For every one year they promise to work in Arizona schools, they get a one-year college tuition waiver.

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New school year starts with same teacher challenges. Please see related stories

| August 9, 2017
New school year starts with same teacher challenges. Please see related stories

It’s back to school, and back to the same challenges in education Arizona has faced for years.

Monday was the first day of school for many youngsters, but it’s too soon to know if there will be a teacher shortage this year. That’s because, according to superintendent of public instruction Diane Douglas, each school district makes its own hiring decisions.

To ease the shortage, she said, the state legislature has helped in attracting teachers by changing the way teachers get certified.

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AzCentral Our View: AzMERIT scores aren’t great, but don’t freak out yet. Please see related stories

| July 19, 2017
AzCentral Our View: AzMERIT scores aren’t great, but don’t freak out yet. Please see related stories

Learning is a process. So is improving Arizona’s public education system.

That’s how Arizonans should view the unofficial statewide results that show continual – but gradual – improvement in AzMERIT test scores.

The results aren’t stellar. They don’t show dramatic gains. In fact, they are another reminder of the need to support public education.

But three years into testing based on tougher new academic standards, these unofficial results are in keeping with expectations. Experts told us this was going to take patience.

Arizona has committed time and resources to this process. We have to stick with it.

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Opinion: Where the New Education Money Goes

| June 7, 2017
Opinion: Where the New Education Money Goes

Now that the Arizona budget has been on the books for a few weeks, some reporters are taking a look back, and I’m beginning to read a new take on education funding that gives Governor Ducey and Republicans measured praise for putting some new money into schools. It may not be enough, the articles are saying, but it’s something. Educators should give our governor credit for making an effort to help our schools and accept the money graciously instead of bitching and moaning because they don’t think it’s enough.

I beg to differ. It’s not enough, not nearly. And most of it will find its way to fewer than 20 percent of the state’s public schools.

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Arizona’s Top Teachers Review Lawmakers’ Performance On Education. Please see related stories

| May 17, 2017
Arizona’s Top Teachers Review Lawmakers’ Performance On Education. Please see related stories

At the closing of this year’s legislative session, Arizona’s per-student spending rate remained at $4,324. That’s $163 short of what we spent on students more than a decade ago.

It is, in part, why Arizona’s top teachers took a swipe on Monday at lawmakers’ attempts to fund public education this year.

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Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill expanding teacher certifications. Please see related stories

| May 3, 2017
Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill expanding teacher certifications. Please see related stories

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Tuesday that will change the rules and qualifications for who can become a teacher in the state, marking another enacted education measure strongly opposed by Democratic lawmakers.

The governor called the legislation a win for schools, teachers, and students in a written statement. Arizona has struggled with a teacher shortage, and Ducey, along with other backers, say easing the certification requirements will help fix the problem.

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Student progress to factor more heavily in Arizona’s school ratings. Please see related stories

| April 26, 2017
Student progress to factor more heavily in Arizona’s school ratings. Please see related stories

Arizona’s new school ratings system will put more emphasis on students’ academic growth and rely less on state test scores.

The Arizona State Board of Education approved the new school report card formula, which grades schools’ performance on an A through F scale, at a board meeting Monday in Phoenix.

“I was hoping that we would come up with a system that gave any school in Arizona the opportunity to receive a higher level rating,” said Calvin Baker, superintendent of the Vail School District who also serves a member of the state board and the A-F report card committee.

Baker said he believes the new system will do that.

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Which Arizona Students Will Take Advantage of Expanded Choice Program?

| April 19, 2017
Which Arizona Students Will Take Advantage of Expanded Choice Program?

Now that Arizona’s expansive voucher-like law has passed, the question is, how many and which students will take advantage of the public funds that can be used at private schools.

As I wrote in a story about Arizona’s new education savings account, or ESA, law, supporters already are talking about the possibility of increasing how many students could receive the funds, roughly $4,400 per student, despite a cap worked out as a compromise to pass the law.

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School Vouchers Bill Moves to Full Arizona Senate. Please see related stories

| February 15, 2017
School Vouchers Bill Moves to Full Arizona Senate. Please see related stories

All Arizona school children could get money to go to private school if Senate Bill 1431 passes.

In Arizona, Empowerment Scholarships (ESAs), which some people call vouchers, currently allow students who fall into certain categories to receive money from the state to attend private schools. Those who qualify include children with disabilities, attendees of D or F schools, kids who were adopted or those who come from military families.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, would expand the program to every school child in Arizona, or more than 1 million students.

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