Tag: Arizona Capitol Times

Arizona Teacher Shortage Worsens. Please see related stories

| October 4, 2017
Arizona Teacher Shortage Worsens. Please see related stories

Arizona schools have already seen over 500 teachers leave after the first month of the school year. Potential educators have been vocal about concerns over low wages, heavy work loads, and poor treatment of teachers. Sydney Teeman, NAU secondary education student, explains that we have nothing without teachers.
Despite concern of future teachers Ramona Mellott, Dean for NAU College of Education, has seen a positive side effect of the problem. The state is still short 1300 teachers for the school year, causing an increase in job offers for recent education graduates.

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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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Arizona public schools find ways to adapt to funding cuts. Please see related story

| August 2, 2017
Arizona public schools find ways to adapt to funding cuts. Please see related story

Arizona consistently ranks among the lowest in the nation for its per-student funding, a fact often cited by advocates hoping for a better financial picture for the state’s schools.
But, as funding levels continue to lag years after the Great Recession, schools find ways to make do.
Some turn to the internet, searching for donations. Many crowd kids into classrooms or have principals step in as teachers. Others go to four-day weeks.
Environmental innovations, like solar panels and artificial grass, can help cut costs. And there’s even a company dedicated to helping schools find ways to save money on things like utilities.

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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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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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Strife ahead as FY18 budget takes shape

| May 3, 2017
Strife ahead as FY18 budget takes shape

A Republican budget plan set for its first vote today would give Arizona teachers a pay hike more than double what was proffered by Gov. Doug Ducey.
But Democrats want to double that again. And they may just have the leverage this year to get their way.

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In Arizona, all children can potentially access public dollars for private education. Please see related stories

| April 11, 2017
In Arizona, all children can potentially access public dollars for private education. Please see related stories

All students in Arizona will potentially be able to access public dollars for private education under a bill that Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed into law Thursday, creating one of the nation’s most expansive school-choice programs.

Advocates for vouchers and other alternatives to public schools, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, hailed the measure for extending choice to more families.

Critics said it would weaken Arizona’s public schools by siphoning away students and needed funds, and would be more likely to subsidize affluent families’ private-school tuition than to help poor children access new opportunities.

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Opinion — Full Day Kindergarten: Breaking the Cycle of Imprisonment by Illiteracy

| March 29, 2017
Opinion — Full Day Kindergarten: Breaking the Cycle of Imprisonment by Illiteracy

Proverbs teaches us to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” A unique opportunity awaits Arizona to train up our children in early literacy that will chart a new course toward a legacy of literacy. With the choice of full-day kindergarten, a rich destiny awaits our state and generations to come from a literate, engaged society.

Research teaches us that students who receive high-quality, full-day kindergarten are abounding with successful outcomes

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Rural high schools confront low college completion rates

| November 23, 2016
Rural high schools confront low college completion rates

Students in rural Arizona counties have significantly lower college completion rates than those in counties that have bigger cities and state universities.

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AZ educators get creative in finding solutions to growing teacher shortage

| October 12, 2016
AZ educators get creative in finding solutions to growing teacher shortage

Suzanne Zentner stood in front of the high school students and their parents gathered in the library of Gilbert High School on a recent evening and got right to the point.

“Instead of dancing around issues, I’m going to find the elephant in the room, and I’m going to hit it,” Zentner told them. “The biggest myth out there, and I’m going to challenge that myth, is that there is no way you can make a living as a teacher.”

The crowd had gathered because the students had expressed interest in teaching. They are taking part in Aim2Teach, a program aimed at identifying students who may want to teach and helping guide them into professional teaching programs.

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