Tag: AZEDNEWS

AZEDNEWS — What we’re following: Vouchers don’t cover specialized school costs and AZ needs to nearly double education funding

| November 29, 2017
AZEDNEWS — What we’re following: Vouchers don’t cover specialized school costs and AZ needs to nearly double education funding

The parents of a teenage boy who attends a private school for students with autism say U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wrongly portrayed them as a school choice success story. The parents told Chalkbeat that the amount most voucher programs offer – around $5,000 – wouldn’t work for many families who have children with disabilities, because tuition at a specialized private school like the one their son attends can run up to $70,000 a year and parents lose their right to challenge the services private schools are willing to provide for their student.

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Arizonans say preK-12 education system is in crisis

| November 22, 2017
Arizonans say preK-12 education system is in crisis

“Stop starving our public schools of funding” was the overarching recommendation of the 110th Arizona Town Hall which wrapped on Nov. 15 in Mesa. Three days of discussions were informed by a data-rich background report, and by input from more than a dozen smaller Community Town Halls, as well as Future Leaders Town Halls held all across the state in the months preceding the statewide gathering.

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How a class and organization help aspiring educators focus on their dream

| November 8, 2017
How a class and organization help aspiring educators focus on their dream

Ever since Josefina Leon was a young girl, she’s wanted to be a teacher. When she learned about an education professions class at Greenway High School, she took the opportunity to learn from a master teacher and work with students in several classrooms. …

Leon is one of the more than 520 Arizona high school students considering becoming teachers who learned more about what it takes to succeed in the classroom at the recent Educators Rising Arizona Fall Leadership Conference at Grand Canyon University.

(Educators Rising a partnership with Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University and the Arizona Department of Education)

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State Board of Education will reconsider new school grading system. Please see related stories

| October 25, 2017
State Board of Education will reconsider new school grading system. Please see related stories

Facing a barrage of questions and criticism, the State Board of Education voted Monday to take another look at its new system for grading schools.
The unanimous vote means that some schools which found themselves with preliminary grades of D and F could move up. That’s important because parents use these grades to make decisions about where to send their children to school.
It could also means more A grades. That, in turn, has financial implications, with those schools eligible for additional state dollars.

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Results-based funding bypasses vulnerable students. See related stories here

| October 4, 2017
Results-based funding bypasses vulnerable students. See related stories here

The nearly $40 million sought by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and approved by the Legislature last spring to reward certain public schools for their academic outcomes began flowing this month. An analysis shows that most schools that received that funding are in Maricopa and Pima counties, serve mainly white students and serve few students with disabilities or who are learning English. A minority of students in the schools that received awards are from low-income families. A disproportionate number of the schools receiving awards are charters.

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Cost to raise AZ teachers’ salaries to U.S. median is $1 billion

| September 20, 2017
Cost to raise AZ teachers’ salaries to U.S. median is $1 billion

Business, education and nonprofit leaders say that raising Arizona teachers’ salaries to the U.S. median would do more than recruit and retain quality teachers.

Elevating teachers’ salaries has a great potential to improve measures of student success, like reading and math proficiency and the graduation rate, said Dick Foreman, president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Business & Education Coalition.

“Nothing impacts a child’s education more than a qualified teacher, and research exhaustively documents that a stable teaching environment is key,” Foreman said.

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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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Schools raise funds, partner with community to ensure student activities continue

| August 16, 2017
Schools raise funds, partner with community to ensure student activities continue

State funding cuts over the past 10 years have made fundraisers and partnerships with local businesses and community organizations essential for Arizona schools to provide students with access to  extracurricular activities, which research shows keeps them engaged in learning.

Clubs, sports, music, arts,  student community service organizations, field trips and before- and after-school activities tap in to students’ interests, are where they develop friendships, and “are all a vital piece to providing a well-rounded education,” said Tom Woody, superintendent of Bisbee Unified School District, which serves more than 770 students in southern Cochise County.

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Voting records reveal legislators’ levels of support for public education

| August 9, 2017
Voting records reveal legislators’ levels of support for public education

Just as students are getting back to their studies, education advocacy groups are hoping parents and community members will be doing some studying of their own, not of English and math, but of how Arizona legislators voted in 2017 on key bills impacting public schools and the students they serve.

AZ Schools Now, a coalition of organizations focused on school funding, and Friends of ASBA, a non-profit organization focused on providing access to information and resources on high-priority education issues, both released voting records this month for all 90 members of the Arizona Legislature.

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Students and schools to get state progress reports in September

| July 26, 2017
Students and schools to get state progress reports in September

AzMERIT scores were released to schools earlier this summer, but the real discussion will start when parents receive their children’s individual score reports nearly a month after this school year starts.

Schools received student results through the online reporting system on May 25 and paper reports on June 20, but parents will receive their children’s individual score reports in September.

Over the past three years of AzMERIT, students have shown gradual improvement on this assessment of state math and language arts standards, yet many students continue to score “minimally proficient,” the lowest performance level, according to a recent article in The Arizona Republic.

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