Tag: KJZZ

Governor, teachers at opposite sides on pay hike. Please see related stories

| February 1, 2017
Governor, teachers at opposite sides on pay hike. Please see related stories

Arizona teachers and Gov. Doug Ducey have recently begun playing tug of war over a decimal point.

It started on Monday, when Christine Marsh, the 2016 Arizona Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year, and Michelle Doherty, the 2017 winner, delivered a letter to the governor’s office saying teachers statewide should get a 4.0 percent across-the-board pay hike. By contrast, Ducey is offering only a 0.4 percent raise.
Ducey’s offer does include similar increases every year until the total reaches 2 percent by 2020.

“It’s a step in the right direction,’’ Marsh said. “But that’s not going to solve any issues at all. It’s not going to keep teachers from leaving the profession or leaving the state.”

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Arizona’s achievement gains can’t overcome F in funding

| January 18, 2017
Arizona’s achievement gains can’t overcome F in funding

Arizona students achievement gains over time ranked the state seventh in the nation, but that could not overcome the state’s spending for education, ranked at 50th in the nation, according to Education’s Week‘s 2017 Quality Counts report Under construction: Building on ESSA’s K-12 foundation.

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Charter School Enrollment Continues To Rise In Arizona

| January 4, 2017
Charter School Enrollment Continues To Rise In Arizona

According to the Arizona Department of Education, the number of students enrolled in charter schools continues to grow.

About 180,000 students currently attend charter schools in Arizona. That’s an increase of 8,000 students in the last year.

At the same time, district school enrollment has stayed the same.

But, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, according to Dan Hunting, senior policy analyst at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University.

“Arizona has been a leader in the school choice movement for decades,” he said. “We have the highest percentage of students in charter schools in this state.”

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Arizona Educators Dismayed After New, Revised Classroom Standards Delayed

| December 21, 2016
Arizona Educators Dismayed After New, Revised Classroom Standards Delayed

Common Core standards for teaching came to Arizona in 2010, and gave guidance to public education. In March 2015, Arizona’s governor told the State Board of Education to review the standards, and a revised draft would have gone before the board next week.

But, a contentious meeting (Dec. 14) delayed the approval.

The new standards would strengthen how to teach what time and money are in primary grades, and extend cursive teaching through fifth grade. These and other changes came after more than 10,000 public comments on the process.

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Arizona Education Department Gets $20 Million Grant To Improve Preschool Access

| December 7, 2016
Arizona Education Department Gets $20 Million Grant To Improve Preschool Access

The Arizona Department of Education got confirmation this week that their preschool improvement efforts can look forward to another round of $20 million in grant money. Arizona was one of 18 states to receive federal funding.

The money is part of a four-year federal grant intended to help states expand access to high quality preschool for children from low- to moderate-income families.

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State Education Association President Weighs In On Douglas’ Education Plan. Please see related stories

| December 7, 2016
State Education Association President Weighs In On Douglas’ Education Plan. Please see related stories

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas (on Nov. 29) unveiled her proposal for improving K-12 education in Arizona.

The 2017 AZ Kids Can’t Wait plan includes requests for additional funding for teacher salary raises and fully fund capital so new school buildings can be constructed, if needed.

The superintendent’s goals are ambitious ones. We asked Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas whether the priorities make sense.

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Arizona 4th-Graders’ Scores On National Science Test Improve Significantly

| November 2, 2016
Arizona 4th-Graders’ Scores On National Science Test Improve Significantly

Arizona fourth-graders have made significant gains on a national standardized science test. They saw the most improvement of any other state on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The average score for the state’s fourth-graders increased by 11 points between 2009 and 2015. The number of students who performed at a proficient level also increased by 22 percent.

While the improvement is being celebrated by state education officials, Joe Thomas, the president of the Arizona Education Association, said the results are still sobering as the average fourth-grade score was still four points below the national average.

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Poll: Economy, Education Are Top Issues For Arizona Voters

| October 19, 2016
Poll: Economy, Education Are Top Issues For Arizona Voters

Arizonans want their next president to fix the economy and improve K-12 education …

Pollster Earl de Berge asked 700 adult heads of households to rank the relative importance of 23 issues on a scale of zero to 10. He found improving the economy rated 9.0, followed by improving K-12 education and protecting the United States from terrorism at 8.8.

Other top tier issues — those rating 8.0 or higher — include reducing the national debt, providing more funding for “wounded warriors,” assuring safety in food sold to U.S. consumers, and providing health care to the poor.

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Governor wants most Arizona students to earn more than a high school diploma. Please see related story here

| September 21, 2016
Governor wants most Arizona students to earn more than a high school diploma. Please see related story here

Saying it’s critical to fill the jobs of the future, Gov. Doug Ducey wants to have 60 percent of Arizonans earning something more than a high school diploma by 2030.

“A 21st century economy requires a 21st century skill set,” Ducey told a gathering to launch the program. “In less than five years, nearly 70 percent of all jobs will require more than a high school diploma.”

But the governor proposed no new funding.

“We’re thrilled to set this goal,” Ducey told reporters afterwards, suggesting the question of money is premature.

“We’re at 42 percent today,” he explained of the number of Arizonans who go on beyond high school. “Nothing focuses the mind and the resources like setting that goal.”

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Arizona Education Official: Prop123 Money Could Start Addressing Teacher Shortage

| August 10, 2016
Arizona Education Official: Prop123 Money Could Start Addressing Teacher Shortage

The school year is upon us again in Arizona and after the passage of Proposition 123, $3.5 billion in additional funding has begun to flow into classrooms around the state.

But is it being used to address what’s been called a critical shortage of teachers in the state?

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