Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona announced today an unprecedented collaboration of government agencies, nonprofits, education and business groups from around the state that have endorsed a set of key metrics that support a shared vision for a world-class education in Arizona. The vision is that all students, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to succeed at every step of the education continuum, from the early years through career.
After years of discussion among community leaders, educators and policy makers about how to improve education in Arizona, the new Arizona Education Progress Meter was developed by Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona to provide a roadmap for success. The two nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations have collaborated to elevate the shared aspirations for education in Arizona, including the set of widely accepted indicators by which Arizonans can measure progress, celebrate successes and take action together.
The education progress meter represents key milestones on the path to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all Arizonans. The group of more than 30 organizations behind this effort share a commitment to student success along the entire education continuum. Progress made in each area will ultimately create a more prosperous economy, ensure students have the knowledge and credentials necessary for good jobs and improve the civic health of communities.
The groups worked closely with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University on data collection. The progress meter utilizes the most current data available to create a simple, visual way to assess the status of education, both for the state as a whole and for individual counties where available. Each indicator includes additional resources, examples of excellence and ways to take action.
The groups identified eight primary metrics that will be used to gauge progress being made in the education of Arizona students. These include:
- Post-secondary attainment: Percent of Arizona residents who have completed a 2- or 4-year degree
- College going: Percent of recent Arizona high school graduates who enrolled in a post-secondary institution
- Opportunity youth: Percent of 16-24 year olds working or attending school
- High school graduation: Percent of high school students who graduate on time
- 8th grade math: Percent of 8th graders who scored proficient or highly proficient on the math portion of the AzMERIT assessment
- 3rd grade reading: Percent of 3rd graders who scored proficient or highly proficient on the AzMERIT English language arts test
- Preschool enrollment: Percent of 3- and 4-year-olds who are enrolled in preschool in a public, private or homeschool setting
- Teacher pay: Median elementary teacher salary in Arizona compared to the national median
Over time, Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona will work with stakeholders to identify goals for the indicators. This process will begin with a post-secondary education attainment goal, including certificates, credentials and degrees, which is being developed through a task force convened by the Arizona Board of Regents.
A wide range of groups has endorsed the education indicators. These include the Governor’s Office of Education, the Arizona Board of Regents, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona Charter Schools Association, Read On Arizona, First Things First and Helios Education Foundation. A full list of endorsers can be found on the website.