Expect More Arizona advocates for the highest quality education for all children every step of the way – from the early years through college and career. In the course of our work people often ask us how Arizona is doing or how we can improve.
The Arizona Education Progress Meter answers many of those questions. Launched early in 2016, the Progress Meter highlights eight key milestones on the path to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all students and strengthening communities for all Arizonans.
While the eight indicators show us where we stand today, the next critical step is to define where we need to be to preserve and improve our quality of life.
Goal Setting Underway with the Launch of Achieve60AZ
Currently in Arizona, only 42 percent of adults have completed education beyond a high school diploma. However, in less than five years, nearly 70 percent of jobs will require training or education beyond high school.
Recently, more than 60 Arizona leaders from community, business, philanthropic and education organizations announced a goal to increase the number of Arizonans earning a professional certification or college degree from 42 percent to 60 percent by 2030. This initiative is called Achieve60AZ.
There are great examples around the state of communities and families working together to increase education levels for all.
The Mesa Counts on College Access Center opened in August 2015 through a partnership between the City of Mesa, Mesa Public Schools, Mesa Community College, United Way and New Leaf. The Access Center serves students through free college advising, summer camp, internship programs, GED prep and PSAT/SAT practice. With a focus on low-income junior high and high school students, the Mesa Counts on College program aims to double the number of low-income students who complete college in the next nine years. To date, the staff has served more than 700 clients.
The Education Unidos Scholarship Fund is a first time collaborative effort between UA Douglas, University South Foundation, the Mexican Consulate in Douglas and the City of Douglas. It is a significant bi-national effort that began in 2014 to increase scholarship funding, without which students in the area would not have the resources to pay for world-class education. By removing the stress of funding higher education, the scholarship fund has and will continue to help close the achievement gap and support student academic achievement.
For more success stories, visit the Expect More Excellence Tour.
To see how your child’s school is performing on a number of the Progress Meter’s key indicators, check out the Education Evaluator.
Everyone Has a Role to Play
Everyone can help more students understand their education options and encourage them to pursue education beyond a high school diploma. Students across Arizona dream of an amazing future and many just need a little support to achieve those dreams.
Brenda is a senior at Franklin Police and Fire High School in the Phoenix Union High School District. She is working two part-time jobs while attending school to help support her family. She strongly believes that education is the key to a better life and is hoping to get a scholarship to be able to attend college next year and eventually go on to get her master’s degree. Brenda will be graduating in May 2017 and plans to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Brenda believes that getting a college degree will not only give her more opportunities but will help her have a better future and life. She wants to be financially stable not only for herself but realizes how she can positively impact her local community too. “I want a better life. I want to successful. I want to make my family proud.”