Everyone agrees that Arizona should have a strong educational system. But how do we get there? And how do we know whether we’re making progress in improving the state of education?
These and other questions led Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona to collaborate in the creation of the Arizona Education Progress Meter, a set of widely accepted indicators by which Arizonans can measure our state’s progress toward educational success. The progress meter represents a shared vision for education – that all students, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to thrive at every step of the education continuum, from the early years through career.
The meter includes key milestones in every student’s development, as well as our state’s path to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all Arizonans. Advancement 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.
This new set of education indicators has been endorsed by a wide range of government, nonprofit, and civic groups. Governor Ducey and the Governor’s Office of Education were the first to sign on as supporters of this effort. A full list of endorsers can be found on the progress meter website.
Using data from the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University, the progress meter utilizes the most current statistics 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. It will allow stakeholders at both the statewide and local levels to determine what progress has been made to date and how to take action to improve education for all students.
Many individuals and groups are working tirelessly to improve learning for Arizona students and there are great examples of world-class education throughout the state. With more than 250 programs to date, representing early childhood education through college and career, the Expect More Excellence Tour spotlights the kind of excellence we believe must be available to all students. These programs highlight where schools, nonprofits, and businesses are already improving outcomes for all learners.
Over the past decade, Arizona has made great strides in improving educational outcomes. But there is much more to be done if our next generation is to be successful. With almost 70 percent of jobs in Arizona now requiring some form of job training or degree beyond a high school diploma, increasing the state’s post-secondary attainment rate is a critical strategy to ensuring a competitive climate for job attraction and creation and making Arizona a great place to live. To get there, Arizona must have a world-class education system, from the early years through career.
To achieve this vision for a high-quality education for every Arizona child, it will take all of us working together to make education a top priority. The path to excellence requires students who are motivated and ready to learn, involved parents, trained and committed educators, informed voters, an engaged business and philanthropic community, and capable and supportive elected officials.
With a statewide network of over 75,000 partners and individuals, Expect More Arizona is building an education-first culture and creating opportunities for Arizonans to support education. You can help Expect More Arizona raise awareness, highlight excellence, and advocate for change. Visit ExpectMoreArizona.org to learn more how you can be part of the solution.