Office of Education

Arizona Education Progress Meter

Expect More Arizona
Center for the Future of Arizona

Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona collaborated to create the Arizona Education Progress Meter, which elevates a set of widely accepted education indicators by which Arizonans can measure our state’s progress in education in Arizona from early childhood education through college and career. 

With 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:

  • Set goals for education in Arizona
  • Assess the status of education, at the statewide level and for individual counties
  • View the data for individual schools through a partnership with the Education Evaluator
  • Celebrate stories of success of things that are working in education
  • Take action to support education


The Progress Meter represents an unprecedented collaboration of government agencies, nonprofits, education and business groups from around the state
, with more than 30 organizations signing on as endorsers. To view the complete list of supporters, visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/progress/about.

The indicators include the following eight data points, with information available at the state and county levels on most measures:

  • Postsecondary Attainment: % of Arizona residents completing a 2 or 4 year degree (job credential and certificate data to be included at a future date).
  • College Going: % of Arizona high school graduates attending a post-secondary institution.
  • Opportunity Youth: % of youth 16-24 in school or working.
  • High School Graduation: % of Arizona high school students graduating in 4 years.
  • 8th Grade Math: % of Arizona 8th grade students proficient or highly proficient on AzMERIT math.
  • 3rd Grade Reading: % of Arizona 3rd grade students proficient or highly proficient in reading on AzMERIT English language arts.
  • Preschool Enrollment: % of Arizona 3 and 4 year olds enrolled in preschool, including public, private and homeschool settings.
  • Teacher Pay: Median Arizona teacher salary as compared to the national median teacher salary.

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.

It will take the cooperation of many diverse groups and individuals to create meaningful progress on these indicators. Ultimately, this will boost the quality of life for all Arizonans, since improved education outcomes lead to a more stable economy, lower crime rates and greater civic participation.

View a list of Progress Meter Endorsers Find out How Your School is Doing

Arizona Education Progress Meter in the News

Expect More Arizona President & CEO, Pearl Chang Esau, spoke with KPHO/KTVK about the Arizona Education Progress Meter. Watch the video below, and click here to read more.

Arizona Education Progress Meter

Post-Secondary Attainment

It used to be easy to get a good job with a high school diploma, but that's shifted. Employers expect more. It is estimated that 68 percent of all jobs in Arizona will require some education or training beyond high school by 2020. (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce)

Arizona

Percent of residents have completed a 2- or 4 year degree, or received a non-degree credential. (U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2014 1-year PUMS Person File and the Arizona Board of Regents estimate of the Arizona adult population 25-64 years of age with a certificate but no greater education award, 2016)
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38
41
26
40
23
39
25
36
21

College Going

Individual earning potential increases based on education level. A more highly educated citizenry also leads to greater economic gains, decreased reliance on government services and reduced likelihood of criminal activity.

Arizona

Percent 2014-15 Arizona high school graduates attend a postsecondary institution. (Arizona Board of Regents and National Center for Education Statistics)
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39
52
54
42
63
48
38
56
56
48
50
55
70
66

Opportunity Youth

Arizona has one of the highest rates of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not enrolled in school or working. These youth represent enormous potential for our state's economy. Investing in these young people will also have a ripple effect on future generations of low income children and families.

Arizona

Percent of 16-24 year olds are NOT going to school or working. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 1-year PUMS Person File.)
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18
12
28
14
25
14
22
12
17

High School Graduation

While Arizona's high school graduation rate has improved, we still fall short of the national average. In addition, significant gaps exist among minority and at-risk populations. To increase overall education levels of Arizonans, completing high school or the equivalent is essential.

Arizona

Percent of Arizona high school students graduate in 4 years. (Arizona Department of Education, 2015)
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76
80
82
80
74
86
78
80
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89
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82

8th Grade Math

Basic math skills provide a valuable tool for problem-solving and decision-making. Better math skills have been associated with higher earnings and higher probabilities of graduating from high school and college.

Arizona

Percent of 8th grade students who took the 8th grade AZ Merit Test scored proficient or highly proficient. (Arizona Department of Education, 2015-16 AzMERIT results)
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13
23
12
13
31
17
18
29
21
22
17
27
22
26

3rd Grade Reading

Research shows that a student's ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade is a strong predictor of high school graduation and career success.

Arizona

Percent of third graders passed the AzMERIT English language arts test by scoring proficient or highly proficient. (Arizona Department of Education, 2015-16 AzMERIT results)
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26
40
34
25
40
53
21
43
41
41
34
33
42
33

Preschool Enrollment

Ninety percent of a child's brain develops before kindergarten. Countless research shows that attending a high-quality preschool program prepares kids for kindergarten and beyond.

Arizona

Percent of 3 and 4 year olds are enrolled in preschool. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 1-year PUMS Person File. Definition: Preschool includes public, private or homeschool settings)
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37
58
20
37
47
41
30
64
29

Teacher Pay

High-quality teachers are the most influential factor to improve student achievement, yet Arizona faces a growing teacher shortage.

Arizona

Median Arizona elementary school teacher salary ($40,590) compared to national median ($54,120). (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau)
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75