Arizona’s education goals include raising the high school graduation rate, increasing the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded annually and improving the number of third-graders who can read by the time the school year ends.
The goals were set as part of the Arizona Ready plan (formerly Arizona’s Education Reform Plan) adopted in 2010 and put into place in 2011.
With that done, the next question became, “How are we doing?”
Gov. Jan Brewer announced last week the creation of the web-based Arizona Ready Education Report Card. On the site, educators, parents, policymakers and the public can see the latest assessment scores, surveys and data related to a number of education goals, from pre-kindergarten through post-college and then the latest workforce information.
“The sentiment we frequently hear from parents is they want more information on the quality of Arizona schools in general,” the governor’s spokesman, Matt Benson, said. “Arizona Ready is about setting higher standards for our students, our schools and educators. With this report card we can better measure how Arizona is performing and whether we’re progressing toward those goals we intend to achieve.”
On the site, viewers can see that Arizona still lags behind the national average in language arts and reading on the SAT10, a norm-referenced exam given in public schools.
But, the state’s heading toward the goal of having all students at the national average by 2020 because those language arts and reading scores have increased in the last two years by about 5 percentile points.
There’s also information about the number of successful transfers from community college to four-year university (11,435 in 2010) and the number of GEDs awarded (10,238 in 2010).
The information will be updated as new statistics are made available, Benson said. For example, the Department of Education expects to release the latest AIMS results next month.
“Anyone can set high goals, but if you don’t have a way to measure your progress and a way to make that easily available to parents and educators, you haven’t achieved what you intend to,” Benson said.
The report card can be found at arizonaready.com.
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