What do Camp Verde Unified School District, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Sedona-Oak Creek School District all agree on? Endorsing the Arizona Education Progress Meter, which uses eight indicators to measure how close Arizona is stacking up against the goal of reaching a 60 percent post-secondary education rate by 2030.The Progress Meter was developed by Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona in 2016. In addition to the local school districts named, Coconino and Yavapai counties have endorsed the Arizona Progress Meter.
According to Shannon Sowby, public relations for Expect More Arizona, education stakeholders have recently announced goals for each of the indicators that will feed up into the post-secondary attainment goal. “Ultimately, improving education in Arizona will result in stronger individuals, a stronger economy and stronger communities.”
The metrics are as follows:
- Attainment: The percent of residents who have completed a two- or four-year degree or received an industry certificate.
- Post-high school enrollment: The percent of high school graduates enrolled in post-secondary education the semester after graduating high school.
- Opportunity youth: The percent of 16- to 24-year-olds not going to school or working.
- High school graduation: The percent of high school students who graduate in four years.
- Eighth-grade math: The percent of eighth graders prepared to be successful in high school math.
- Third-grade reading: The percent of third graders who scored proficient or highly proficient on the AzMERIT English language arts assessment.
- Quality early learning: The percent of three- and four-year-olds enrolled in high-quality preschool settings.
- Teacher pay: Arizona’s ranking compared to other states for median elementary school teacher pay.
With each new endorsement, Sowby said that the meter represents an increasingly shared vision that “all students, regardless of their background, income or zip code, have the opportunity to succeed” in K-12 institutions and beyond. “Education impacts all of us,” Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Thomas Thurman said. “By working together toward this shared vision of improving education in our community, we can create the rising tide that lifts all boats.
“Our region’s changing economy will increasingly rely on individuals with education beyond high school. By working to improve outcomes at all levels now, we can ensure that all students in Yavapai County are well-prepared for the future and that our local communities stay competitive.”
Jennifer Hernandez, Expect More Arizona’s regional community engagement manager in Northern Arizona, said, “Education is one of the most important issues facing our state, and by working together we can ensure success.”
For more information visit expectmorearizona.org/progress, which contains data on the meter that can be localized by region and group.