Excellence in the Phoenix Urban Core
Newly released AzMERIT data show a spectacular picture of what excellence — and emerging excellence — looks like. Take the Phoenix urban core as an example. There are 219 schools serving nearly 130,000 students. When looking at the top 20 public schools that performed the best in math, we see two REALLY important things: half are district schools and half are charter schools. And most importantly – please set down your coffee and focus – HALF of the schools serve a majority of low-income students, and half serve a higher wealth population. Read More...
Southern Arizona boasts many low-income, 'A'-graded schools
As students across our state settle into the rhythm of the academic semester this fall, there’s a quiet group here in Southern Arizona of high-performing, low-income schools ramping up to once again accomplish the unexpected — to achieve exceptional results for students living in high-poverty areas. It may come as a surprise that the largest concentration in Arizona of low-income, “A”-graded schools is here in Southern Arizona and along our international border. On paper, expectations for students in these schools may be low, but fortunately their teachers don’t expect what everyone else does. They know that a family’s income level is not a determiner of student ability, so they keep expectations high and do what it takes to help each child succeed. This is the level of commitment from hard-working principals, teachers and a host of other role models that has led Southern Arizona to become home to our state’s greatest, against-the-odds educational success stories. Read More...
Practicers Make Perfect
The good news for all students is that there are myriad ways to offer excellent, effective instruction. We see new examples every single day about myth-busting teachers and schools whose students develop a set of life skills few thought they could understand, much less possess. We don't lack for knowledge about best practice. But excellent teaching is not about simply knowing…it is about doing. Excellent teaching is a refined, active talent. It is not a concept. And excellent schools have figured out how to capitalize on the very best of their teachers.When those of us whose education work is outside the school or classroom seek to offer more students the benefits of a great education, the task is not to know what is needed, but to know who is capable of doing it. Read More...
A Growing Movement of 'A'
More about A for Arizona
A for Arizona exists to support and expand the number of our best A-quality leaders, educators, and public school models, especially those who serve primarily low-income students. The program is a project of the Arizona Chamber Foundation, in partnership with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We believe all students in Arizona deserve to be educated in an A-grade school, and we know that such schools are possible everywhere. It is time to insist. Learn more about A for Arizona.