A Growing Movement of 'A'
How low-income Tucson schools find high-performing success
It’s no secret that schools in lower-income communities face additional challenges and tend to struggle more, but a new data analysis shows that some schools in the state, including some in the Tucson area, are beating the odds. Some of the Tucson-area schools considered to be beating the odds are: Academy of Math and Science, Amerischools Academy, Presidio School and Carrillo K-5 Magnet, C.E. Rose and Drachman elementary schools in the Tucson Unified School District. “The ones that succeed in low-income areas are hugely tied to their communities,” said Lisa Graham Keegan, the organization’s executive director and former state schools chief. “It’s unbelievably difficult work, but it’s replicable.” 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...
Unified Traction at the Tubac Teach-In
I’m so inspired by listening to school leaders who already give so much, as they plan how to give even more. It happened again at A for Arizona’s 3rd annual Tubac Teach-In, where dozens of low-income, ‘A’ school leaders brainstormed how to contribute to our shared goal of seeing a 10 percent annual increase in the number of low-income students attending an ‘A’ school. These individuals are already investing in their own students above and beyond what a paycheck requires. For them, student success is personal and it’s inspiring to see. Our Tubac retreat also revealed that we’re turning a corner in Arizona by taking a far more unified approach to achievement than I’ve seen in years past. We’re leaving the charter v. district divide behind and moving forward as one. Read More...
Hot Off the Press
Did you know that 60% of Arizona public schools have unfilled teaching positions? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and A for Arizona propose a new approach to addressing the teacher shortage in Arizona. A case study titled, “Teacher Talent Pipelines: Streamlining the Path from Student to Educator in Arizona,” proposes using lessons learned in supply chain management to develop a sustainable amount of qualified teachers for the schools most in need. Learn more below!
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.