Expanding Access to 'A'
Connecting School Finances with Academic Outcomes is a Must for Arizona
With a state investment as critical as the one we make in public education, we need to know where and how our monies are allocated—at both the macro- and the micro-levels. This means having a clear picture of the local, state, and federal dollars directed to individual school sites, not just the broader district level. The benefits of making this information accessible are fairly obvious— it’s how we measure if and how our money is working for us when it comes to educating our kids. It also enables those who manage resources to make strategic decisions that ultimately drive better student outcomes. Read More...
Leading and Learning from High Performing Schools
Vista College Prep was fortunate to be highlighted as part of the A for Arizona Schools of Excellence Tour Day. We were proud to join Phoenix Union’s Bioscience High School and ASU Preparatory Academy as featured schools. This opportunity allowed fellow school leaders and representatives from the community the chance to get a first-hand look at the best practices of several high performing, low income schools in downtown Phoenix closing the achievement gap and setting students up for success.
Vista College Prep’s accomplishments are a result of studying and learning from some of the highest performing schools across the country. These proof point schools have informed our vision, operational systems, and instructional choices. We remain deeply committed to learning from the best, including models of excellence here in Arizona.
Our job is to identify quality schools, and fund them.
You often hear the sentiment expressed that education is the great equalizer – that with a diploma in hand, the door is wide-open to a future of possibilities for today’s youth. There’s truth to that saying, but only if the educational quality itself is high across the board. By giving every Arizona student – not just those in the right school district – access to a high quality education, we are giving them the foundation they need for economic independence and to pursue their dreams.
We’ve arrived at the time of year when we ask ourselves, “What’s the best investment we can make this year in education to further this goal for every student?” At A for Arizona, we believe the answer to that question is to invest in quality and those things that will make a high quality classroom available to more Arizona students. 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!
Arizona public schools are subject to a school rating system intended to communicate how well Arizona classrooms meet their obligation to educate students, primarily in the areas of reading, writing, math, science and graduation. The process by which Arizona calculates school letter grades is now in the middle of an overhaul during which the A-F system has been put on hold. The law authorizing the moratorium requires the new system to be ready for publication by the 2017-18 school year based on 2016-2017 outcomes. This update to the rating system comes in response to the adoption of a more rigorous set of academic expectations in Arizona and how we test those expectations.
It is essential that the public’s reliance on A-F ratings be honored by strengthening the system to make these new grades a better indication of school quality. 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.