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ICYMI: Arizona schools are better than ever (really)

• ExcelinEd

Arizona has entered a Golden (or maybe a Bronze) Age for education. And ExcelinEd’s Dr. Matthew Ladner recently proposed a way to make it a Platinum Age.

Arizona flagRight now, Arizona K-12 education performs far better than ever before. But while Arizona’s youngest citizens show better academic achievement than previous generations, the future can be far better still. Read the expert below to see what plan Dr. Ladner suggests to improve student learning in Arizona even more.

Arizona schools are better than ever (really)
The Arizona Republic
By: Matthew Ladner

…So how do we get to a Platinum Age? Greater rigor, more independence for school leaders and more autonomy for parents should be our starting point. We have assets — including vacant school space and the state Land Trust — that underperform their potential to aid students. We should make the best possible use of all resources.

On funding, there has been joy before, and there may be joy again. In order to move past our societal impasse on funding, the next round of funding increases should focus on rewarding tangible academic success.

Some states offer schools substantial financial bonuses for students earning college credit by exam. High-school students earning college credit in high school earn degrees at higher rates. The Arizona Board of Regents found that fewer than 20 percent of the Arizona public school Class of 2008 finished a four-year degree by 2014.

We urgently need to improve this rate, and it needs to start in K-12. In the meantime, policymakers should consider offering a financial incentive for high-demand professional certifications in addition to college credit.

The Arizona Constitution guarantees funding for public education, and the public continues to support it. In the end, we are all in this together, like it or not. We’ve made a lot of progress, but we can make a great deal more.

Click here to read the complete piece at The Arizona Republic.


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