Most Arizona parents said they do not feel their children are being challenged enough in school, nor does the educational environment transform them into knowledgeable adults.
“Three out of four fourth-graders in Arizona cannot read proficiently,” said Dana Naimark with the Children’s Action Alliance. “Only four states score worse than we do.”
Reading at the appropriate level is important, as it is a gauge of how students will do in the future.
“When we look at the overall trends of the test scores and the other outcomes — the graduation rates and the success that students have in critical thinking — we know that we’re not meeting our own expectations so there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Naimark said that Arizona has seen the highest cuts to education in the country and the lost funding does matter when it comes to nearly every facet of giving children a proper education.
“They have larger class sizes. They have less technology in the classroom. They have a shortage of things like books, computers, desks,” she said. “Things that are really detrimental to the outcomes we all want.”
However, Jonathan Butcher, an education expert from the Goldwater Institute, said there is no direct link between increased spending and higher achievement, but feels the state has worked to improve low test scores.
“Generally speaking, the traditional public schools in Arizona, our average scores tend to be near the bottom around the country when it comes to things like math and reading,” he said. “Having said that, we also have some of the highest performing schools in the entire country.”
Butcher said Arizona has led the country in education innovations, like an online school report card.
Both experts agreed the state has been better at holding schools, teachers and students more accountable, which is good for a child’s chances at success.
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains