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New state DOE website loaded with information about Arizona’s schools

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Education this week entered a new era of transparency by launching a website loaded with information, including letter grades, about each of the state’s K-12 schools.

The AZ School Report Cards site is designed to be an accountability platform for the state’s 1,983 public schools, including 559 charters.

“It’s basically a one-stop shop for all of your educational curiosities and needs,” department spokesman Stefan Swiat told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

The site provides details about enrollment, teacher qualifications, student achievement, dropout rates, graduation rates and more for every school.

There is also information about each district as well as findings from state and federal reports.

“There’s a lot of different aspects to the data that you can look at depending on what’s important to you and what you find to be important for your child,” Swiat said.

With open enrollment options and 17 percent of students attending public charter schools, many Arizona students go to class outside their geographic districts.

“There is a lot of different options available for parents out there, and now they have this fantastic resource for them to really dig into the data and drill into what sort of options are available for them and their children,” Swiat said.

The site’s letter grades, from A to F, are determined by the state’s new accountability system, although some schools aren’t graded because they don’t have the components required in the current model.

There are plans to add even more information, including details about preschools and a section for highlights to let schools promote what makes them special.

“If we all hearken back to when we went to school, there were little things that stood out about our specific school that we’d always want to promote and tell other people about, and these schools will have that option,” Swiat said.

The site meets a Jan. 1 deadline to fulfill federal requirements on accountability as mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was passed in 2015.

“What’s really cool about this site is that parents, teachers, administrators, policy makers all contributed, all pitched in to team up with the Arizona Department of Ed to put together this site and launch it in a way that was easily digestible for parents and for the public to use,” Swiat said.

“It’s an Arizona project.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

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