ARIZONA NEWS

Coronavirus pandemic could impact key Arizona education goals

Dec 2, 2020, 4:25 AM | Updated: 6:32 am
(Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)...
(Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
(Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


PHOENIX — Arizona could be on track to fall farther behind on meeting key education goals, and the coronavirus pandemic is to blame.

The Arizona Education Progress Meter set goals for the state to meet by 2030, ranging from access to quality early learning to post-secondary attainment.

It’s still too early to tell how the pandemic impacted some areas, including third grade reading and eighth grade math, since there was no statewide testing last spring.

“This spring’s assessment will be the first time we really almost set a new baseline for what the impacts are on those students in those areas,” Christine Thompson, president and CEO of Expect More Arizona, said.

Her group helped develop the progress meter, along with the Center for the Future of Arizona, in February 2016. It shows key milestones that need to be met to be on the path to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all Arizonans.

Thompson said it’s possible there will be a dip in the quality of early learning, as some parents choose to stay home with their young children instead of taking them to early learning programs.

She added the pivot to virtual learning last spring created stressors for students and teachers. She’s worried about how that impacted the quality of learning.

The coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close last spring with just a few months before graduations. Thompson said she feels schools did everything they could to get students to graduate, so she doesn’t expect last school year’s graduation rates to be gravely impacted.

“What I’m more concerned about is kids who fell behind last spring who might’ve been freshmen, sophomores or juniors and whether we can get them back on track to graduation,” Thompson said.

New data will be available in early 2021, including high school graduation rates for last spring. Data on 3rd grade reading and 8th grade math won’t be available until next summer or fall.

Thompson said the new numbers will show if groups of students were adversely impacted by the pandemic. She’s worried that the achievement gaps between white students and students of color will widen.

She’s also concerned about the amount of students going on to post-secondary education. She noted that while the three state universities saw an increase in enrollment, Maricopa Community Colleges saw a 15% drop in enrollment in the fall.

“This pandemic is going to have long-term impacts on our education system,” Thompson said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Jovanni Limon Salas and Diego Ediel Chaparro (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photos)...
KTAR.com

2 men sentenced to prison for drug trafficking in Arizona

Two men were recently sentenced to prison in separate cases for involvement in a drug trafficking organization, the Arizona Attorney General's Office said this week.
1 day ago
(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park)...
Associated Press

Woman dies after boating accident at Lake Pleasant

A woman has died after she was critically injured in a boating accident at Lake Pleasant, authorities said Sunday.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 20-22

An employment report finding the state saw a significant jobs increase last month is among the biggest Arizona stories of the weekend.
1 day ago
(Prescott Regional Airport Photo)...
KTAR.com

Small plane crashes after taking off from airport in Prescott, pilot not injured

A small plane crashed after taking off from the Prescott Regional Airport on Sunday but the pilot was not injured, authorities said.
1 day ago
(File Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey OK’s ban on school COVID-19 vaccines

Arizona's Republican governor has signed legislation that will prevent state health officials from ever adding a COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required school inoculations and bar face mask mandates in any buildings operated by state or local governments.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/@PHXFire)...
KTAR.com

Crews battle 4-alarm fire at Phoenix scrapyard early Sunday

Fire crews were battling a four-alarm fire Sunday morning at a local scrapyard in Phoenix, authorities said.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
...
DAY & NIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING AND PLUMBING

In Sonoran heat, prevent costly AC repairs with an annual tune-up

As winter has finally passed and the days are becoming warmer, now is a good time to be sure your AC unit is polished and ready to run.
Coronavirus pandemic could impact key Arizona education goals