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Survey claims Arizona is slowly progressing in education rankings

PHOENIX — A new survey showed Arizona is slowly rising up in the education rankings, according to Education Week.

The Valley of the Sun ranked a less-than-sunny No. 45 in the nation for quality of education, rising from No. 47 last year. The bump comes from average scores dropping across the rest of the nation.

The report gave Arizona a D-plus for education, but Pearl Chang Esau of Expect More Arizona said there are some aspects that Arizona is performing better at.

“We do well when we look at our funding formula and the equity of our funding formula in terms of how we distribute our money,” Esau said. “We’re doing well in terms of improvement. We’re actually one of the fastest improving states in the country.”

Esau said Arizona needs to improve on adult education and early childhood education.

“We actually have one of the lowest rates of 3- and 4-year-olds that have access to high quality early care programs,” she said.  “So we need to support programs that invest in early childhood education in our state.”

A recent Grapevine survey found Arizona ranked dead last in the entire nation for appropriating funds for higher education in this fiscal year’s budget.