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KTAR Eyes on Education: New tool measures key Arizona education data

(KTAR File)

There’s a new way to measure how Arizona is doing in education.

“The Arizona Education Progress Meter is a new way of helping us understand how we’re doing,” said Pearl Chang Esau with Expect More Arizona. “It’s really clear from recent polls that education is the top priority for Arizona’s likely voters.”

It is one thing to have education as a priority, but there needs to be a goal to measure progress, she said.

“So we had about 30 groups across the state; business, education, government, community groups,” Chang Esau said, “come together to identify a set of widely recognized indicators.”

The indicators spanning the continuum of education from preschool to college are listed as:

Post-secondary attainment: Percent of Arizona residents who have completed a two or four year degree
College going: Percent of recent Arizona high school graduates who enrolled in a post-secondary institution
Opportunity youth: Percent of 16-year-olds to 24-year-olds working or attending school
High school graduation: Percent of high school students who graduate on time
8th grade math: Percent of eighth graders who scored proficient or highly proficient on the math portion of the AzMERIT assessment
3rd grade reading: Percent of third graders who scored proficient or highly proficient on the AzMERIT English language arts test
Preschool enrollment: Percent of 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds who are enrolled in preschool in a public, private or home school setting
Teacher pay: Median elementary teacher salary in Arizona compared to the national median

“We’re hoping that by shedding light on these milestones that Arizonans will learn more about what the key challenges are and look to get involved and play a role,” Chang Esau said.

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