Tag Archives: students

122401693

Each Class of Dropouts costs Arizona $7.6B

The more than 18,000 Arizona students who dropped out of high school this year will produce $7.6 billion less economic activity over their lifetimes than if those same students had graduated, according to a new report by the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable.

Cutting the dropout rate in half would generate $3.8 billion more in economic benefits to the state for each graduating class.

Mayor Greg Stanton and several Valley mayors released the research report today, which measured the economic impact of high school dropouts in Arizona.

Key takeaways from the study include:

· Each Arizona high school dropout results in a $421,280 loss in economic activity over his or her lifetime. This figure includes lost earnings, increased health care and crime-related costs, lost economic productivity and lost tax revenue.

· In the City of Phoenix, the number is higher: each dropout results in a $463,500 economic loss – creating a $1.42 billion economic loss per graduating class.

· In Arizona, each dropout will earn $271,040 less over the course of their lifetime than counterparts who graduate. Dropouts face higher risks of unemployment and economic insecurity.

· Each dropout will cost taxpayers an additional $98,520 more in crime-related expenses over the course of their lifetime.

· Of the $7.6 billion in Arizona economic loss, $1.5 billion represents lost revenue and increased expenses for state and local governments.

· In 2012, Arizona’s disconnected youth population – that is, young people who are neither in school nor working – was 183,200, or 22 percent of population aged 16 to 24. This disconnected population results in an aggregate economic loss of more than $127 billion.

The full report is available at http://azmayors.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness/.

“This report should be a wake up call to everyone in our state about why it is so important that we work together to get every student to graduate high school,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “It’s important for us to have city-level data so every elected official understands that if we sit idly by and leave this problem for others to solve, we do so at our own peril. In Phoenix, we’re working to tackle the dropout rate by making sure our kids read by the third grade, and opening an online high school that helps those who have dropped out get back into class and earn their diploma.”

“We’ve all known that dropouts have a cost to our society, but this report displays it in a startling way,” remarked Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “We at the Greater Phoenix Chamber commend the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable for illuminating the stark reality of the economic burden of dropouts in our cities and state, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the mayors and the community to seek educational reforms and provide programs that will ease the economic burden of dropouts and improve our future economy.”

“We appreciate the leadership of the Mayors Roundtable in shedding more light on a critical issue like the impact of the dropout rate on our state’s future economic viability,” said Paul J. Luna, president and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “Having the Mayors hold these statewide discussions will help enable our communities to identify and respond to the contributing factors and set goals that will re-engage students and put them back on the path toward college and career readiness.”

“Beyond the profound consequences to individuals and their families, we are now able to quantify the impact of school dropouts on Arizona’s economy,” said Paul H. Koehler, director of WestEd’s Policy Center and coordinator of the Mayors Roundtable. “This report should serve as a clarion call to action for state educators, policy makers, and all Arizonans.”

Russell W. Rumberger, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the California Dropout Research Project served as lead author. Data was compiled from the Arizona Department of Education, U.S. Census American Community Survey and the 2014 study, “The Economic Losses from High School Dropouts and Disconnected Youth: Evidence from Across Arizona,” written by Clive R. Belfield, a professor at Queens College, City University of New York.

“The losses from failure to graduate from high school are sizeable, robust and pervasive,” Belfield said. “The social loss amounts to more than a high school dropout will earn in their lifetime; and the fiscal loss is almost equivalent to total spending per student over their entire K-12 years in the Arizona school system.”

health,informatics

IBM Partners With Tempe-Based University

Bryan University has teamed with IBM to create a unique simulation laboratory for healthcare informatics students to gain critical, near real-world experience in the field.

Students enrolled in Bryan University’s Master of Science in Applied Health Informatics programs are trained to use information technology to analyze processes and outcomes in healthcare to improve patient care, and clinical and operational efficiencies. The partnership with IBM allows students to work with real data and with advanced analytic tools to acquire skills immediately deployable in a wide variety of workplace environments.

According to Don Gull, Chancellor of Bryan University, this represents a natural partnership between two organizations that share a similar goal of using innovation and education to create solutions to real-world problems. “Bryan University has been a leader in innovative education for nearly three-quarters of a century. We are honored to join with the preeminently creative IBM team in the development of our healthcare analytics program,” said Gull. “Our students will participate in a unique educational experience that will evidence competencies immediately rewarding to the healthcare industry.”

The partnership was established through IBM’s University Relations program, which fosters academic alliances, collaborative research and educational projects worldwide. Through the partnership, Bryan University students use Cognos, IBM’s business intelligence software with integrated analytics, to analyze healthcare data. In the future, the hope is to expose students to still more advanced health analytics software programs in IBM’s suite of analytics solutions, including IBM Content Analytics and IBM Patient Care and Insights.

The demand for health informatics professionals continues to grow at a much faster pace than other careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which projects a 22 percent increase within the next eight years. Regulatory agencies and accrediting organizations require comprehensive reporting of healthcare processes and outcomes, creating an explosive demand for trained professionals. The Bryan University master’s program includes specific tools and techniques that students will use to describe and report data for compliance and regulatory requirements. To address the market’s interest in population health management, students also learn advanced analytics and predictive modeling methodologies.

According to T Forcht Dagi, MD, DMedSc, MPH, Vice Chancellor of Bryan University and Dean of Medical Informatics, the value of this partnership cannot be overstated. “We are very grateful for IBM’s generosity and for working with us to provide an extraordinary and unique learning environment for our students. Informatics is not an ivory-tower subject. It requires the mastery of skills and perspectives that can only be obtained through a virtual laboratory simulation. We believe IBM will help us develop students whose knowledge and skills will make them immediate contributors to employers in the healthcare economy.”

Founded in 1940, Bryan University offers exclusive degrees to match high-growth professions in the health and legal industries. In addition to the Master of Science in Applied Health Informatics, the university offers an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology. More information about the health informatics degrees as well as other programs of study is available at www.bryanuniversity.edu.

online

Closing the digital divide for Arizona students

Arizona students are back in class and in addition to notebooks and lunch boxes, some parents are packing smartphones or tablets in their kid’s backpacks. Some school districts are even requesting that kids bring their own technology to school to enhance their learning.

A recent Pew Internet & American Life study found that more than 80 percent of teachers agree that today’s digital technologies are leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools and school districts. When 76 percent of teachers assign online homework, teachers increasingly find themselves in the difficult position of either leaving behind students without Internet at home or holding back the other “connected students.”

What is truly troubling is that many kids throughout Arizona, even those with Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets, have no access to Internet in their homes. While the majority of Arizona homes have access to a broadband connection in their neighborhood, due to cost, some economically challenged families choose not to connect in their homes. Internet access and digital literacy are essential for today’s students to succeed and ensure that they have the tools to compete in our 21st century workforce.

Connect2Compete (C2C) was created by community leaders, the private sector and foundations to bridge the digital divide to ensure affordable access to the Internet for low-income families. As the largest Internet provider in Arizona, and a company that has a strong history of supporting broadband adoption through programs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs technology centers, it was a natural for Cox Communications to be part of this effort to ensure that affordable Internet access is available to those students most at risk of falling through the digital divide.

While the main goal of C2C is to improve student engagement and increase graduation rates, it also benefits other members of the household. Just consider this – in the U.S. today, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies post their job openings online only and require online applications – the same is true at Cox Communications.

So how does it work? Families who have at least one child enrolled in the national free school lunch program are eligible for low-cost access to high-speed Internet through Connect2Compete. A consortium of hardware and software partners provide low-cost computers and digital literacy training, and Cox Communications provides a two-year commitment of Internet service for $9.95 a month, free installation and a free modem rental.

Cox Communications believes that all kids in Arizona deserve to have the same tools for learning and Connect2Compete is one important way we can do our part. For more information, visit connect2compete.org/cox/.

 

Susan Anable is the vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications Arizona and is the mother of two school-aged children.

online

Closing the digital divide for Arizona students

Arizona students are back in class and in addition to notebooks and lunch boxes, some parents are packing smartphones or tablets in their kid’s backpacks. Some school districts are even requesting that kids bring their own technology to school to enhance their learning.

A recent Pew Internet & American Life study found that more than 80 percent of teachers agree that today’s digital technologies are leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools and school districts. When 76 percent of teachers assign online homework, teachers increasingly find themselves in the difficult position of either leaving behind students without Internet at home or holding back the other “connected students.”

What is truly troubling is that many kids throughout Arizona, even those with Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets, have no access to Internet in their homes. While the majority of Arizona homes have access to a broadband connection in their neighborhood, due to cost, some economically challenged families choose not to connect in their homes. Internet access and digital literacy are essential for today’s students to succeed and ensure that they have the tools to compete in our 21st century workforce.

Connect2Compete (C2C) was created by community leaders, the private sector and foundations to bridge the digital divide to ensure affordable access to the Internet for low-income families. As the largest Internet provider in Arizona, and a company that has a strong history of supporting broadband adoption through programs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs technology centers, it was a natural for Cox Communications to be part of this effort to ensure that affordable Internet access is available to those students most at risk of falling through the digital divide.

While the main goal of C2C is to improve student engagement and increase graduation rates, it also benefits other members of the household. Just consider this – in the U.S. today, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies post their job openings online only and require online applications – the same is true at Cox Communications.

So how does it work? Families who have at least one child enrolled in the national free school lunch program are eligible for low-cost access to high-speed Internet through Connect2Compete. A consortium of hardware and software partners provide low-cost computers and digital literacy training, and Cox Communications provides a two-year commitment of Internet service for $9.95 a month, free installation and a free modem rental.

Cox Communications believes that all kids in Arizona deserve to have the same tools for learning and Connect2Compete is one important way we can do our part. For more information, visit connect2compete.org/cox/.

 

Susan Anable is the vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications Arizona and is the mother of two school-aged children.

technical education career training looking at petri dish

Arizona Students Awarded United Health Scholarships

Six Arizona students have been awarded a scholarship from United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative to pursue a career in health care. The students  joined future health leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the United Health Foundation’s Fifth Annual Diverse Scholars Forum.

Kaitlyn Benally of Tuba City is a sophomore at Northern Arizona University studying biomedical sciences, with the goal of educating people about the risks associated with diabetes.

“I hope to make a difference as a member of the future health workforce by working with children and their parents to help them understand the benefits of healthy living,” she said. “Diabetes is a growing health concern on the reservation. I will educate people about the risks and show them ways to improve their lifestyle to become healthier.”

Another scholarship winner, Cecilia Espinoza of El Mirage, is studying nursing at Grand Canyon University. After watching her father pass away from cancer, she decided to pursue a career as an oncology nurse.

Other Arizona scholarship recipients, and their areas of study, include:

* Regis Maloney of Tonalea, Environmental Health at Dine College
* Jeffrey Sleppy of Chinle, Biology at Dine College
* Lorenza Villegas-Murphy of Litchfield Park, Nursing at Arizona State University
* Mycolette Anderson of Lukachukai, Nursing at Dine College

United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative, through its partner organizations, awarded $1.2 million in scholarships in the 2012-2013 school year to 200 students from diverse, multicultural backgrounds, with nearly $2 million in scholarships announced for 2013-2014. This is part of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to build a more diverse health care workforce.

By the end of 2013, United Health Foundation will have awarded $10 million in scholarships to diverse students pursing health careers. Nearly 70 scholarships have been awarded in Arizona since 2007.

“We know patients do best when they are treated by people who understand their language and culture,” said Kate Rubin, president, United Health Foundation. “United Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to support these outstanding students who are demonstrating impressive purpose and passion and who will help lead the way to better health access and outcomes.”

United Health Foundation made the announcement at its fifth annual Diverse Scholars Forum, which brings more than 60scholarship recipients to Washington, D.C., July 24-26 to celebrate the scholars and inspire them to work toward strengthening the nation’s health care system. This year’s event gives these future health care professionals the opportunity to meet and interact with members of Congress and leaders from a variety of health care fields.

According to the American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges, the number of multicultural health professionals is disproportionately low when compared to the overall population. For example, while about 15 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic/Latino, only 5 percent of physicians and 4 percent of registered nurses are Hispanic/Latino. About 12 percent of the population is African American, yet only 6 percent of physicians and 5 percent of registered nurses are African American.

Given the changing demographics in the United States and the volumes of people entering the health care system due to the Affordable Care Act, there is an even greater need for a more diverse health care workforce.

Research shows that when patients are treated by health professionals who share their language, culture and ethnicity, they are more likely to accept and adopt the medical treatment they receive1. Increasing the diversity of health care providers will reduce the shortage of medical professionals in underserved areas, reduce inequities in academic medicine and address variables – such as language barriers – that make it difficult for patients to navigate the health care system.

“We are pleased to support these exceptional students in their efforts to achieve their educational goals and work to improve our health care system,” said Rubin. “The Diverse Scholars Initiative helps these scholars fund their education, and gives them an opportunity to learn from one another and interact with experts who are leading the way in improving patient care.”

United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative is one facet of the foundation’s commitment to build and strengthen the health workforce. United Health Foundation supports additional programs like STEMPREP, which aims to produce the next generation of researchers in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical fields. The foundation also supports A.T. Still University’s Connect the Docs Graduate Loanship Program that provides loan repayments to four qualifying graduates who secure jobs in community health centers.

For more information about the Diverse Scholars Initiative, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/dsi.html.

Bioscience helix

Ivy Foundation Renews Support for TGen Program

The Arizona-based Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation will fund a second year of the Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The internship program offers hands-on biomedical research experience for high school, undergraduate and aspiring medical school students pursuing careers in brain tumor research, neuroscience and neurogenomics.

Through the program, world-class scientific investigators at TGen guide interns in the translational process of moving laboratory discoveries along the pipeline into new treatments for patients in clinical trials.

“Based upon the success of the 2012 pilot year, we believe the Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program at TGen will inspire a new generation of leaders in this field,” said Catherine Ivy, President of The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation. “There is an urgent and continuing need to encourage research into the intricate workings of brain cancer.”

TGen will select seven students for the program this year. Starting in June, two high-school students will participate in a 10-week summer program. Four undergraduate students will spend the fall semester at TGen, and one student planning to attend medical school will participate for a full academic year, beginning in the fall.

“Development of a local, knowledge-based workforce depends on educating and training talented students in the latest aspects of biomedical research and medicine,” said TGen President Dr. Jeffrey Trent. “The continued support from the Ivy program greatly enhances our efforts to provide hands-on experience in the area of translational research.”

In addition to brain tumor and neurological sciences research experience, Ivy interns will participate in a clinical training module that will engage them with the ultimate focus of these studies – the patient.

“TGen recognizes that we must invest in the development of the next generation of researchers and physicians; we need to prepare today’s students for the complex and challenging work awaiting them in the areas of brain tumor and neurological sciences research,” said Brandy Wells, Manager of TGen’s Education and Outreach.

For more information, please contact Brandy Wells at bwells@tgen.org or 602-343-8655.

Eric_Navarro

Students’ Photo Exhibit Looks at Their World

A unique 38-print photo exhibit featuring images by 19 Children First Academy students who were mentored by professional photographers in how to document their personal world will be on display at the Phoenix Burton Barr Library for two weeks beginning March 7. After the exhibit at Teen Central at the Library, the images will be moved to Children’s First Academy.

During the Kids in Focus project from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8, every Friday for five weeks participating students at the school for at-risk and homeless children each received 27-exposure disposable film cameras.

The following week, the film was processed, at no cost by Tempe Camera Photo Imaging Center, and students met with the photographers and looked through the images to continue learning and experimenting with digital point-and-shoot cameras.  Before the weekend, each student was given another camera to continue shooting.

Claude Briggs purchased and donated the 80 disposable cameras and McKenna Pro Lab donated the 38 exhibit prints.  The Kids in Focus project was developed and organized by professional freelance commercial photographer Karen Shell, a member of Through Each Other’s Eyes.

Other photographers involved in the project were Dennis Scully, Art Holeman, David Moore, Michael Norton, Jim Marshall and Jason Grubb.

An opening reception is planned from 6-8 p.m. on March 7.  The exhibit is free.

For more information about TEOE, visit www.teoe.org.

Eric_Navarro

Students' Photo Exhibit Looks at Their World

A unique 38-print photo exhibit featuring images by 19 Children First Academy students who were mentored by professional photographers in how to document their personal world will be on display at the Phoenix Burton Barr Library for two weeks beginning March 7. After the exhibit at Teen Central at the Library, the images will be moved to Children’s First Academy.

During the Kids in Focus project from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8, every Friday for five weeks participating students at the school for at-risk and homeless children each received 27-exposure disposable film cameras.

The following week, the film was processed, at no cost by Tempe Camera Photo Imaging Center, and students met with the photographers and looked through the images to continue learning and experimenting with digital point-and-shoot cameras.  Before the weekend, each student was given another camera to continue shooting.

Claude Briggs purchased and donated the 80 disposable cameras and McKenna Pro Lab donated the 38 exhibit prints.  The Kids in Focus project was developed and organized by professional freelance commercial photographer Karen Shell, a member of Through Each Other’s Eyes.

Other photographers involved in the project were Dennis Scully, Art Holeman, David Moore, Michael Norton, Jim Marshall and Jason Grubb.

An opening reception is planned from 6-8 p.m. on March 7.  The exhibit is free.

For more information about TEOE, visit www.teoe.org.

videogames

Video Games Go to College for groundbreaking ASU Program

Much is being made over the explosion of video games in the classroom to teach a future generation of K-12 students. But what about the future teachers who will be teaching them?

At Arizona State University, education students are reaching into their virtual future with the click of a mouse to test their teaching skills in typical school scenarios. Playing the video game is part of a first-semester course requirement for undergraduate students in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Focused on professional success, the video game is being played by 277 teaching students in 396 field experience courses at the university this semester.

“This cutting-edge preparation for future teachers is the first of its kind in the nation,” said Mari Koerner, dean of Teachers College. “Our students may have grown up with technology, but using it to role play as real-life teachers is something new.

“The game is used to enhance their experiences in real classrooms. Our students practice in the virtual world, so they can be more successful in the real world.”

“Teacher Leader: Pursuit of Professionalism” is the first in a series of interactive, three-dimensional video games being designed by the Sanford Inspire Program and ASU’s Center for Games and Impact. Field experience educators and clinical staff recognized the importance of preparing novice teachers with the professional skills they need to be successful in the workplace. Content for the game is rooted in Teach For America’s professional values. A video trailer of the game is available at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD1b9Ktf9hY&feature=player_embedded.

As this initial version of the game is implemented in ASU classes, educators and staff are evaluating its success. The public is invited to the official launch of the video game at 8 a.m. March 26 at ASU SkySong in Scottsdale. Those interested can register at
http://sanfordinspire.eventbrite.com/#. This fall, a second video game featuring a different topic but also directed toward teacher candidates is expected to be rolled out.

An ASU student playing “Teacher Leader” first creates a student teacher avatar, selecting the color and style of hair, clothing and shoes. Next, the avatar encounters a couple of scenarios at school and the student has to respond. One scenario involves an uncomfortable situation with the student teacher’s mentor, while the other addresses being diplomatic in the teachers’ lounge. That evening, the avatar must choose how to spend time preparing for the next day’s lesson.

The student is scored as he or she plays, with choices having consequences later in the game as the avatar implements the lesson plan. A video of students playing the game is available at https://asunews.asu.edu/node/26765.

“It’s a different application compared to how we normally are taught,” said Marcy Steiner, an ASU student from Peoria, Ariz. “With the video game, you can see how your decisions shape your image as a teaching professional. There are options that are good and options that are better. It really makes you think.”

During the lesson, teaching students receive immediate feedback on their performance in various situations based on four areas or competencies. The professional competencies were adapted from the Teach For America teacher preparation curriculum:

*    Suspending judgment: Identifying moments when they might be unfairly judging someone
*    Asset-based thinking: Consciously seeking out the positive aspects of a person or situation
*    Locus of control: Focusing on what is within their own ability to control
*    Interpersonal awareness: Recognizing the limits of their own perspective and trying to understand the viewpoints of others

At the same time, the course is designed so that instructors of the field experience courses can build on lessons learned through the video game as part of their classroom instruction. Teachers also can access data on student progress and decision-making.

At the end of the game, the students receive their scores and get a chance to re-play the game so they can improve their responses, Koerner explained.

“The game-based technology allows these students to take their teaching for a test drive, even make mistakes, without causing negative consequences they might experience in a real-life situation,” she said.

The partnership that created the video game underpins a broader effort to refine best practices in teacher education. The end goal is to improve America’s public schools. Known as the Sanford Inspire Program, funding comes from entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford who invested $18.85 million in 2010 to launch the Teachers College-Teach for America partnership. The program has garnered national attention for its innovative approaches to preparing teacher candidates. More information is available at http://sanfordinspireprogram.org/.

Despite its effectiveness in readying future teachers for the classroom, the new technology will not take the place of traditional methods anytime soon, Koerner said.

“It’s not replacing, it’s not instead of,” she said. “It’s enhancing how we teach our students to become professionals.”

internet

Cox Delivers Better Internet To Scottsdale Teachers, Students

Cox Business and the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) have formally agreed to elevate the Internet experience for the District’s 26,000 students and 3,000 employees. Installation is nearly complete on an upgrade that will increase bandwidth and speed to 1G at each of SUSD’s 33 schools through a Cox Metro Ethernet network so that students and teachers can all use their own “smart devices” in the classroom at the same time.

With these Cox Business upgrades, SUSD can complete plans to fully activate its “Bring Your Own Technology” (BYOT) program across all of its schools. The District has embraced the proliferation of mobile technology and wants students to appropriately use their devices at the direction of teachers for research, to engage in class discussions and to stream educational videos. Cox Business is providing a network fast enough and reliable enough to consistently manage this new level of usage.

“Every SUSD school will have wireless access so students and teachers can bring their smartphones, iPods, iPads and Android devices to school and fluidly engage with technology,” explains Tom Clark, chief technology officer for  SUSD.  He adds, “Already, SUSD is offering professional development through a mobile learning lab, eCoach, that travels throughout the District carrying its own portable technology. Now, the eCoach will have seamless wireless access at SUSD campuses to the robust Cox Business network established for the District.”

“Cox Business believes deeply in developing and providing connectivity that allows our partners, like SUSD, to heighten the learning experience,” said Hyman Sukiennik, Cox Business vice president. Cox Business connects 29 school districts in Metro Phoenix with Internet, data networks and telephone networks.

Science Scores Improve

Arizona Students’ Science Scores Improve Faster Than The Nation’s

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) announced that Arizona’s 2011 eighth grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Science scores improved three points from its 2009 science scores. NAEP is considered the gold standard in reliable and valid assessments. While the nation’s science scores as a whole improved, Arizona’s science scores improved at a faster rate.

Much of Arizona’s academic gain stems from the state narrowing the science test score gap between White students and Black and Hispanic students and between students not-eligible for free/reduced lunches and those students who are eligible. The test score gap between White students and Hispanic students closed by five points. This is significant considering nearly an equal number of White and Hispanic students were tested, and given Arizona’s large population of Hispanic English language learners.

“I am encouraged by our eighth-graders’ test score gains on NAEP Science from 2009 to 2011, and particularly applaud the concerted efforts of our state’s educators to narrow the performance gap between students from a more fortunate background and those disadvantaged students most at risk,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.

Superintendent Huppenthal continued, “While we should be encouraged today, too many of our students are still being left behind by their state, national and international peers. It is our imperative as a state and as an education community to close the gap altogether, and not rest satisfied until every student receives an education that prepares him or her to succeed in college and career.”

Arizona has taken bold, important steps toward greater and faster student test score gains in science and other core subject areas.

Arizona leads the way in developing the Next Generation Science Standards along with 25 other states. These new standards are being set to internationally competitive levels in science. Arizona’s adoption of substantially more enriching and rigorous new standards— Arizona’s College- and Career-Ready Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics—will also play a large role in increasing students’ learning in science coursework.

Increased English and math proficiency prepares students to read at a higher difficulty level, make concrete evidence-based arguments, and apply sound mathematical practices.  All of these skills are foundational for teaching science concepts and scientific reasoning and critical thinking at higher levels.

Arizona winning a competitive $25 million U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top (RTTT) grant also plays a key role in supporting the state’s efforts to improve student learning, particularly in science and math. The RTTT grant includes the implementation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the curriculum to support the teaching of Arizona’s College- and Career-Ready Standards, along with the teaching of the Science Standards and Educational Technology Standards. Many districts and charters across the state are implementing STEM programs, and even STEM schools in some cases, to ensure their students are globally competitive.

For more information on the Arizona Department of Education and Arizona’s science scores, visit Arizona Department of Education’s website at azed.gov.