Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) announced today critical long-term education goals for the state. The newly released goals are part of the Arizona Education Progress Meter, a nonpartisan source of information that informs leaders and communities about where we stand as a state and the work that must be done to improve in areas ranging from quality early learning to postsecondary attainment and everything in between.

Developed by Expect More Arizona and CFA, the Education Progress Meter was first launched in early 2016 and represents a set of key indicators that support a shared vision for education in Arizona. The vision is that every child receives an excellent education, every step of the way.

“Our organizations partnered to create this tool because Arizonans believe that education is one of the most important issues facing our state,” said Erin Hart, interim president and CEO of Expect More Arizona. “We must close the achievement gap that leaves so many children behind, while increasing educational attainment overall and preparing Arizona with a highly-skilled workforce.”

The Education Progress Meter is the result of broad collaboration among government agencies, nonprofit organizations, school districts and business groups from around the state. The goal-setting process alone involved the participation of nearly 200 organizations.

Individuals and organizations supportive of this effort share a commitment to student success along the entire education continuum. Progress made in each area will ultimately create a more prosperous economy, ensure a robust talent pool for Arizona businesses, and equip students with the knowledge, skills and credentials necessary to obtain good jobs and contribute to the improved civic health of their communities.

“For the first time, Arizona has a vision for education and a consensus among our education community. The Education Progress Meter enables diverse groups from across the state to work together to address critical issues within our education system while making problem-solving relevant to local communities,” said Lattie Coor, chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona. “The Progress Meter is an asset to Arizona and will be instrumental in informing education policy, strategic decision-making and investments to help Arizona prepare our talented young people for success while driving the prosperity and opportunity for all who live here.”

The Education Progress Meter provides a roadmap for success by helping us understand what is important to measure; where we are now and where we need to go; how to track our progress; and where we can celebrate successes and take actions together.

To strengthen the integrity and reliability of the data behind the Education Progress Meter, CFA and Expect More Arizona have partnered with researchers from the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University to determine the best sources and utilize the most current data available for each indicator on an annual basis. The goal-setting process was led by content experts and great effort was taken to involve and secure feedback from as many stakeholders as possible. The goals were set with the intention of ensuring gains for all students and helping Arizona make progress toward the state’s 60 percent attainment goal, which was first announced in fall 2016 by the Achieve60AZ alliance.

“The strategic partnership between Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona, along with support from the myriad organizations who have contributed to this vision, sets a strong foundation for the sustainability of the Education Progress Meter and the impact it will have on Arizona’s future,” said Tammy McLeod, board chair of Expect More Arizona. “We expect the Education Progress Meter to drive meaningful conversation about the policies and funding that are needed to reach the goals.”