Arizona Department of Education Now Seeking Public Comment on Science and Social Studies Standards

(Phoenix, Ariz., Oct. 6, 2016) – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is pleased to announce that the public comment period for the revision of Arizona’s current Science and Social Studies Standards is now open and will be available through Dec. 3, 2016.

“Arizona parents, teachers and citizens now have an opportunity to share their thoughts and help improve these important standards,” said Superintendent Douglas. “Our goal is to deliver exceptional standards that truly belong to our state, and the feedback we gather through this process is critical to achieving that objective.”

Arizona’s current Science Standards were approved in 2004 and its Social Studies Standards were approved in 2005. Standards outline what a student needs to understand and be able to do by the end of each grade.

Arizonans are invited to review the two sets of standards and submit comments by completing a survey in each content area. The surveys are designed to gather comments from teachers, administrators, parents, students, community members, policy makers and the general public. The feedback provided will help inform revision committees of Arizona educators as they begin the process of revising the standards in the coming months.

The Arizona Department of Education is also accepting applications for educators to serve on the revision committees for each subject.

To provide feedback or to apply to serve on a revision committee, Arizonans can visit the Department’s Science and Social Studies Standards Public Feedback page.

 

Four Arizona Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Recognition

(Phoenix, Ariz., Sept. 28, 2016) – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today proudly announced four Arizona schools have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

“I am honored to congratulate these four outstanding schools who received the honorable National Blue Ribbon School award for their exemplary high performance,” said Superintendent Douglas. “This great accomplishment highlights the hard work and dedication of both students and staff to ensure the highest levels of academic achievement. These schools embody what is great about education in Arizona.”

The four schools receiving this honor are Fuller Elementary School in Tempe, Vista Del Sur Traditional School in Laveen, University High School in Tucson, and Jack Barnes Elementary School in Queen Creek. These schools are among 279 public and 50 private schools that will be recognized at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia on November 7-8.

This prestigious national award is administered annually by the U.S. Department of Education to spotlight public and private elementary, middle, and high schools across the nation as National Blue Ribbon Schools for their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

For additional information, please visit www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools or contact Alexis Susdorf, the Blue Ribbon School Program Coordinator for Arizona at (602) 542-3309 or [email protected].

Arizona Department of Education Releases ESSA Draft State Plan for Public Comment

(Phoenix, Ariz., Sept. 7, 2016) – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today announced that the first draft of Arizona’s State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is now available for public comment at www.azed.gov/essa/draftplan.

“After many months of hard work, I am thrilled to share the first draft of our ESSA State Plan with Arizona,” said Superintendent Douglas. “While I consider this draft a great first step in the ESSA implementation process, there is still much work to be done. This is by no means the final State Plan, and we will continue to modify this document based on the vision of all Arizonans.”

Under ESSA, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is responsible for creating a State Plan that reflects a shared statewide vision for Arizona’s students and schools on topics such as accountability, funding, school improvement and grant-making systems.

To create this first draft of the State Plan, Superintendent Douglas conducted extensive statewide outreach and engagement efforts to thousands of Arizonans through her We Are Listening Tour and via online resources. ADE staff also met with dozens of stakeholder organizations and education officials to gather their feedback. Comments and survey responses that have been received so far are available at www.azed.gov/essa/responses/.

“When I took office, I made it a top priority for ADE to consider public input when determining education policy,” said Superintendent Douglas. “This document is the future of Arizona’s education system and it is extremely important that all Arizonans participate in this discussion so that the final plan represents what is best for our unique state.”

Superintendent Douglas invites all Arizonans to provide their comments on the draft State Plan in person at one of her We Are Listening Tour events, which will continue this month in Page on Sept. 20 and on the Hopi reservation in Kykotsmovi on Sept. 21. More events are planned through the end of the year and a current schedule is available at www.azed.gov/weheardyou/.

Feedback also can be submitted through ADE’s ESSA website, online survey, and via email at [email protected]. Arizonans are also invited to join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ESSAinAZ. Comments received by Oct. 1 will be considered as a second draft is developed for release in mid-October. The release of that second draft will mark the beginning of the official 60 day comment period required by ESSA and feedback gathered during that window will be used to finalize the plan.

ESSA, which is designed to replace No Child Left Behind as the primary federal legislation addressing America’s public education system, was passed into law by Congress in December 2015 and will take effect in the 2017-2018 school year. ESSA is marketed as affording states greater flexibility, and the new law encourages states and schools to innovate while maintaining a focus on accountability, state and local systems of improvement and a more balanced assessment system.

Anyone interested in receiving regular ESSA updates from ADE can sign up at www.azed.gov/essa/essa-updates/.

ADE CIO Mark Masterson Delivers Keynote Address at Education Conference

ADE CIO Mark Masterson Delivers Keynote Address at Education Conference

CIO tabbed as “national data expert” at Mississippi education technology event

(Phoenix, Ariz., Jun. 24, 2016) – Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Chief Information Officer (CIO) Mark Masterson this week was featured as the keynote speaker for the Mississippi Department of Education’s MDE Data Conference in Jackson, Miss.

The theme of the conference, “Building a World Class Data System,” made Masterson an excellent choice since he is renowned in education technology for his expertise on the subject. The MDE Data Conference is Mississippi’s largest education conference, consisting of over 800 participants from public, private and charter schools, including superintendents, business managers, technology coordinators and career and technical education directors.

“I was incredibly privileged to represent the state of Arizona at this esteemed conference,” Masterson said. “No matter where it is needed, it is always an honor to assist in the development and improvement of technology in education.”

The ADE CIO is currently spearheading Arizona’s innovative transition to AzEDS, the state’s new student data system. Before arriving at ADE, Masterson performed technology transformations at private institutions such as American Airlines and DHL. He also successfully directed large, globally-dispersed and culturally diverse teams in enterprise resource planning, e-commerce, business intelligence and supply chain at SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, Dynamics and Siebel CRM.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who has been a strong proponent of technology development in Arizona education, has extended her support for ADE IT since taking office last year.

“We are thrilled that Mark and our IT division are being recognized for their achievements,” Douglas said. “I hope that Mississippi can benefit from his insights as much as we have here in Arizona.”

During his tenure in Arizona, Masterson’s ADE technology team was named one of CIO magazine’s “Top 100 most innovative IT organizations” of 2015. This honor came on the heels of Masterson being individually recognized by ComputerWorld as a “2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders” honoree.

To learn more about Arizona’s cutting-edge transition to a new a data system, please click here.

Department Releases Preliminary 2015-2016 State Level AzMERIT Results

Department Releases Preliminary 2015-2016 State Level AzMERIT Results

(Phoenix, Ariz., Jun. 27, 2016) – The Arizona Department of Education this morning released preliminary state level AzMERIT results for the 2015-2016 school year. The results included statewide passing and proficiency rates for both English language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8 and high school.

“I am pleased to see that our students are improving in both English language arts and mathematics at several grade levels,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. “However, these results also underscore that as a state we still have much work to do. I will continue working with our parents, teachers and community members to find the best possible ways to support our students and help them achieve their dreams.”

Final AzMERIT results for all Arizona public schools, districts and charter holders will be made available in late August. Data released at that time will also include demographic breakdowns and performance by school type (district, charter and alternative).

Paper AzMERIT family reports will be made available to districts and charters in mid-July. Parents can contact their child’s school for more information on when and how they will have access to results for their students.

“While these types of results can show general trends, I still firmly believe that Arizona needs to move away from the high stakes, snapshot assessment model,” continued the Superintendent. “Testing was not originally created to determine how well a teacher or school is performing; it was designed to show us how to help students improve. I will keep that focus in mind as we work with Arizonans to develop our state’s future assessment systems.”

Arizona public school students in third grade through high school take AzMERIT. Students in grades 3 through 8 take an assessment in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics at their grade level. Students taking high school level English and math take End-of-Course assessments that test their proficiency in those subjects.

For more information on AzMERIT, please visit www.azed.gov/azmerit.

2015-2016 AzMERIT Preliminary Passing and Proficiency Rates

Mathematics

Test Level % Passing Minimally Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Highly Proficient
  2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016
Grade 3 42 46 27 25 31 30 29 29 13 17
Grade 4 42 44 29 29 29 26 32 34 10 10
Grade 5 40 46 29 27 31 27 28 31 12 15
Grade 6 33 39 37 37 30 24 22 24 11 15
Grade 7 31 32 47 46 22 23 18 22 13 10
Grade 8 34 26 41 51 25 23 20 17 14 9
Algebra I 32 36 45 44 23 20 23 27 9 9
Geometry 31 34 42 41 27 24 25 27 6 7
Algebra II 30 30 46 46 25 25 23 23 7 7

 

English Language Arts

Test Level % Passing Minimally Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Highly Proficient
  2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016
Grade 3 41 41 43 45 16 14 30 29 11 12
Grade 4 42 46 41 40 17 14 36 34 6 12
Grade 5 32 45 36 31 31 23 28 32 4 13
Grade 6 36 37 39 41 25 22 32 31 4 6
Grade 7 33 38 42 38 25 21 29 35 5 3
Grade 8 35 34 39 44 26 23 27 26 8 8
ELA 9 27 34 44 38 29 28 22 25 5 9
ELA 10 32 29 47 54 21 17 22 20 10 9
ELA 11 31 29 51 53 19 17 20 19 11 10

For the 2015-16 Preliminary State Level AzMERIT Results PowerPoint, click here.

 

Superintendent Douglas Honors School Counselors of the Year

Superintendent Douglas Honors School Counselors of the Year

Arizona Department of Education Announces Student Winners of Visual Arts Competition

Press Release – Arizona Department of Education Announces Student Winners of Visual Arts Competition

4th and 8th Grade Math and Reading NAEP Results Released

Press Release – 4th and 8th Grade Math and Reading NAEP Results Released

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) Linking Study Released

Press Release – Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) Linking Study Released

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Upheld by Appeals Court

Press Release – Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Upheld by Appeals Court