Superintendent of Public Instruction


Published: Published: August 1st, 2018

Superintendent Douglas: Welcome Back to School

Urges motorists to be aware of children and school buses

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas welcomes back students, teachers and staff by proclaiming the start of the new school year.

“Once again it is the time of year for new backpacks, sharpened pencils and making new friends,” Superintendent Douglas said. “It is always an exciting time of hope and anticipation when the school year begins. Welcome back to school, Arizona!”

Since over the next few weeks most Arizona schools will begin the new school year, Superintendent Douglas urges motorists to put safety first on our state’s roads.

“We are back to having school buses on our roads, students walking in our crosswalks, as well as riding on their bicycles,” Superintendent Douglas said. “Let’s remind ourselves to be vigilant in our driving with our children back in school. Please be extra alert and abide by the speed limits in the school zones.

“Test scores are rising, teachers are getting raises and schools are receiving their federal grant funds sooner than ever. We are poised to have the best Arizona school year ever, so let’s all work together to achieve that goal.”

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Published: Published: March 26th, 2018

Drafts of New Standards for Science, History and Social Science Presented to State Board

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas presented drafts of the new Arizona Science Standards, as well as the new Arizona History and Social Science Standards at today’s State Board of Education (SBE) meeting. The draft standards were immediately made available on the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) K-12 Academic Standards website.

“These draft standards are a step forward for the education of Arizona students,” Superintendent Douglas said. “Not only do the standards help guide educators in preparing students to compete in a modern technology-based economy, but they also help prepare students to be good citizens grounded in the founding principles of our constitutional republic. I am looking forward to the feedback during the public comment period, but I would like to thank the working groups and ADE staff for all the hard work they have put into these drafts.”

The period for public review and comment will be from March 26, 2018 until May 28, 2018. During that time, the Department will host two public meetings. On April 5, 2018 from 3:30-5:00 p.m., members of the Department will walk the public through the draft of the Arizona History and Social Science Standards. On April 6, 2018, from 3:30-5:00 p.m., the draft of the Arizona Science Standards will be reviewed. Both meetings will be held in the State Board of Education meeting room located at 1535 W. Jefferson St. Phoenix, AZ 85007. The meetings will also be live streamed and recorded for those who are not able to attend in person.

During this time, the Department will also be receiving feedback from technical reviewers. Once the technical and public comment period is completed, ADE will reconvene working groups to finalize the drafts before presenting them to the SBE for adoption.

Please find the new draft standards posted on our website at: http://www.azed.gov/standards-practices/k-12standards/k12engagement/az_sci_ss_standards-review/. The public may both review and comment on the new proposed standards.

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Published: Published: March 23rd, 2018

Superintendent Douglas Applauds Prop 301 Extension

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today applauded Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature for supporting the passage of legislation to extend Proposition 301. Once signed by the Governor into law, Senate Bill 1390 will effectively replicate the original language of Prop 301 and move the expiration date out to 2041.

“I am excited that the Legislature agreed to extend Prop 301 sooner rather than later in order to avoid the looming fiscal cliff,” Superintendent Douglas said. “Since schools throughout the state rely so heavily on Prop 301 revenues, the funding is essentially baked into their respective budgets. Now that this extension has been passed, I am committed more than ever to increasing teacher salaries and finding new revenue streams for education as quickly as possible.”

The Governor indicated that he will sign the new bill into law, preventing the voter-approved 0.6-cent sales tax from expiring in 2021. The new law will also move $64.1 million in additional funding to the classroom site fund, meaning more monies will be available for increasing teacher salaries.

Last April, Superintendent Douglas released her plan to expand Prop 301 monies to a full 1 percent, which if supported by voters would generate $400 million annually for teacher salaries and school buildings, providing nearly $5,000 more in average take-home pay to teachers each year. The expansion would result in an immediate 11 percent raise for teachers and $100 million for school facilities, which could be utilized to help bolster school safety.

For more information and updates about the proposal, please visit www.azed.gov

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Published: Published: March 23rd, 2018

Douglas Lends Support to Glendale’s SROs

Superintendent Douglas

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas was on hand at a press conference today in support of the city of Glendale’s school safety initiative to significantly increase the level of school resource officer (SRO) support at Glendale’s public high schools. Effective immediately, all of the city’s nine public high schools in four different school districts will have a dedicated Glendale police officer on campus.

“I am delighted to lend my support to the city of Glendale and this incredible initiative,” Superintendent Douglas said. “There is nothing more important than keeping our children safe and I hope cities throughout Arizona take a page out of Glendale’s playbook and follow suit. I also could not be more impressed that Glendale is going to have these officers ready to serve on campus immediately.”

Glendale Police Chief Rick St. John, along with Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers and City Manager Kevin Phelps, believe that this initiative is necessary in the current climate of increased violent threats against students and teachers. Should there be any threat or incident, the role of the school resource officer will be to provide rapid response capabilities to every public high school within Glendale Police Department’s jurisdiction.

“I want to ensure the citizens of Glendale that myself, the City Council, our city management and our police department are committed to keeping our schools and all of our citizens safe,” Mayor Weiers said. “Highly trained police officers are exactly what we need in our schools protecting and serving students and staff and that is why we have made the decision to take the lead by taking this action.”

The implementation of this plan will result in a full-time Glendale police officer on every high school campus in the city. A new dedicated SRO will be on the school grounds for Deer Valley High School, Mountain Ridge High School, Apollo High School, Glendale High School and Independence High School. Previous assignments of full-time resource officers at Raymond S. Kellis High School, Copper Canyon High School, Cactus High School and Ironwood High School will continue.

To learn more about this initiative, please visit https://www.glendaleaz.com/police/.

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Published: Published: March 7th, 2018

Supt. Douglas Encourages Potential Teachers to Attend Teach-In Job Fair

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is encouraging potential teachers to attend the 2018 Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair on Saturday, March 10. The job fair will be hosted by the Exceptional Student Services Division of the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel and Spa from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“As I have traveled around the state to almost 60 locations on my ‘We Are Listening Tours,’” Superintendent Douglas said, “I have heard unanimously from Arizonans of all walks of life that we need to pay our teachers more and find a solution to our teacher shortage crisis. Events such as the 2018 Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair are incredible opportunities to help effectively address some of those concerns.”

116 traditional district, charter and private schools will attend Saturday’s job fair, as well as several other educational entities. At last year’s event, 59 educators were hired right on the spot, while 88 in total were hired directly from the job fair.

A fingerprinting service, resume reviewers, as well as representatives from ADE will be on hand to counsel attendees on becoming a certified teacher in Arizona. The attending schools will be able to issue letters of intent and job offers to prospective teachers pending background checks.

“If you are a teacher in need of work or a school in need of teachers,” the Superintendent continued, “there is no better place to be this weekend than the job fair. It is free for prospective teachers to attend and you can literally walk away from the event having changed your life and the lives of your potential students for the better in one day.”

To register or learn more information about the 2018 Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair, please visit http://teachinaz.com/. Media interested in attending should email or call the press contact listed above.

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Published: Published: September 29th, 2017

Five Arizona Schools Being Honored as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools

(Phoenix, Ariz., September 29, 2017) — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas announced today which Arizona schools are being honored as a National Blue Ribbon School. “I am proud of our Arizona schools and am glad there is an award to honor their hard work and dedication to the students and the community. These schools are putting the children first by creating safe and welcoming places where they can learn and be challenged.”

In Arizona, five schools made the grade by meeting the U.S. Department of Education’s accountability requirements:

  • Acacia Elementary School – Vail, Arizona
  • 5 School Logos including US Department of Education logo

  • Arizona College Preparatory – Oakland Campus Chandler, Arizona
  • Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School – Mesa, Arizona
  • Palm Valley Elementary School – Goodyear, Arizona
  • Seton Catholic Preparatory High School – Chandler, Arizona
  • The U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 342 schools nationwide as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the honorees. “You are visionaries, innovators and leaders.”

    These schools are being recognized for their performance in two categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.
  • Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition to more than 8,500 schools. On November 6-7, these schools will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Secretary and the Department of Education.

    Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year, but only the top schools make the grade to be honored as a National Blue Ribbon School. For more information about this national award, please visit azed.gov/blueribbonschools/ or the national website.

    END

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    Published: Published: September 11th, 2017

    Superintendent Douglas Asks Education Community to Remember 9/11

    Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas asked that all Arizona schools take a moment to remember those lost in the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

    The former New Jersey resident hopes that the schools honor all of the Americans lost in the attacks 16 years ago to the day. The four coordinated attacks on September 11, 2001 took the lives of nearly 3,000 people, injured over 6,000 others and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage, including the destruction of part of the Pentagon and the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center.

    “I hope that all Arizonans can take a moment of silence at some point today to remember the tragic events of 9/11,” Superintendent Douglas said. “I’d also like to take a moment to recognize all of those that serve our country and work every day to keep us all safe. My thoughts and prayers are with them, as well as with everyone who lost a family member or someone special on that day.”

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    Superintendent Douglas will conduct a moment of silence at her “We Are Listening Tour” event tonight at the West Sedona Elementary School in Sedona from 6-8. The event is free to attend and an opportunity for all Arizonans to provide feedback about education first-hand to Superintendent Douglas.

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    Published: Published: September 6th, 2017

    Final 2016-17 AzMERIT Results Released

    The Arizona Department of Education today released final combined performance results from the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 administrations of the AzMERIT statewide assessment and the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) alternate statewide assessment. An Excel file containing the results and additional details about the assessments have been posted at http://www.azed.gov/accountability-research/data/.

    The results include the total percentage of Arizona public school students who passed the assessments and the percentage at each performance level. In addition to the statewide results, proficiency rates are available for schools, districts/charter holders and counties. Breakdowns by grade level, subgroup (e.g., students with disabilities, English language learners, economically disadvantaged students) and ethnicity are also provided.

    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.

    MSAA is Arizona’s alternate statewide achievement test for eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities. The MSAA alternate assessment is based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Eligible Arizona public school students take the MSAA Alternate Assessments for ELA and Mathematics in Grades 3 through 8 and Grade 11.

    For more information on AzMERIT, please visit www.azed.gov/assessment/azmerit. For additional details about MSAA, visit www.azed.gov/assessment/msaa/.

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