Arizona Students Selected for 2017 United States Senate Youth Program

(Phoenix, Ariz., Dec. 8, 2016) – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today announced that two Arizona students have been selected as delegates to the 55th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), which will be held March 4-11, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Henry Rosas Ibarra of Glendale and Meena Venkataramanan of Tucson were chosen from over 80 outstanding Arizona high school applicants to be members of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 55th annual Washington Week.

“Henry Rosas Ibarra and Meena Venkataramanan are outstanding students and I know they will represent Arizona proudly as part of this esteemed program,” said Superintendent Douglas. “This is a life-changing opportunity for these students to meet with our nation’s leaders, experience the American political process and reinforce their commitment to public service.”

Henry Rosas Ibarra is a senior at North Pointe Preparatory in Phoenix where he holds the position of president of the National Honor Society. He currently serves on the advisory commission for the City of Glendale’s Park and Recreation Division to represent the city’s youth and advocate for the services they need. Henry also interns at the Office of Congressman Ruben Gallego where he assists with casework and outreach activities.

Meena Venkataramanan is a senior at Catalina Foothills High School where she is president of the Speech and Debate Team. Meena serves as a teen attorney at the Pima County Teen Court, a local nonprofit diversion program for adolescent misdemeanants. She is a member of the Metropolitan Education Commission’s Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress, which lobbies state and national leaders on issues impacting her community.

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school juniors and seniors—two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity—to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government.

The Hearst Foundations provide each student with transportation and all expenses for Washington Week, as well as a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship.

Chosen as alternates to the 2017 USSYP were Daiva Scovil of Tucson, who attends University High School, and David Jaffe of Mesa, who attends Westwood High School.

For questions about Arizona’s USSYP, please contact the state selection administrator Alexis Susdorf at [email protected] or 602-542-3309 or visit For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program, please visit or contact National Program Director Rayne Guilford at 800-425-3632 or [email protected].


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 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

“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

“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

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

Arizona Department of Education Releases 2014 AIMS Test Results & A-F Letter Grades

Press Release – Arizona Department of Education Releases 2014 AIMS Test Results & A-F Letter Grades

Superintendent Huppenthal Encourages All Arizonans to “Thank a Teacher”

Press Release – Superintendent Huppenthal Encourages All Arizonans to “Thank a Teacher”

Read On Arizona Announces Reading Solution to Keep Kids Reading All Summer

Press Release – Read On Arizona Announces Reading Solution to Keep Kids Reading All Summer

Superintendent Huppenthal Attends New ADE Flagstaff Office Ribbon Cutting

Press Release – Superintendent Huppenthal to Attend New ADE Flagstaff Office Ribbon Cutting

Superintendent Huppenthal Delivers 2014 State of Education Address and Announces New School Report Cards

On February 3, 2014, Superintendent Huppenthal delivered his 2014 State of Education in Arizona address at the State Capitol and announced Arizona’s new school report card website, Please click on the link below to view a complete transcript of the speech:

2014 State of Education Address (Full Remarks)

New Teacher/Principal Evaluation Framework