Our Origin Story
Public opinion polls have indicated for several years that education is the top priority for the citizens of Arizona, and yet we haven’t always agreed on how to achieve the quality education system we say we want.
Despite our collective urgency for meaningful education improvement, we’ve tolerated an education system in Arizona that has underperformed, one that has denied educational, and thus economic, opportunity to many of our citizens. That has, in turn, hampered our state’s growth and has tarnished our reputation.
Frustrated with the pace of change and with an often fractured and inadequate response to education improvement, community leaders came together for 15 months — during the pandemic — to outline the strategic direction of a more robust education advocacy organization. That community planning process was supported by Arizona Community Foundation, Helios Education Foundation and Pharos Foundation.
During that period, three entities — Achieve60AZ, College Success Arizona and Expect More Arizona — came together to outline how to bring the best parts of each of their organizations together in ways that could lead to greater impact and efficiency.
Putting their own brands aside, they created a new more robust organization. By pooling their resources, and combining teams, funders and Boards, Education Forward Arizona emerged to address collective community aspirations to:
- Create a cohesive case for education and how it benefits all Arizonans
- Align knowledge and interests to create more effective approaches and increase accountability
- Build public and political will for dramatic education improvement