Prioritizing What Matters Most
An Education Action Plan for Arizona to Meet the Achieve60AZ Goal
Achieve60AZ Action Plan
Arizona has an ambitious goal to reach 60 percent education attainment by the year 2030.
Reaching this goal will mean that 60 percent of the state’s population of working adults (ages 25-64) will have a certificate, license, or degree—contributing to greater economic and individual prosperity, reduced social spending, and a more vibrant state economy for all Arizonans.
Reaching the attainment goal isn’t just a postsecondary education issue. Preparation begins with our youngest students, in early childhood education, and builds as they progress through elementary, middle, and high school.
What do we need to do as a state to reach the Achieve60AZ goal and the goals in the Arizona Education Progress Meter?
In 2022, Education Forward Arizona convened education, business, and community leaders and the community to identify and prioritize the most important action steps the state can take to advance the Achieve60AZ attainment goal and those in the Arizona Education Progress Meter.
The work began with a set of education thought leaders and expanded to include more than 300 people—including students, educators, community and business leaders—who participated in a dozen convenings and surveys.
Together, we created this shared action plan, which gives the state clear direction—from a nonpartisan perspective— regarding how we can improve student outcomes.
We hope this Achieve60AZ Action Plan (AZ 60 Action Plan) will serve as a guide for policymakers, funders, educators, business and community leaders to jointly prioritize and advocate for essential changes that will move education forward.
These priorities, which are listed in a non-hierarchical order, represent a shared articulation of the actions that matter most for improving teaching, learning, and student outcomes in ways that meaningfully contribute to progress toward the Achieve60AZ goal.
- Increase educator pay and implement strategies to improve recruitment and retention, including a statewide mentoring and induction program.
- Offer state-supported full-day Kindergarten and inclusive pre-K.
- Recruit and retain a highly-qualified early childhood workforce, with a focus on wages and expansion of the Arizona Teachers Academy.
- Increase and sustain professional development, coaching, and support for educators in reading and math.
- Create a math equivalent to Read On Arizona.
- Start the Education Career Action Plan (ECAP) in 8th grade, and provide counselors and teachers with support and training.
- Increase equitable access to dual and concurrent enrollment.
- Increase the number of school counselors, psychologists, transition specialists and social workers in Arizona schools.
- Expand the Arizona Promise scholarship program to low-income, DACA and undocumented students; students with disabilities; and students attending community colleges.
- Implement a long-term P-20 funding solution that mitigates the impact of Prop. 123 and the COVID relief funding ending in 2024-2025.
What It Will Take – A Deeper Look
To complement each of the top priorities, the below strategies offer greater depth and insight into what it will take to meet the Achieve60AZ goal and each indicator along the way, organized below by Education Progress Meter indicator.
How the Arizona Education Community Developed the Achieve60AZ Action Plan
Through a collaborative and inclusive process, more than 300 Arizonans worked together to identify the key actions that should be taken to increase education attainment, beginning in early education, in K-12, and in postsecondary education. In all, 12 forums were held in 2022 to discuss these ideas at regional convenings in Yuma, Maricopa, Mohave and La Paz Counties, Northern Arizona, Copper Corridor, Southern Arizona, and two statewide sessions. Additionally, multiple surveys were also conducted and included forum attendees and additional leaders who were not able to attend the sessions.
Thank you to all our forum and survey participants—educators, students, issue experts, business leaders and community leaders—who collectively helped to create the Achieve60AZ Action Plan.
The Achieve60AZ Action Plan gives the state clear direction on how we can improve student outcomes.
This plan is meant to serve as a guide for policymakers, funders, educators, business and community leaders to jointly prioritize and advocate for essential changes that will move education forward.
You can prioritize what matters most by sending the Achieve60AZ Action Plan to your legislators today!