Power Hour Recap: Arizona Education Progress Meter Deep Dive
Each month, Education Arizona Forward hosts Power Hours, where experts and guest speakers discuss pressing issues affecting education in Arizona and share opportunities to increase degree and certificate attainment in our state.
During our August 2023 Power Hour, we took a deep dive into the history and methodology behind the Arizona Education Progress Meter, a tool we co-developed with the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) to show what it will take to reach our state’s Achieve60 AZ goal based on eight indicators representing early, K-12 and postsecondary education.
Summary of Events
Progress Meter History and Data Sources
We kicked off our session with Ian Dowdy, CFA’s Director of Strategic Data Initiatives. Ian gave us the history of the progress meter, including where the data is sourced from and highlighted how local communities are often the best source of solutions for their cities and towns. In referencing the Education Progress Meter, he said “It is the guidepost for Arizona’s Education Policy in so many ways,” highlighting the importance of this tool that was developed with input from over 200 leaders around the state in 2016. Ian then broke down each indicator in depth while addressing frequently asked questions about each metric. If you love data, this part of the session is for you! View this segment.
Disparities and Inequities in Arizona Enrollment and Attainment
Ian was followed by Education Forward Arizona’s very own Dr. Terry Leyba Ruiz, who talked about disparities and inequities in the data around our state. She focused on three indicators: High School Graduation Rates, Post High-School Enrollment and Attainment. Dr. Leyba Ruiz broken down the data by ethnicity to show the inequities and said, “This is a call to help. This is going to take all of us as a community to come together to support our students, our educators, and our administrators so that we can move the needle on this.” She wrapped up with highlights from her current role on the President Biden’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics. View this segment.
Project Momentum Arizona
We concluded our session with highlights from Dr. Betsy Hargrove, Superintendent of Avondale Elementary School District, talking about Project Momentum Arizona, which is working to close achievement gaps for all students. She discussed that this initiative’s mission is in part that, “In Avondale, every student will grow as a thinker, problem solver and communicator to pursue a future without limits.” Teachers meet collaboratively to develop systems of support for students using data to drive the discussion. Students benefit from evidence-based intervention and extension of the learning. This has led to an increase in achievement for students. View this segment.
Up Next: Bonds and Overrides
We hope you will join us in September for a discussion on Bonds and Overrides and how they impact education in your local community. Register here.