|"We are proud to graduate 84% of our kids into
Zach Richardson, EX President Sedona District 9 School Board
|Five DECADES of meddling in the education system from the Federal Government, a
$100 BILLION department. Controlling education from a central point in a land mass
and diversity of the United States has created what?
Google United States Ranking in the world on Education, just one site HERE.
It does not speak well for an education system where the United States spends MORE per student than ANY
other developed country on the planet! BUT… The Program for International Student Assessment
measurement found the United States ranked 31st in math literacy among 15-year-old students and below the
international average. The same 2009 tests found the United States ranked 23rd in science among the same
students, but posting an average score. Huffington Post 6/25/13
It would seem that after 50 years you would STOP doing something that is failing. But
not here. The loss of local control, the programming of our kids, the "re teaching" of
this nation's history has PROVEN not to work. The United States gets an "F".
|What they tell you:
Arizona ranks 47th spending per child.
What they don't tell you:
"Please note that the reported totals cannot be reliably compared among states. Figures reported do not
account for discrepancies in cost of living, which are typically calculated for specific metropolitan areas. In
addition, accounting methods vary among state agencies."
State by State Spending
Arizona ranks 32nd to 33rd in cost of living (Including District of Columbia), stats available through multiple
sites. You must balance spending with cost of living. Can we do better? Sure. Can we be more efficient?
The Republic | azcentral.com
Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:11 PM
Half of the state’s public high schools saw 5 percent or fewer of their graduates from 2006 earn bachelor’s degrees, a new study finds.
And 62 percent of the college degrees earned by the high-school Class of 2006 went to students from just 40 of the state’s 460 high schools.
The report out today from the Arizona Board of Regents is the first in the state to provide a snapshot of college-completion rates for individual high
schools. For six years, the regents tracked 53,392 Arizona students who graduated from high school in the 2005-06 school year, regardless of
whether they moved or attended college out of state.
Using data from colleges nationwide, the report found that 57 percent of the Arizona students who graduated from high school in 2005-06 went on
to college, but only 19 percent graduated from a four-year institution within six years.
An additional 6 percent graduated from a two-year college or trade school.
The statistics can’t be compared nationwide because only a few states study high-school graduates in this much detail. But on other measures,
Arizona has traditionally lagged the national average in college-going rates and the percentage of adults with a college degree.
Local education experts describe the latest findings as “shocking,” “disheartening” and “woefully inadequate.” They say the low number of
college-completion rates should be a call to action to better prepare students for college and to get more to finish their degrees at a time when an
increasing number of jobs require post-secondary education.
“Our education pipeline is much too leaky. As a result, an awful lot of talent in this state is going to waste. We just can’t afford that,” Regents
President Eileen Klein said.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal said school-by-school results “will come as a bit of a shock to every high school in
“If you have educational institutions where zero percent of their graduates go on to college, that’s very troubling,” he said.
Some high-school officials who saw their results caution the data don’t provide a complete picture of post-secondary education.
The report excludes students who opt to keep their information private and those who may earn their degrees at a later time. The regents said the
study used a national clearinghouse that tracks student outcomes at more than 98 percent of public and private post-secondary institutions.
Only a few states have studied college completion this way — tracking high-school graduates for six years, which is the length of time the U.S.
Department of Education uses to gauge college completion. Most research focuses either on the percentage who go to college or follows students
once they are in college.
A similar study to Arizona’s by the Connecticut Board of Regents in 2011 found higher college-completion rates than Arizona’s; 36 percent earned
four-year degrees compared with 19 percent.
A slightly different study by Boston Public Schools in 2007 found that 35 percent earned a two-year or four-year degree within seven years. That
compares with 24 percent in Arizona.
Gap among schools
Many of the high schools with the highest college-graduation rates serve large numbers of students in higher-income neighborhoods. Others were
college-prep schools. That’s consistent with national studies that have found that schools in lower-income areas send fewer students to college
right after high school.
The college-preparatory University High School in Tucson had the highest percentage of graduates earning a degree at 72 percent. Desert Vista
High School in Ahwatukee Foothills had the largest number of graduates who earned bachelor’s degrees, 293, or 45 percent of the graduating
class, according to the study.
Chaparral High School in Scottsdale had the highest percentage in the Valley at 55 percent. The school’s boundaries include the town of Paradise
Valley, a wealthy enclave where 70 percent of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Chaparral was closely followed by Desert Mountain High School, also in Scottsdale, at 54 percent.
Scottsdale Unified School District officials say a strong curriculum helps prepare students for college. The district eliminated courses such as
“basic math” that don’t give students the content knowledge they need to be successful in college, said Andi Fourlis, an assistant superintendent.
At Mesa Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, completion rates for bachelor’s degrees ranged from 10 to 29 percent, depending on
the school. Mountain View High had the highest percentage in the district. When two-year degrees are factored in, the percentages rise to
between 17 and 35 percent of graduates.
Mesa officials acknowledged that the largest school district in the state does not have enough graduates completing four-year degrees.
But they don’t think the picture is quite as bad as the one painted by the regents study. For one thing, many students take alternative routes to
earning degrees, including enrolling in community college to earn degrees that help them get entry-level jobs in their professions, then slowly work
toward bachelor’s degrees, said Kathy Bareiss, Mesa schools representative for a program called Mesa Counts on College. Others graduates, she
said, go to trade and technical schools that do not offer traditional bachelor’s degrees.
The Peoria Unified School District has been trying to track its students’ college graduation rate for several years. But accurate and consistent data
have been hard to come by. Students move out state or opt out of taking post-graduation surveys, Superintendent Denton Santarelli said.
The regents’ data shows college-completion rates in the mid-20 percent for the five Peoria high schools that had graduating classes in 2006.
Although the goal is to prepare students for college, attending a four-year university isn’t for everyone, Santarelli said.
“There are a lot of career fields that are wonderfully lucrative and supportive of the American dream that do not require a college education,” he
said, noting military and technical careers.
Regent Jay Heiler, chairman and founder of a network of Arizona college-prep schools called Great Hearts Academies, agrees that college is not
for everyone. But it’s certainly for many more than the 19 percent who are earning degrees, he said.
“The number is woefully inadequate,” he said.
Half of the high schools in the study had 5 percent or fewer of their graduates from 2005-06 earn four-year degrees. Some are new schools that
opened since 2006 and didn’t have a senior class the year the study began. But many have been around for a while and are smaller “second
chance” schools designed to help students who are already struggling.
The Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy in Phoenix had 78 graduates in the 2005-06 school year. The regents study found that none earned a
bachelor’s degree after six years.
The school’s principal, Rick Beck, said students have multiple personal challenges that make continuing their education difficult. Students are
often parents, family breadwinners or have serious health challenges. Even so, he said school staff push students to maximize their opportunities.
“Our mission is to prepare them for college, career and life,” he said.
Beck said students finish his school with enough math and science to pursue a four-year degree. But the school does not yet offer a foreign-
language requirement, something many universities require for entrance.
“As far as university is concerned, it’s pretty tough on them financially. And also grade-wise,” he said. “They come here with a pretty low GPA.”
Regents hope the latest study provokes discussion about college preparation and completion. Some areas of possible focus already being floated
by experts include:
More rigor in all high schools. The study’s findings are expected to renew debate about whether curriculum is tough enough at all schools.
The role of alternative schools. “Second-chance” schools for struggling students have flourished in recent years. But if a school isn’t getting a
single graduate to earn a college degree, it raises questions among experts about how well the school is preparing students for life beyond high
More outreach to middle-school and high-school students. Colleges may need to increase their outreach programs for younger students,
especially in neighborhoods where parents don’t have college degrees and are unfamiliar with the admissions process.
Make schools accountable. Huppenthal, the state superintendent of schools, would like to eventually factor college-completion rates into the “A-F”
letter grade that high schools receive from the state. But lots of details would need to be ironed out. School officials can already see pitfalls,
beginning with the fact that once students leave, the high school no longer controls their educational environment.
Help students succeed while in college. Colleges will have to find more ways to keep students. The reasons for leaving can be complex, including
financial, family or school-work conflicts.
Reporters Eugene Scott, Mary Beth Faller, Cathryn Creno, Melissa Leu and Amy B Wang contributed to this article.
Reach the reporter at 602-444-8072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.