By Julie Wiessner
Arizona Ready is the state’s education reform plan put together by Governor Jan Brewers’ appointed coordinating council, composed of educational and business leaders. Their goal is to implement the Race To The Top requirements, including student data collection through a longitudinal data collection system called Pre-school-20, or P-20 for short.
The P-20 system documents data from a child’s pre-school days through higher education. Some of the data used so far has been collected through several tests, such as the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS), American College Testing (ACT), Stanford Achievement Tests 10 (SAT10), the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Advanced Placement (AP) Exam, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program Outcomes.
There are four over- arching goals guiding this data collection; some apply to specific grade levels and ages. Goals 1-3 specify they are to be reached by 2020.
Goal 1 is to increase to 94 percent third graders meeting state standards in reading.
Goal 2 is increase to 85 percent eighth graders achieving at or above basic on the NAEP.
Goal 3 is to raise the high school graduation rate to 93 percent.
Goal 4 is to double the number to 36,000 students receiving a bachelor’s degree.
There are six categories on the Arizona Ready data website. Pre-kindergarten is a category by itself. Kindergarten through seventh grade is another category, seventh and eighth grades is another, and high school, post-secondary and workforce each have their own categories. The more data collected, the clearer the picture of where students are in their achievement.
Some of the data currently available on the Arizona Ready website for Navajo County includes the category for percentage of third graders passing the statewide reading assessment by 2020, beginning with percentage results from 2009.
Navajo County students scored at 62 percent on this measure in 2009, while Arizona as a whole scored 72 percent. In 2010, Navajo County improved five percentage points to 67 percent, while the total state count went up to 73 percent. The scores in 2011 for Navajo County were 68 percent, while the state showed 76 percent.
In 2012, Navajo County stayed at 67 percent, while the state number went down to 75 percent. The percentage score inched up in 2013 to 72 percent for Navajo County, with the state average score remaining at 75 percent, still short of the goal of 94 percent of third graders passing the statewide reading test by 2020.
The trend for kindergarten enrollment shows a steady increase for both the state and Navajo County. The state increase from 2010 to 2013 went from 84,406 to 86,356 students, while the Navajo County increase went from 1,355 in 2010 to 1,430 in 2013.
Another goal for data collection is to have students achieve at the national average on SAT10 scores by 2020.
Navajo County scores on this assessment for achieving the national average in 2011 were 31 percent in language; 43 percent for math; and 36 percent in reading. In 2012 scores for language, math and reading were 31 percent, 43 percent and 31 percent, respectively. In 2013, these students’ scores stayed the same for language, but for math, Navajo County met the 2020 goal of 50 percent. The state average has reached above that goal at 57 percent.
The fourth grade NAEP data does not include percentages by county, but rather by ethnicity.
More data is available on the Arizona Ready Report Card Website. To find more information on how Arizona as a state, counties and ethnicities performs, go online to http://www.arizonaready.com/content/index.html, and click on the category of interest located in the red banner near the top of the page.
By Julie Wiessner