Aug 2, 2012 2:25 PM
PHOENIX - The Arizona Department of Education has released A-F letter grades for all district and charter schools in the state.
These "Accountability Grades" are based on weighting of student performance on the AIMS tests and student academic growth from year to year, along with additional points awarded for high English Language Learner reclassifications, and significant reductions in dropout rates, according to a news release from the ADE.
In Southern Arizona, the Sunnyside, Ajo and Tucson school districts all received a "C." The Catalina Fothills, Vail, and Tanque Verde districts received an "A." The Flowing Wells, Marana, Sahuarita, and Altar Valley districts received "B's."
The department has also developed a model for smaller schools with populations under 100, as well as alternative school and K-2 schools.
"Our Department is dedicated to providing parents fair yet rigorous evaluations of schools so they can make informed decisions about their child's education," said Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal. "We recognize higher accountability leads to higher academic results. This has been proven over the last year, as we see the general trending upward in grades for many schools, charters, and districts."
In 2012, 1,733 Arizona schools, or 23 percent, received an "A" grade, and 34 percent received a "B." Overall, there was an increase in schools that received an "A" and "B" since 2011, and a decrease in "C's" and "D's," according to the report. Twenty-five percent of schools increased their letter grades, and 62 percent maintained them.
"Through our A-F letter grading accountability system we are able to identify educational weaknesses and strengths that can help drive schools to improve. I am committed to working with our educational leaders, teachers, parents and students as we identify areas needing improvement, and develop strategies to continue to improve results for our students," continued Superintendent Huppenthal.