Welcome back to our teacher interview series, where we hear from two Arizona teachers why they support the new tests students are taking that are aligned with higher standards implemented in the classroom over the past few years.
It’s testing season, and students in many states around the country are taking, for the first time this year, tests that are aligned to the Common Core and similar high standards. As with most things that are new or significantly changed, these tests have generated heated discussions. “Why do we need new tests?” “Why do we need standardized tests at all?” “There’s already too much classroom time spent on testing!” “Tests are too stressful and don’t paint an accurate picture!”
Headlines this week have been dominated by state budget talks and Stand for Children Arizona has been closely monitoring the activity.
Parents, educators and concerned members of our community have raised their voice over the dramatic cuts being proposed to public education. And while we understand the limitations faced by those responsible for a fiscally sound budget, we also know that stable funding for our schools is critical to student achievement and for the overall health of our state.
Stand for Children Arizona, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works with Arizona parents and students is pleased with Governor Ducey’s decisive action earlier today, which will ensure the work of Arizona’s State Board of Education continues. We applaud his leadership on this issue and for bringing the education community together to address the recent actions taken by Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas recently provided the 2015 State of Education.
Many parts of her presentation were reasonable and well-informed, such as the fact that 60% of students entering community colleges require extra work to catch up to where they should be.She also identifiedthe need for highly effective teachers in the classroom and the reality that Arizona does not have the necessary funding for our education system.
Every year, on the first day of the legislative session, the Governor gives a “State of the State” address, highlighting his or her priorities for that year. This year’s “State of the State” was different from previous years. With a new Governor in office after a long campaign season, Arizonans were very interested to see what Governor Ducey highlighted as his agenda.
At Stand, we were pleased to see that education and the economy took top billing in his speech because we know that a strong economy is largely dependent on an excellent education system.
It’s hard to believe that we are a quarter of the way through a school year already! As the parent of two school-age boys, I was shocked that fall break snuck up on us so quickly. I also know that parent-teacher conferences are just around the corner and I always look forward to this time to reflect on the first part of the semester.
While school children across Arizona were enjoying their summer vacation, Stand for Children Arizona has been preparing a leadership team that will give a voice to students across our state.
Based on the idea that community organizing, legislative advocacy and involvement in local elections can create change in public schools, Stand for Children is poised to lead a movement in Arizona’s education community that will leave a lasting impact on the citizens of Arizona.