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Commentary

Why the A-F rating system for schools vexes policymakers

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The issue vexing policymakers and the State Board of Education on the A to F school grade system is defining what one means by a “school.” The diverse education community, with its multiple delivery variables in unique learning communities, holds some dramatically different ideas of what is a school.

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We have made Arizona teachers ‘test prep robots,’ ‘slaves to the test’

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AzMERIT scores are in, and schools are being issued grades based on how their students performed on a test taken six months ago that measured math and English language skills. Teachers across the state are running for cover, hoping and praying their students fared well on these high stakes tests. Some will celebrate while others will wonder if they will lose their jobs. But all still must teach.

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KidsCare vital to Arizona families, funding needs to be reinstated (access required)

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Unlike other states, Arizona law says KidsCare will be frozen the day federal funding drops below 100 percent. Arizona is one of 12 states in the country whose CHIP program is paid for entirely by the federal government, which was a major reason we were able to get KidsCare reopened. Over 22,000 children from working Arizona families are now covered through KidsCare, showing us just how needed a program like CHIP is in our state.

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‘Institute’ report reads like hit piece, charter schools well regulated, transparent

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I was disappointed to read that a loosely organized “institute” of former elected officials and politicians released a report – not on how to help all schools improve – but, rather, singling out charter schools for unfounded criticism. The report is riddled with errors and inconsistencies, and drips with sarcasm. Suffice to say, it reads more like a campaign hit-piece than a scholarly analysis.

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