Arizona Education Stuck Near Bottom

Thinking Arizona illustration by Tony Bustos
Thinking Arizona illustration by Tony Bustos

Arizona education is struggling to right itself.

Our 4th and 8th graders are performing at the 42nd best level in the country. And that’s just one indicator of the malaise.

It’s hard to escape circumstance. An “Education Divide” stretches across the country. States south of the divide, Arizona included, are the have not’s of student achievement.

There is no simple cure. The reforms favored by the Legislature only go so far. One top superintendent fires back: “You cannot legislate your way, cannot rule-make yourself to greatness. Maybe to a minimum standard, but not to anything that rises above that.”

We are not impotent though in the face of this challenge. This edition of Thinking Arizona suggests measures to help. The question is whether we have the will to truly transform the results.

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