Arizona’s plan includes a relatively simple list of indicators with mostly straightforward explanations.
For elementary schools, its system will include student achievement (English-language arts, math, and science), student growth (both a normative and a growth-to-standard model), English-language proficiency, and measures of acceleration/readiness. The acceleration measure has 5 “menu items” that schools can choose from to accrue points on the state rating system: accelerated math scores, decreases in the percentage of 3rd graders scoring minimally proficient in 3rd grade, subgroup improvement, special education inclusion, or chronic absenteeism.
The indicators for high school are identical, except a menu of college- and career-ready measures instead of acceleration, plus graduation rates (four-, five-, six-, and seven-year rates). The menu of college- and career-ready options includes things like completing a CTE sequence, scoring high on the ACT, passing an AP test or the ASVAB, completing the FAFSA, or earning an industry recognized credential. Each of these are worth a different number of points per student.
While these “menu” items are an interesting way for the state to encourage schools to offer well-rounded curricula and meet student needs in a variety of ways, it could pose a challenge for educators and parents to understand how their respective schools compare. Moreover, Arizona should monitor its data to ensure that all of its options are comparable or if certain types of students are disproportionately likely to pursue certain pathways.