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Arizona Student Achievement Rises, but Falls Short of the National Average

In 2011 Arizona students made real progress on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), an exam that enables meaningful comparisons across states. For example, the percent of Arizona 4th graders who scored “at or above proficient” on the math assessment rose from 28% in 2009 to 34% in 2011. Eighth graders made gains on the math assessment as well, with those “at or above proficient” rising 2 percentage points. Students at both grade levels demonstrated slight improvement on the reading assessment, but student achievement is still too low. Only 26% of Arizona 4th graders are “at or above proficient” in reading.

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Arizona’s Education

One of the policy issues this state is going to have to confront is: How can there be a difference this big in the AIMS results and NAEP results?

The future economic success of Arizona’s youth is largely dependent on their ability to thrive in school, transition to quality jobs, and continue the lifelong acquisition of knowledge and skills that are adaptable to new technologies and emerging industries. The Education tab presents a range of indicators that track progress through this complex school to work pipeline. Ranging from school and student achievement to postsecondary readiness and completion, these indicators reflect the quality of our academic institutions and the success of our students and graduates.