Arizona | Understanding ESSA



April 30, 2015

Arizona Educators Seek to Leverage ESSA in Order to Advance Educational Equity

January 28, 2020

As reported in AZ Ed News, at the Engaging Arizona in Advancing Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) event in Phoenix, education officials called on policymakers to focus on student equity when constructing the state’s K-12 education budget. As Teniqua Broughton, executive director of The State of...

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Arizona Unveils Temporary School Rating Plan

April 19, 2019

Breanna Edwards reports for the Arizona Daily Star that Arizona has “decided how it will adapt its hotly debated A-F letter grading system” for districts that choose to stop using the AzMerit assessment. The State Board of Education will evaluate growth based on student subgroup...

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Arizona Could Lose Funding Over Assessments

April 5, 2019

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, in 2016, a bipartisan majority of Arizona legislators “approved a law allowing school districts to offer a ‘menu of assessments’ to choose from, such as the SAT or ACT, rather than one statewide standardized test, currently the AZMerit test.”...

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Arizona Releases New Online Report Card

January 17, 2019

According to, the Arizona Department of Education has created a website to provide “data about the state’s schools, all in one place.” The site was created to meet “federal reporting requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act,” and includes “information about individual schools, including...

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Arizona Needs Improvement on School Improvement

December 8, 2018

Brenna Bailey reports for the Arizona Daily Star that, while Arizona has long focused on local control of schools, the Collaborative’s Promise to Practice report “says the state’s approach has backfired when it comes to improving its lowest performing schools.” Peer reviewers found that Arizona’s...

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Can Arizona Prove it is Following ESSA’s Foster Youth Transportation Provision?

April 5, 2018

Christie Renick reports for Tucson Weekly about ESSA’s requirement that states “solve the mobility problem for foster youth,” which “mandated child welfare and education departments work together to pay for transportation to a foster youth’s ‘school of origin.’” Here’s the thing, though: Arizona says it...

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Gov. Susana Martinez “So Proud” of ESSA Plan Review

December 15, 2017

Citing New Mexico’s peer review results from the first round of, Gov. Susana Martinez concluded that she, “will not stop fighting for reforms that will prepare our students for the future.”

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Mayors Meet to Talk ESSA Impact

December 11, 2017

Last week, mayors from across Arizona gathered in Phoenix City Hall for the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable to discuss the impact of ESSA’s implementation on the state.

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Promises of Greater Flexibility

October 30, 2017

According to the Washington Times, Arizona may put the “promises of greater flexibility” under ESSA to the test due to a 2016 state law “that allows traditional and charter school leaders to choose the standardized test they think best fits each school’s teaching methods.”

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Ed Week Examines Arizona’s ESSA Plan

October 23, 2017

An Education Week blog takes a look at Arizona’s ESSA plan, and how civil rights advocates are concerned how it will impact transient students. The plan, which has already been approved by the U.S. Department of Education, “attaches different weights to students test scores, depending...

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State Plan Submissions and Drafts

October 17, 2017

Approved State Plans Alabama: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Alaska: Final Plan Approved (5/16/18) Arizona: Final Plan Approved (9/6/17) Arkansas: Final Plan Approved (1/16/18) Colorado: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Connecticut: Final Plan Approved (8/15/17) Delaware: Final Plan Approved (8/2/17) District of Columbia: Final Plan Approved (8/28/17) Georgia:...

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U.S. Dept. of Ed Releases Feedback on AZ, ND, and VT’s ESSA Plans

August 10, 2017

The Dept. of Education released feedback on Arizona, North Dakota, and Vermont’s ESSA plans. As reported by Education Week, Arizona “will need to change the way that science factors into its accountability system.” North Dakota “needs to do a better job of explaining how student...

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Arizona Teachers Express Concern Over New ESSA Requirements

March 2, 2017

Some Arizona teachers expressed concern over new ESSA requirements that they believe may not lead to “equitable changes in how school districts’ allocate resources to help students succeed.” According to AZ Ed News, teachers are worried about Title I funding rules, eliminating inequalities, and closing the achievement gap.

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AZ is First State to Submit Finalized ESSA Plan

January 15, 2017

Arizona has become one of the first states to submit a finalized ESSA plan to the U.S. Dept. of Education. According to Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, “Arizona has been at the forefront of ESSA implementation and innovation since the release of our...

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AZ Dept. of Education Releases Second Draft of State ESSA Plan

November 12, 2016

The Arizona Dept. of Education released a second draft of its ESSA state plan. Arizona officials plan to release a third draft in December.

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AZ Dept. of Education Releases Draft ESSA Plan

September 7, 2016

The Arizona Department of Education released the first draft of its state plan. The draft reflects “a shared statewide vision for Arizona’s students and schools on topics such as accountability, funding, school improvement and grant-making systems.” According to a cover letter from Superintendent of Public...

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Local Superintendent Testifies Before HELP Committee

July 16, 2016

Dr. Gail Pletnick testified before the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee last week on the importance of keeping ESSA implementation local. She argued that the proposed regulations are “unnecessarily rigid regulations that may hinder the very state and district innovation...

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Arizona School Boards Association Shares Benefits of ESSA

July 12, 2016

AZ Ed News, a service of the Arizona School Boards Association, posted a blog laying out how ESSA will build stronger schools in the state. The post included a graphic describing the law and potential changes under ESSA, and covers the changes in depth, including...

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Releases State ESSA Primers

May 16, 2016

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s primers include individual state by state accountability system fact sheets, which detail each state’s current accountability system, what could change under ESSA, and what to be asking state leaders. See details about your state here.

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