Latest Quality Counts Report Highlights Arizona's Progress on Poverty-Based Achievement Gaps

Author: Helios Education Foundation

September 17, 2018

The third and final installment of Education Week’s Quality Counts report was recently released and indicates that Arizona, as well as the nation, has work to do to increase student achievement. 

This analysis shows Arizona earning a C- on the K-12 Achievement Index.  Comparatively, the nation as a whole earned a C.  The Achievement Index measures academic performance, improvements over time, and progress toward narrowing poverty-based achievement gaps.   

Results throughout the 50 states are generally average.  Massachusetts is the top ranked state with a B+, Florida earned a C+ and, at the low-end of the spectrum, Louisiana and New Mexico both received a D-.   As has long been the case, Northeastern states typically score the highest while Southern and Southwestern states score the lowest.

While Arizona’s overall rank was a C-, the state has shown consistent improvements over time and  progress toward narrowing poverty-based achievement gaps.  In that area, specifically, Arizona earned a B.  

“We are encouraged to see the progress Arizona is making toward closing the achievement gaps that persist in our state,” said Vince Yanez, Senior Vice President of Latino Student Success.  “However, we remain committed to increasing student achievement and ensuring that all students are prepared to succeed in college and career.”  

The scores rely heavily on math and reading National Assessment of Educational Progress results.  Other elements of the index include Advanced Placement exam scores and high school graduation rates.  

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