Queen Creek reaffirms support for quality education

At the Dec. 11 Queen Creek Unified School District Governing Board meeting, governing board members and district leaders in partnership with the Town of Queen Creek joined to announce their support of the Arizona Education Progress Meter, along with the statewide goal to boost post-secondary attainment to 60 percent by the year 2030.

Launched in early 2016 with the backing of 40 major endorsers, the Progress Meter was developed by Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona to cohere a set of key metrics that support a shared vision for a world-class education in Arizona, according to a release.

The vision is that all students, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to succeed at every step of the education continuum, from the early years through a career.

Emilena Turley

“The continued partnership between the Town of Queen Creek and Queen Creek Unified School District on matters relating to education are integral to the continued success of our great community,” Queen Creek Vice Mayor Emilena Turley said in the release.

“This proclamation signals both the town’s and the school district’s commitment to ensuring that our young people have the opportunity to succeed in education at all levels, from elementary to high school and beyond,” she said.

Queen Creek joins a number of other local municipalities and government agencies across the state that have signed on in support of the Progress Meter, including Chandler, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tempe and Sedona.

“Queen Creek is a growing community with a strong focus on education,” Liz Salazar, community engagement manager at Expect More Arizona, said in the release.

“The school district and other local leaders are dedicated to ensuring excellent outcomes for all students while preparing them for learning beyond high school,” she said.

”The Queen Creek Unified School District is committed to ensuring all students receive an education of the highest quality which prepares them to lead successful and productive lives after graduation,” QCUSD Superintendent Perry Berry said in the release.

“We are proud to say many of the systems and programs QCUSD already has in place align with the Expect More Arizona progress meter,” he said.

The Progress Meter represents key milestones on the path to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all Arizonans. Progress made in each area will ultimately create a more prosperous economy, ensure students have the knowledge and credentials necessary for good jobs and improve the civic health of communities. Most data is available for the state as a whole, or by county.

The metrics include:

  • Attainment: Percent of residents who have completed a two- or four-year degree or received an industry certificate.
  • Post-high school enrollment: Percent of high school graduates enrolled in post-secondary education the semester after graduating high school.
  • Opportunity youth: Percent of 16- to 24-year-olds not going to school or working.
  • High school graduation: Percent of high school students who graduate in four years.
  • Eighth-grade math: Percent of eighth-grade students prepared to be successful in high school math.
  • Third-grade reading: Percent of third-grade students who scored proficient or highly proficient on the AzMERIT English language arts assessment.
  • Quality Early Learning: Percent of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in high-quality preschool settings.
  • Teacher pay: Arizona’s ranking compared to other states for median elementary teacher pay.

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