More Arizona schools given ‘A’ ranking from state Board of Education

Duane Yazzie is a teacher from Window Rock Unified

BY GRISELDA ZETINO
APRIL 26, 2018 AT 4:44 AM

PHOENIX — The Arizona State Board of Education finalized its list of letter grades for schools this week.

The findings, based on the 2016-2017 school year, showed there were more schools that got an “A” and fewer schools with failing grades, compared with preliminary grades released in October. Fewer schools also got a “D” and “C” grades compared to the previous grades.

A total of 317 schools were graded “A” while 38 schools received an “F.” More than 600 got a “B” grade, nearly 500 got a “C” and more than 150 got a “D.”

Alicia Williams, executive director for the Arizona State Board of Education, said these are the first letter grades given out to schools since the grading system took a hiatus in 2014.

“Previously, A-F scores were based on AIMS test results,” she said. “The more rigorous AzMERIT replaced that test.”

Williams said a school’s letter grade relies mostly on how students performed on the AzMERIT test. Other factors that are taken into account include student academic growth, chronic absenteeism rates in the K-8 schools as well as college and career readiness among high school seniors.

She added further revisions will likely be made to the A-F letter grade system before the next round of letter grades are released. Among the changes being considered include how student growth is calculated.

“The board wants to continue making revisions to ensure we are adequately awarding schools letter grades based upon their students’ performances,” Williams said.

A full list of Arizona’s public schools and the letter grades they received is available online.

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