Lack of consistent oversight leaves struggling Arizona schools vulnerable

December 9, 2018

A recently published report says Arizona’s policy on improving underperforming schools lacks consistent state oversight, causing schools to continue to struggle.

Arizona has long worked to give local school districts the autonomy to operate in a way that best suits their individual student populations, but a recently published national report says the state’s approach has backfired when it comes to improving its lowest performing schools.

The nonpartisan Check State Plans Project asserted Arizona’s policy for improving underperforming schools technically complies with federal regulations — it’s a word-for-word copy of the U.S. Department of Education’s own policy — but it puts most of the burden of improving D- and F-rated schools on the districts themselves. The lack of streamlined, consistent state oversight causes struggling schools to continue to struggle, despite district efforts to keep them out of the weeds.