Arizona Capitol Times: Innovation matters for all public school students

Although Arizona established public school open enrollment nearly four decades ago, it is time we modernize the system to be more transparent, equitable and easily accessible. Students and parents should not have to camp outside of school buildings overnight in the hopes of being able to attend a school. We have heard and seen examples of parents having to navigate mountains of paperwork, not even being able to find the enrollment procedures online for a school, and being denied for arbitrary and discriminatory reasons like having special needs.

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ExcelinEd: How Arizona Plans to Leverage Pandemic-Related Flexibilities to Transform Education

While it is easy to be overwhelmed by the challenges the pandemic created in education, Arizona is taking a bold step to identify the possibilities for education improvements. House Bill 2862 is an example of how Arizona policymakers quickly identified flexibilities that could be provided to districts and schools during the pandemic to better meet the needs of all students across the state.

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Reason Foundation: Legislation in Arizona Would Pave the Way for Educational Innovation

Despite widespread advances in technology and educational research in recent decades, most states use a one-size-fits-all public education model that looks largely the same as it did a century ago. But Arizona has been an outlier, leading the way in expanding educational opportunities and providing families with options that allow them to find a school that best fits the needs of their students. Now, policymakers in Arizona are once blazing education innovation trails with a bill that would give educators even greater flexibility to adopt learning models that fit the unique needs of students.

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SB1685: Ensuring Students Are Not Assigned to Underperforming Schools

For decades, attendance zones have intentionally blocked out predominantly students of color, students with disabilities and low-income students from the best public schools. This must stop. Enrollment processes like 'first come, first serve' disenfranchise the working poor who cannot afford to miss days of work to wait in line and schools should not be asking questions like the birth country of origin before a child is enrolled.

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Nogales International: Let schools stay flexible

Educators will often point out that when time and resources are constant, as in the traditional educational system, learning is the variable. But a current effort at the Arizona Legislature recognizes this reality and seeks to correct it by allowing flexibility in how schools account for time. This flexibility will, in turn, unbridle technology resources and make learning the constant - and at a very high level. House Bill 2862 would allow public school districts to offer a mastery-based model of instruction, which is an instructional approach where students need to demonstrate a deep level of understanding of a topic or subject area before progressing onto another topic or subject area.

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The Hill: Public school district boundaries are a relic of the past

  • Media

Nearly a year into the COVID-19 crisis, communities across the country are challenging long-held assumptions about public education, including the role of district boundaries in shaping everything from funding to educational opportunities. In an era of increasing customization and technological resources — and in a moment where students log on to classes remotely and parents are disagreeing on school reopening strategies — the absurdity of assigning kids to schools based on arbitrary and often unfair lines is more apparent than ever.

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