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Old 02-02-2011, 10:51 AM
 
106 posts, read 139,703 times
Reputation: 55
Default Education

I am curious why education in Arizona rates so low? I was looking at this site: Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is against the tos

Do politicians just keep slashing education? I understand all the people's general thoughts agree the education there is bad, why can something not be done through the people about this?

I am in MN and yes I am relocating there this year. Obviously, education is the one thing that concerns me most.

Last edited by Yac; 03-08-2011 at 07:23 AM..

 
Old 02-02-2011, 10:54 AM
 
106 posts, read 139,703 times
Reputation: 55
Also, here is the SAT statistics. No spending does not always make your education better, but accountabilituy may.

Best and Worst States: Best and Worst States for SAT Scores
 
Old 02-02-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
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The quality of education here, like most things, depends on how much money you have and/or what neighborhood you live in. I think that is true everywhere to some extent but it really does matter in Arizona. In the affluent areas, the students do well on national measures and the schools offer an acceptable preparation for college or whatever choices a student wishes. But Arizona has a third-world quality to it. Large numbers of the children in this state live in "bad" areas - vast enclaves of illegal immigrants and native American reservations where poverty and lack of appreciation for education lead to poor performance and low test scores that skew the data.
 
Old 02-02-2011, 11:07 AM
 
106 posts, read 139,703 times
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So as I have been, I should stick to the "Excelling" school districts? I did notice AZ is like 32 or something for SAT scores. That does make sense a bit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
The quality of education here, like most things, depends on how much money you have and/or what neighborhood you live in. I think that is true everywhere to some extent but it really does matter in Arizona. In the affluent areas, the students do well on national measures and the schools offer an acceptable preparation for college or whatever choices a student wishes. But Arizona has a third-world quality to it. Large numbers of the children in this state live in "bad" areas - vast enclaves of illegal immigrants and native American reservations where poverty and lack of appreciation for education lead to poor performance and low test scores that skew the data.
 
Old 02-02-2011, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
15,888 posts, read 18,684,515 times
Reputation: 8237
Quote:
Originally Posted by need_some_sun View Post
So as I have been, I should stick to the "Excelling" school districts? I did notice AZ is like 32 or something for SAT scores. That does make sense a bit.
The "excelling" label is based mostly on test scores, so to the extent that those indicate good schools, yes. I think it is a reasonable way to focus on the better ones. Keep in mind though that you have to look at the school, not the District. Some districts cover a variety of demographics and can have vastly different schools in them.
 
Old 02-02-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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You get what you pay for. Going back through the last 40 yrs and more, AZ has been one of the lowest paying states for teachers. Also, many states require a teacher to get a Masters Degree before teaching. AZ used to be one of the few who didn't. I don't know if that still holds true or not. I first taught in AZ in 1974 for $6800 per year. After one year, I went to Australia and made what was equivalent to $18000 per year for half as much work. And that was in a beach town where I rented a 3 bedroom home 2 blocks from one of the best surfing beaches in the world for $140 per month furnished.

Teachers salaries have traditionally been embarrassing. and not what anyone would consider proper for a professional. Every time I got my check, it was like a slap in the face. One of the worst parts of the system is the stupid salary scale. You used to get paid only be number of years at that one school district. You start at the bottom and everyone moves up each year, no matter how good or bad of a teacher they are. If a teacher wants to leave one district for a better district or teaching job, they are only given a very limited credit for years of experience, thus making them take a huge pay drop by dropping back down on the salary scale. Again it is a slap in the face, and most of the smarter ones get out of education to go into a field that rewards them for their work and sacrifice.

I taught teachers in ASU's college of education and when they finally, about 1980, made prospective teachers take a qualifying test to be certified, many of them couldn't pass the equivalent of an 8th grade math test. And you have a lot of these types teaching your kids. They often gravitate to the poorer districts or out of the way places, where others don't care to teach. There used to be many teachers who just couldn't do anything else. They could have never made it in the real world where you are paid and judged on the quality of your work. Who else would have worked very long for such a pittance years ago, unless they just had a calling for it and money was irrelevant to them. Eventually one has to make some real money in order to better themselves.

I hope a lot has changed for the better now in AZ. I have been away from education for 20 yrs now. Teachers that stick it out give their heart and soul to their profession and teaching, and in many cases, raising children. They should have been treated and paid like professionals years ago and the profession would have attracted a lot more intelligent and qualified people, thus removing the need to hire so many poor and underqualified teachers.

Just my opinion.
 
Old 02-02-2011, 01:33 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 3,750,464 times
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I was just offered 17 per hour to drive the bus in VA. More like 12, here. Tough choice for me because I own two homes here, but can stay for free there, at my parent's house.
 
Old 02-02-2011, 05:54 PM
 
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Part of the problem is the number of immigrants in Arizona. Many of these children either speak very little english or speak english as a second language. There is also a culture (mostly found in poor hispanic and native-american families) where education is prioritized very low. This brings down SAT averages and graduation rates for the whole state (although I have no idea by how much).
 
Old 02-02-2011, 06:23 PM
 
8,853 posts, read 8,982,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
The quality of education here, like most things, depends on how much money you have and/or what neighborhood you live in. I think that is true everywhere to some extent but it really does matter in Arizona. In the affluent areas, the students do well on national measures and the schools offer an acceptable preparation for college or whatever choices a student wishes. But Arizona has a third-world quality to it. Large numbers of the children in this state live in "bad" areas - vast enclaves of illegal immigrants and native American reservations where poverty and lack of appreciation for education lead to poor performance and low test scores that skew the data.
First of all, we need to distinguish Phoenix Metropolitan Area and Arizona. They are not synonymous with one another. The Phoenix Metropolitan Area does not possess many "bad areas" and the schools in the Phoenix metro overall tend to be quite good.

Arizona is a huge state and there are many poor rural areas in Southern Arizona and Eastern Arizona that have horrible schools and poor test scores due to large numbers of students for whom English is a second language. However, the state does not represent the entire Phoenix Metropolitan Area or the "Valley"

It's important to make this distinction because most people inquiring about schools plan to move to the Valley and many seem like they are middle class and can afford to live in areas outside Maryvale and other poor areas. For those people, their children will receive an adequate education.

The problem is the haters will come here, identify overall state test scores and reach to indict ALL schools in Arizona as being inferior with the exception of a few rich neighborhoods. That is a bald faced lie and a deceiving tact...and that's putting it nicely
 
Old 02-02-2011, 06:36 PM
 
8,853 posts, read 8,982,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need_some_sun View Post
So as I have been, I should stick to the "Excelling" school districts? I did notice AZ is like 32 or something for SAT scores. That does make sense a bit.
Yes, AZ was 32. It was ranked ahead of California (#35), Texas (#41) and New York (#44). It was also ranked ahead of Washington D.C., Maine, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, South Carolina and Georgia among other states. Many states that supposedly have much better schools.

The ranking is also heavily biased and inaccurate. If you pay close attention, it has "rate" which is not identified but I'm assuming it's the percentage of total students who took the test or was reported. The top ranked states unsurprisingly have low percentages whereas states traditionally known for great education like Connecticut had high rates. I know that in many Southern and Midwest states like Oklahoma for example, most students take the ACT and never bother taking the SAT. The ones who do take the SAT are usually the top students who are applying for competitive schools out of state whereas the SAT tends to be the older and more traditional test taken on the East Coast hence the reason why some of these states have higher rates. This is why it pays to read the methodology and note how statistics are presented because it can be incredibly misleading.

Last edited by azriverfan.; 02-02-2011 at 06:46 PM..
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