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Grand Canyon Diploma Moves Gilbert Girl on to College (AZFamily.com, April 22, 2014)
As Arizona parents, we have reason to worry. Only about 70 percent of our students are getting out of high school, which is close to the national average, but then at least a third aren't ready for college. College readiness is the focus of one program where high school students can even graduate early.

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Local Students Earn Grand Canyon Diplomas (YumaSun.com, March 16, 2014)
Two high school juniors recently earned the honor of being the first two students within the Yuma Union High School District to achieve a Grand Canyon Diploma. In order to accomplish this feat, a student at Yuma High School and a student at San Luis High School passed a series of eight core-subject examinations through the Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) curriculum that the district recently adopted.

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Arizona Education Getting Students Ready for High-Tech Jobs (92.3 KTAR January 30, 2014)
New industries are looking toward Arizona as a future technology hub of the country and they want a workforce that is prepared to meet their demands.

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Education Nation: What Makes Arizona Schools Successful? (AZCentral.com April 28, 2013)
For its NBC News Education Nation initiative, The Republic asked Arizona leaders to discuss the successes and challenges of three pillars of education: academic excellence, school funding and innovation. Dr. Amanda Burke, director of education strategy and innovation, provided expert commentary for the topic of innovation, and Move On When Ready was recognized as one of 10 education ideas worth lauding.

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The Arizona We Want 2.0: The Case for Action Outlines Leader and Citizen-Driven Goals, Provides Roadmap for State's Future (January 24, 2013)
According to The Arizona We Want 2.0: The Case For Action, the state's rapid transformation requires "a fresh, bold restatement of who we are and how we respond to the road ahead." Dr. Lattie Coor, chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, presented the report at an event held this morning.
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Where Do We Go From Here (AZCentral.com, November 9, 2012)
Not that long ago, a think tank called the Center for the Future of Arizona put together a report called The Arizona We Want. The report identified eight goals important to Arizona’s citizens: quality jobs for all, 21st century careers, creating the “place to be” for talented young people, affordable healthcare, protection of Arizona’s natural environment, modern and effective transportation and infrastructure, empowered citizens, and a sense of connection to one another.
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Arizona High-School Program Expands (AZCentral.com, September 25, 2012)
Arizona is expanding its Move on When Ready initiative, a program in which high schools reward achievement by allowing students to graduate after two years. Nearly two dozen district, charter and private schools joined the program this year, in addition to the dozen schools that are in their second year, according to the Center for the Future of Arizona, the organization that is overseeing the program. »Read more

30 Arizona High Schools Implementing Move On When Ready Initiative (News Release, September 17, 2012)

Thirty Arizona high schools are implementing Move On When Ready, a performance-based education model to prepare students for college and career readiness, during the 2012-2013 school year. The number of participating schools has more than doubled since the initiative was launched in fall 2011.

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Burk Elementary Makes an A Grade, Up From a C (AZCentral.com, August 8, 2012)

Burk Elementary School is the success story in Gilbert Public Schools as it jumped from a C grade last year to an A this year, scoring the biggest grade jump in the district. The school started participating in the Beat the Odds Institute last year, a rigorous, multiyear school-improvement program based on the Center for the Future of Arizona's nationally recognized research.

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Center for the Future of Arizona Announces 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award Winners (News Release, July 24, 2012)

David Byers, Doug Bartosh and Michael Hemesath have been named winners of the 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards, a statewide competition created to recognize non-elected public servants. Winners will be honored at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Meeting on Aug. 30.

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Thirty-two Arizona K-12 Schools with Low-income Student Populations to Receive Beat the Odds Awards (News Release, February 2, 2012)

Nine metro Phoenix-area K-12 schools with predominantly high-poverty, high-minority student populations received gold awards and were named "Beat the Odds Schools" Wednesday evening, February 1, by the Center for the Future of Arizona. CFA also announced the names of nine additional schools in Phoenix, Tucson and Marana that earned silver Beat the Odds awards, and 14 schools in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Fountain Hills, Tempe and Pima that earned bronze Beat the Odds awards.

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Arizona Should Discuss, Explore its Digital Learning Potential (News Release, February 1, 2012)

The Center for the Future of Arizona and Morrison Institute for Public Policy have released Digital Learning: How to Enhance the Learning of Any Child, at Any Time, and in Any Place. Released on national Digital Learning Day, the 18-page primer addresses Arizona's national standing as a leader in digital learning and identifies five critical elements of a digital learning agenda for Arizona. The report stresses that digital learning is not principally about technology, but should focus on creating wholly new ways of teaching, learning, and discovery in the classroom and elsewhere.

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Arizona Must Take Advantage of Digital Learning (Arizona Republic, February 1, 2012)

In an opinion piece published on national Digital Learning Day, Sybil Francis of the Center for the Future of Arizona and C.J. Eisenbarth Hager of Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University comment on Arizona's position at the forefront of transforming education for the digital age, challenges in fulfilling the promise of digital learning, and where its greatest potential lies.

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Five Winning Community Projects Selected in CFA Statewide Competition (News Release, December 6, 2011)
A national panel has selected five projects representing communities from across Arizona as the winners of the inaugural Five Communities Project sponsored by the Center for the Future of Arizona. The five projects will jointly apply with the center for $1.5 million in funding ($100,000/year over a three-year period or $300,000 per project) from national organizations to implement their proposals.
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High Schools in Four States Piloting Program Designed to Bring American High Schools Up to Global Standards (News Release, October 3, 2011)

Arizona is playing a major role in a pilot program that could result in basic changes in high school structure, curriculum, and testing throughout the country. Fourteen Arizona schools are implementing the Move On When Ready initiative this fall as part of a national effort called Excellence for All.

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Pulliam Trust Grant to Enable Five Glendale Schools to Participate in BTO (September 2011)

A Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust grant of $150,000 ($50,000 per year for three years) will allow five Glendale Elementary District schools to participate in Beat the Odds who otherwise would not be able to afford to do so. The schools are Bicentennial North School (grades 4-8), Glenn F. Burton Elementary School (grades K-8), Challenger Middle School (grades 4-8), Don Mensendick School (grades 4-8) and Sunset Vista Elementary (grades K-8). BTO is a mentoring and training program for principals of schools with low-income student populations. It uses research-based concepts to help principals attain demonstrated consistent growth in student academic achievement.

Valley Hosts 66th National Conference on Citizenship September 22-23, 2011 (News Release, Sept. 21, 2011)

The Center for the Future of Arizona is hosting the NCoC conference, an annual event that focuses on the state of civic engagement in America. It brings together civic leaders, educators, CEOs, and representatives from each branch of government to address issues related to the nation’s civic health. CFA was selected from 10 semi-finalists from across the country to be conference host in recognition of the center's national leadership in developing citizen-driven dialogue, consensus and community initiatives.

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3 to Get Awards Named for Aide (Arizona Republic, September 9, 2011)

Three non-elected public servants will be presented with Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards for leadership, civic engagement and innovation on September 23 at the 66th National Conference on Citizenship on the Arizona State University Tempe campus. The awards are named in honor of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' director of community outreach, who lost his life on January 8 while serving the citizens of Arizona.

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Winners Chosen for Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards (News Release, September 9, 2011)

Karen Osborne, Ron Barber and Matthew Bauer have been named the inaugural winners of the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards. The statewide competition was created in spring 2011 by the Center for the Future of Arizona to recognize the role of non-elected public servants as the critical link between citizens and the people elected to represent them. They are named in honor of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' director of community outreach, who lost his life on January 8 while serving the citizens of Arizona.

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10 Groups to Get Grants to Improve Arizona (Arizona Republic, September 8, 2011)

Ten communities from across Arizona will receive $5,000 grants from the Center for the Future of Arizona to help develop proposals to strengthen their communities in the areas of job creation, education, the environment and civic involvement. Before year end, five communities will be chosen by a national selection panel to create action plans and to jointly apply with the center for the national funding to implement the plans over a three-year period.

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10 Arizona Community Projects Selected as Finalists in "Five Communities" Competition (News Release, September 8, 2011)

Ten finalists have been chosen from a diverse group of 31 semifinalists in a statewide competition to strengthen Arizona at the local level in key areas identified by the Gallup Arizona Poll and The Arizona We Want citizens' agenda. The 10 finalists will be recognized and their projects will be showcased Friday, September 23 at the National Conference on Citizenship on Arizona State University's Tempe campus.

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High School Diploma is Now Offered in 2 Years (Arizona Republic, August 14, 2011)

Fourteen Arizona public schools are the first to undertake an ambitious new program this year to not only improve what students learn but also to demand results and reward them by allowing some to graduate two years sooner. The goal of the Move On When Ready initiative approved last year by the Legislature is to raise students' academic performance to national and international standards and better prepare Arizona students for college and career.

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17 Arizona High Schools to Adopt New "Move On When Ready" Education Model for Graduating Students College- and Career-Ready (News Release, August 1, 2011)

The Center for the Future of Arizona has announced the names of 17 Arizona schools, which will be the first to adopt Move On When Ready, a new performance-based model for high school education designed to increase student academic achievement to national and international levels, and prepare all students for college and careers. The Arizona Community Foundation is providing $50,000 from its John & Delys Ellis Fund to support the 17-school Move On When Ready Learning Collaborative, which CFA recently formed.

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Center Helps Create Sense of Place: Building Community in Arizona (Arizona Republic, July 23, 2011)

An Arizona Republic editorial identifies the Center for the Future of Arizona as an example of "what's right with our state." Its latest effort is the Five Communities Project, a statewide competition that seeks to elicit the best ideas for strengthening Arizona at the local level, and help communities move forward in job creation, education, civic engagement and the environment. Thirty-three proposals from seven Arizona counties have been selected as semifinalists. Ten finalists will be recognized September 22-23 at the 2011 National Conference on Citizenship to be held in metropolitan Phoenix.

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Lattie Coor Interview: The Five Communities Project (Arizona Republic, July 23, 2011)

The former ASU president and current Center for the Future of Arizona chairman and CEO talks about the center's competition to find ideas for strengthening Arizona.

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"Five Communities Project" Semifinalists Announced (News Release, July 18, 2011)

Thirty-three proposals from seven Arizona counties have been selected as semifinalists in CFA's Five Communities Project. The statewide competition seeks to elicit the best ideas for strengthening Arizona at the local level, and help communities move forward in job creation, education, civic engagement and the environment. Five winning participants will be selected to create action plans and to jointly apply with the center for the national funding to implement the plans over a three-year period.

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Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Awards $150,000 to Beat the Odds (July 13, 2011)

The Trust's grant of $50,000 per year for three years will allow five principals from schools in the metropolitan Phoenix area to participate in Beat the Odds who otherwise would not be able to afford to do so. BTO is a mentoring and training program for principals of schools with low-income student populations. It uses research-based concepts to help principals attain demonstrated consistent growth in student academic achievement. Schools typically participate in the program for three years. As many as 20 new K-12 schools will be accepted into the program for the 2011-2012 academic year. Schools are encouraged to register before September.

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“Ready Now Yuma” To Create Actionable Plan for Graduating High School Students College- and Career-Ready (News Release, June 7, 2011)

Helios Education Foundation, the Center for the Future of Arizona and Yuma Union High School District are launching Ready Now Yuma, an education model designed to graduate knowledgeable and highly skilled students academically prepared to successfully complete a postsecondary education.

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School Registration Now Underway for 2011-2012 Beat the Odds Program (News Release, May 16, 2011)

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Five Communities Project Announced (Horizon, KAET Channel 8, April 11, 2011)

Interview with CFA Chairman and CEO Lattie Coor regarding the center's new Five Communities Project. The initiative will help communities develop action plans and secure national funding to move them forward in areas such as job creation, education, the environment and civic engagement. Six workshops will be held statewide to provide information to communities interested in partnering with CFA.

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Communities Invited to Participate in New "Five Communities Project" (News Release, April 4, 2011)

CFA is seeking proposals from communities interested in working collaboratively to develop action plans that address eight citizen goals identified by the Gallup Arizona Poll. In addition, the center will jointly apply for national funding to implement the five plans over a three-year period. The deadline to submit letters of intent is May 16, 2011.

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Schools Beat the Odds, raise AIMS scores (Gilbert Republic, February 25, 2011)

Gilbert High School and Harris Elementary schools have been named Beat the Odds Schools with gold medal status. The rigorous, multiyear program provides principals with the support, training and tools they need to help predominantly high-poverty, high-minority student populations succeed.

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Arizona Schools Embrace Program to Increase Low-Income, Minority Student Achievement (KJZZ FM/NPR, January 26, 2011)

Since the Beat the Odds concepts became part of Barry Goldwater High School's model, teacher Erin Sandoval says she has improved her teaching and has seen her students take responsibility for their learning. The school is one of 84 K-12 schools in the Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma areas participating in the Beat the Odds program during the 2010-2011 school year. "Beat The Odds" was first launched four years ago as a research-based pilot project with 27 metropolitan Phoenix schools.

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Names of Gold-Award Beat the Odds Schools Announced (News Release, January 24, 2011)

Ten schools in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Gilbert are the first to receive Beat the Odds gold awards and attain the title of "Beat the Odds School." The schools were required to demonstrate consistent growth in student academic achievement over at least three years, among other criteria. The schools were honored January 26 at a CFA reception sponsored by University of Phoenix, which since 2007 has committed $600,000 to help fund the Beat the Odds program.

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Newly Released Candidate Interviews Address Citizens' Questions, Provide In-Depth Answers (News Release, October 7, 2010)

The Center for the Future of Arizona has announced the release of a series of taped interviews with candidates for state-level office designed to help inform citizens of candidates' positions on a broad range of issues critical to Arizona's future.

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Arizona Civic Health Lags the Nation, CFA Report Finds (News Release, September 23, 2010)

The Arizona Civic Health Index provides a detailed look at the serious disconnect between Arizona citizens, their elected leaders and their neighbors. The study also identifies opportunities for improving the state's civic health.

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Move On When Ready: New Legislation Provides Arizona Public Schools with College and Career-Readiness Tools and Support (ASBA Journal, Summer 2010)

CFA Executive Director Sybil Francis provides insights into the Move on When Ready legislation, what it means to schools and students, and next steps.

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Coursework that Can Prepare Kids for Early Graduation (School Solutions, KPNX TV, June 21, 2010)

The Move On When Ready concept seeks to prevent bored students from dropping out and increase the number of students who are college and career ready. Currently, only 48 percent of Arizona seniors are eligible for college enrollment.

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Arizonans, CFA Working to Advance Citizens' Agenda: Five June Town Meetings to Help Decide Questions for Candidates During 2010 Elections (News Release, June 8, 2010)

This month Arizonans have some new opportunities to shape the conversation with candidates as part of the 2010 elections. Residents from five communities will participate in The Arizona We Want citizens' agenda through a series of invitation-only town meetings in Peoria (June 8), Flagstaff (June 14), Mesa (June 17), Tucson (June 21) and Sierra Vista (June 22). Additionally, all Arizonans are encouraged to submit their questions for candidates online at www.TheArizonaWeWant.org.

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Expect More Arizona Talks About the “Move On When Ready” Law
(Sonoran Living, KNXV TV, May 14, 2010)

Sybil Francis, executive director of the Center for the Future of Arizona, discusses a new law that clears the way for Arizona high school students who achieve at very high levels to graduate early by earning a Grand Canyon Diploma. Students would then have the option of moving on to full-time community college or career and technical study, or remaining in high school and taking the necessary coursework to prepare for university entry.

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Ground-Level Engagement (Governing Magazine, April 2010)
In recently released work for the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Gallup Organization adapted disciplines of measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction, and added indicators of community pride and passion, to create an empirical measure of attachment. Using longitudinal data, Gallup found that communities with higher levels of citizen attachment enjoy higher levels of economic growth than their less attached neighbors.
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Report: 85% Don't Switch Elementary Schools (Arizona Republic, April 9, 2010)

A new research report finds that a surprising number of elementary students are re-enrolled in the school they attended the previous year, even when the school has been labeled "failing" or "underperforming" by the state. CFA Executive Director Sybil Francis and other Arizona education experts comment on the findings.

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Arizona Bill Provides Quick Way Out of High School (Arizona Republic, March 31, 2010)

Under a new proposal approved by the state House, Arizona high-school students who pass tough new exams and earn passing grades in certain core courses could graduate as early as the end of their sophomore year with a special diploma. The bill, which now goes before the state Senate, is part of a "move on when ready" concept supported by the Center for the Future of Arizona.

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Bill Would Give Students Early Diploma Option (East Valley Tribune, March 25, 2010)

The Move On When Ready bill, which unanimously passed the House, promotes national and international levels of academic achievement. It  would allow Arizona students to advance based on demonstrated academic achievement and, when ready, graduate from high school as early as age 16, and pursue one of several education pathways.

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Cárdenas, McGregor and Post named to CFA Board of Directors (News Release, March 8, 2010)

The Center for the Future of Arizona has announced José Cárdenas, Ruth McGregor and Bill Post have joined its board of directors.

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High School 'Pathways:' Give Seniors More Tools for Success (Arizona Republic, February 19, 2010)

The Center for the Future of Arizona proposes creating high-school "pathways" that offer students theme-based, structured coursework that can lead them toward a better-trained career.

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Commentary: Principals Key to Beating Odds (Arizona Republic, Viewpoints Section,

February 14, 2010)

BTO Institute Director Marjorie Kaplan shares how school principals are raising student academic achievement in low-income, minority-intensive Arizona schools. After two years, Beat the Odds program participants made significant progress in math and positive progress in reading. In addition, 53 percent of the schools in 2008-09 improved their ratings under AZ Learns.

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Education Reformers Push Early Graduation (Arizona Guardian, February 8, 2010)

The Center for the Future of Arizona is playing a key role in advancing the “move on when ready” education reform agenda in which students advance based on mastery of academic standards and when ready, “move-on” to college level coursework without remediation. It supports a bill introduced by House Education Committee Chairman Rich Crandall that would allow high school students to graduate by age 16.

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Thirty-nine Valley Schools Honored by Beat the Odds Institute (News Release, October 29, 2009)

Thirty-nine metro Phoenix-area schools were presented with Beat the Odds Awards for academic improvement Wednesday evening, October 28, at a ceremony hosted by the Phoenix-based Beat the Odds Institute. The awards mark major milestones toward attaining the title of a “Beat the Odds School”—one in which individual student achievement is better than expected as a result of implementing research-based principles that are within every school’s control.

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Gallup Arizona Poll Finds Strong Consensus Among Arizonans, Provides Foundation for New Citizens’ Agenda (News Release, Newspaper Articles and Broadcast Interviews, October 2009)

Gallup and the Center for the Future of Arizona on Friday, October 2, offered a surprising look into the hearts and minds of Arizona citizens. According to CFA Chairman and CEO Lattie Coor, findings from the Arizona Gallup Poll report entitled “The Arizona We Want” offer a clear and compelling picture of what citizens think about life in Arizona communities and what they want for the future.

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Accio Education Fund: Beat the Odds Institute Awarded $450,000 Grant to Expand

Education Reform Efforts (August 2009)

The Arizona Community Foundation and Helios Education Foundation have awarded $450,000 to the Beat the Odds Institute to expand its Beat the Odds School Partners Program in Arizona over the next three years. The grant is being paid from the new Accio Education Fund, a "venture capital" type of charitable fund created by ACF and Helios to support the development and expansion of innovative education reform efforts for the benefit of Arizona students.

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Arizona Announces Participation: "Tough Choices" Coalition to Overhaul Arizona Education

(AEA Advocate, Summer 2009)

Arizona has joined a national consortium of six states to support features of the world's most successful education systems identified in the "Tough Choices or Tough Times" research report issued by the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. The Center for the Future of Arizona will work with education stakeholders to establish pilot projects based on the "Tough Choices" model.

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Teach For America: Commentary by Dr. Lattie Coor (Arizona Republic, April 5, 2009)

Teach For America corps members are leading students in Arizona's low-income, high minority schools to academic improvement equivalent to two and sometimes three grades in just one school year. Helios Education Foundation has stepped forward with a $1 million challenge grant to enable the program to continue, despite losing critical state funding as a result of the current budget shortfall. Center Chairman and CEO Lattie F. Coor is encouraging Arizonans to provide the required matching donations that will make the Helios funding a reality.

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Arizona Announces Participation in “Tough Choices” Coalition to Overhaul State Education System (March 2009)

On a day when President Obama called for new education reforms, Arizona announced at a Washington, D.C. press conference that it has joined a national consortium of six states committed to significantly improving student achievement through a dramatic overhaul of its state education system. It was joined by two of the nation’s leading business groups and the nation’s largest education employees union who urged states and the federal government to give a fair trial to the education reform framework known as “Tough Choices or Tough Times.”

Arizona TCTT News Release (PDF)

National TCTT News Release (PDF)

Business Groups and Teachers Union News Release (PDF)

Joint Statement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Education Association (PDF)

Center for the Future of Arizona Receives Helios Education Foundation Startup Grant for Pathways Initiative (September 2008)
The Center for the Future of Arizona has launched a major new initiative focused on increasing student success through system-wide changes in public education.
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Pathways to Postsecondary: Commentaries (September 2008)
A new center initiative funded by Helios Education Foundation will help create seamless pathways to various forms of postsecondary education and career training for all students. Dr. Sybil Francis, executive director, will lead the project.
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Report Finds Think-and-Do Tanks are Filling Void (July 2008)
The Center for the Future of Arizona is one of seven organizations profiled in the new report “Thinking & Doing: Nationwide Citizen Groups Push for Political Pragmatism.” The organizations combine research by public-policy experts with pragmatic, fact-based problem-solving that serves the public interest and common good.
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Arizona High School Graduation Rate Drops 7 Percentage Points (May 2008)
Until recently, Arizona was on track to achieve its 2012 statewide graduation goal of 86 percent. Data on the Arizona Department of Education state report cards was recently revised to show a seven percentage point drop — from its high of 77 percent in 2004 to 70 percent in 2006 (the most current data available).
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Arizona Capitol Times Profile: Sybil Francis (February 2008)
Dr. Sybil Francis is working to create a seamless education system and “the Arizona we want.”
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Teacher ID Bill: Commentary (April 2008)
Dr. Sybil Francis describes the merits of HB 2787 in an Arizona Capitol Timescommentary.
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Esteemed Educator to Lead Institute, Help Arizona Students Beat the Odds (January 2008)
The Center for the Future of Arizona is pleased to announce that Dr. Marjorie Kaplan has been named the director of its newly created Beat the Odds Institute.
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