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CEO Update: Summer 2020

Posted on July 24, 2020 • Category: News Release

Over the past few months, our lives have transformed in ways we never could have anticipated. The passionate calls for urgent reform to address social injustice, coupled with efforts to mitigate the threat of COVID-19, are requiring new ways of thinking and acting. How we position our state to succeed will be key to emerging from this crisis stronger, more connected, and more just. Through a more proactive action agenda, the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) is committed to creating a brighter future for our state and advancing greater opportunity for all Arizonans and, in particular, people of color. 
CFA remains steadfast in its commitment to listen to the voices of all Arizonans. We're finalizing a new statewide Gallup poll to identify what matters most to Arizonans, which will provide invaluable insights and updates to our original 2009 poll. We're also revisiting some of our areas of work and identifying opportunities, including innovative uses of technology, to strengthen CFA’s impact in response to recent events. 



We're excited about what we've got planned for the future, but today we wanted to share some updates on the progress we've made so far.


Arizona students impacted to be college, career and civic ready


Community Conversations engaged

about data and priorities most important to their communities


introduced a portfolio of trusted, reliable and useable data
to our leaders and communities




Education and Workforce



The Beat The Odds School Leadership Academy was awarded $700,000 in new funding from Governor Doug Ducey through the AZCares Plan. To date, more than 250 school and district leaders received leadership training through the BTO Academy and we are expanding opportunities for more leaders from across the state to participate online via our new digital delivery platform in response to COVID-19 restrictions.



In response to COVID-19, we launched to provide information and tools to job seekers, workers and employers in support of Arizona’s retail sector.



CFA Launched the Arizona Personalized, Competency-Based Learning Network to support schools committed to transitioning to student-centered personalized learning systems for all students. CFA is working initially with four school districts serving 90,000+ students.



Through CFA’s Arizona Pathways to Prosperity initiative, 34,000 students are engaged in programs offering career-connected college pathways, and 40+ business and industry leaders are participating in pathways design and work-based learning experiences to attract students into STEM fields. CFA recently was awarded a grant of more than $4.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education through the Office of Education Innovation & Research, to work in partnership with Lead Local, Jobs for the Future and SRI International, to address Arizona’s urgent need to increase postsecondary enrollment and attainment—particularly of high-needs students—through pathways that prepare students for careers in STEM fields including cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, healthcare and energy.



Civic Health



Participatory Budgeting in Schools now includes more than 50,000 students across 34 campuses who have participated in the program that empowers students to "learn democracy by doing."




Progress Meters




The Arizona We Want Progress Meters

Progress Meters are dynamic, data-based tools to measure how Arizona is doing in the priority areas identified by Arizonans as critically important to Arizona’s future. In June we expanded the data, tools and resources they provide and added 144,000 new data points and accompanying visualizations in the areas of Jobs, Education, Health & Well-being, Natural Resources (Open Space and Water), Infrastructure and Civic Health. This fall CFA will announce the metrics for its Young Talent Progress Meter.


Thank you for your engagement over the past year. We deeply value the input and commitment of CFA’s supporters and look forward to collaborating with you to address the challenges we are all confronting and to explore timely solutions. As always, we welcome your thoughts.


Sincerest thanks,

Sybil Francis, Ph.D.


Sybil Francis, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Center for the Future of Arizona