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Arizona Education Progress Meter Updated with 2022 Data New Data Show Several Indicators Flat, With a Slight Decline in HS Graduation Rate and Modest Improvement in Third-Grade Reading and Post-Secondary Attainment

Posted on January 23, 2023 • Category: Progress Meter Updates

Arizona Progress Meters Update on Education

Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) and Education Forward Arizona recently released updates to six of the eight indicators in the Arizona Education Progress Meter, the state’s widely accepted framework for measuring P-20 education.

The 2022 data show a mix of improved, declined, and sustained outcomes across the updated indicators since the previous data release. The data also illuminate racial disparity in pandemic-era learning recovery. Overall this latest update confirms that efforts to ensure excellence and equitable outcomes across the education system must continue and expand.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, students in Arizona had seen modest improvements in Third-Grade Reading, Eighth-Grade Math, and High School Graduation since the measures were first tracked by the Arizona Education Progress Meter in 2015. In 2021, we saw a significant drop in outcomes in grade-level reading and math proficiency tests indicating the pandemic’s negative impact on learning. The recently released 2022 test outcomes show that 41% of students scored proficient or highly proficient in Third-Grade Reading, a modest improvement (+6%) towards the goal of 72% of all students reaching this proficiency. The outcomes for Eighth-Grade Math remain at 27%, with a goal of reaching 69% of students prepared to advance to high school math. Arizona high school graduation rates are slightly down, and post-secondary attainment is slightly up.

Arizona Education Progress Meter Updates

Arizona Education Progress Meter Indicator



% Change (previous > new)

Statewide Goal

Quality Early Learning





Third-Grade Reading





Eighth-Grade Math





High School Graduation Rate





Post-High School Enrollment





Opportunity Youth





Post-Secondary Attainment





National Teacher Pay Ranking


50th ($48K)


Nat’l. Median ($61K)

Additionally, the 2022 update of the Arizona Education Progress Meter indicates that there has been some progress in recovering from pandemic-era impacts on learning for some students. The negative impact of the pandemic has been significant for everyone and pronounced in the minority and underserved communities across Arizona. The following chart shows the disparity in the recovery in grade-level proficiency test outcomes across specific demographic groups, including African American, Native American, and Hispanic or Latino students.


Check out the Arizona Education Progress Meter for detailed information on outcomes statewide and for all schools, school districts, cities, and counties.

Why is Measuring Arizona’s Education Important?

CFA’s two decades of survey research– listening to Arizonans about their aspirations and priorities for the state’s future– consistently show that a highly educated and skilled population is a Shared Public Value among a broad and representative majority of Arizonans. According to our latest Gallup Arizona Survey, 89% of Arizonans believe that all students should have a high-quality education regardless of demographic or location. And just 26% of Arizonans believe K-12 public education is high quality. This indicates that we have much more work to do to ensure that our next generation of leaders and doers is prepared to succeed.

The Arizona Education Progress Meter was co-developed by CFA and Education Forward Arizona in 2016, with the statewide goals set in 2017. It is designed to track eight key indicators, and both organizations monitor progress at improving outcomes across the P-20 continuum annually. Unlike data available from other sources, the Arizona Education Progress Meter adds value for communities by aggregating schools to cities, towns, and census-designated places to ensure that municipal leaders have relevant information on outcomes specific to them. The Arizona Education Progress Meter is one of eight Arizona Progress Meters created by CFA.

Where Do the Data Come From?

As with all the Arizona Progress Meters, data are publicly available from a trusted and regularly-updated source. Data used in the Education metrics come from the Arizona Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Arizona Board of Regents, and the U.S. Student Clearinghouse. CFA and the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy analyze the data to aggregate it to city, state, and Census-designated places. Download our complete methodology statement.


About Arizona Progress Meters

CFA developed the Arizona Progress Meters as a tool for policymakers, business leaders, civic leaders, educators, and others across the state to understand how Arizona is doing in areas critical to achieving The Arizona We Want. Eight Arizona Progress Meters provide valuable and regularly updated data on 80+ metrics in education, jobs, healthcare, environment, civic engagement, infrastructure, and more to support policymakers and other leaders’ data-driven dialogue, decision-making, and action. Learn more and leverage the Arizona Progress Meters today>