Is your school district making the grades? - Tucson News Now

Is your school district making the grades?

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Whenever grades come in, students usually get a little nervous. But what about when the tables are turned?

The report card for districts and schools in Arizona are in.

Some districts in Pima County did very well, others need some now. Now, the question becomes – what is needed for a district to thrive?

According to the state education department, districts with the "A" ranking in Pima County are Catalina Foothills, Tanque Verde and Vail Unified Districts.

"B" graded districts? To name a couple: Marana and Flowing Wells.

"I don't think it's a measurement of the quality of the teachers," said Arizona Education Network President Ann-Eve Pedersen.

She says cuts to education funding are a huge issue and that household income plays a big role in what districts get a good grade. Pedersen says the "A" districts are in relatively well-to-do areas.

"I think it just shows us where we have pockets of poverty and pockets of affluence," she said.

Who got a "C" grade?Tucson and Sunnyside Unified Districts. They are the two largest in Pima County. Pedersen says those schools have higher poverty rates. "D" districts? Indian Oasis-Baboquivari and San Fernando Elementary.

"You have to go in and dig through the reports," said State Superintendent John Huppenthal.

He says poverty rates and school funding doesn't necessarily reflect a poor grade. He says TUSD spends 60-thousand dollars more per classroom than the top district in the state, which is Vail.  Huppenthal says overall, Arizona education is improving.

"We're doing well relative to other states, we've increased slightly in national rank," he said.

Pederson hopes parents don't get caught up in the grade.

"What is the leadership like at your child's school and what is the quality of teaching like at your child's school?" are questions that are more important she said. 

You can look at the district's grades by clicking this link: 

http://www.azed.gov/research-evaluation/a-f-accountability/

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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