Despite numerous attempts at state education reform, little progress has been made in moving the needle on high school graduation rates in Arizona. One in five young people in Arizona has not completed high school, and a similarly large proportion of young people in the state are disconnected from education and employment. The data is clear: Arizona is failing to ensure that all of its young people are adequately prepared for adult success. With support from the GradNation State Activation initiative, WestEd—a nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works to promote excellence, equity and improved outcomes for children, youth and adults is the sponsor and project manager of the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable. WestEd will work with the Mayors Education Roundtable to increase graduation rates in 16 Arizona cities.
With the mayors’ leadership, each of the 16 communities will create their own specific targets and strategies to increase high school graduation rates. WestEd will provide convening support to form 16 cross-sector partnerships among mayors, school boards, superintendents and community-based organizations. They will provide technical assistance and strategic advice to these communities to create specific targets and action plans for increasing high school graduation rates. They’ll also provide opportunities for these communities to work together and share best practices through regional and state summits.