The AEA advocates for and advances teaching and learning that emulate high standards for students, teachers, and education support professionals. Quality learning for students cannot exist without quality teaching, education support professionals, and adequate resources.
Ensuring Every Classroom Has a Caring, Qualified Teacher
All students need caring, qualified and committed educators in their public schools. Unfortunately, Arizona is in the midst of an unprecedented school staffing crisis across every job category that needs to be addressed immediately, both in the short and the long term. The Arizona Legislature, Arizona Department of Education, and local school districts must face this challenge head on.
Teachers are professionals and the work they do is worthy respect and having certification aligned to professional, statewide standards. At a time when teachers already feel disrespected due to a perceived lack of support or education investments from the state, laws that lower teaching standards or question their judgement sends a disturbing message to teachers, students, and parents about the value of having a quality, certified teacher in the classroom. Policymakers should look for real solutions to address the teacher shortage crisis. Everyone can agree that attacking teachers is not the way to solve the teacher shortage.
Every child is unique and has a different learning style that deserves individual attention. Our students are more than a test score. No child, teacher, or school should be labeled based on a bubble test. Teachers should be given the freedom to focus on teaching and students should have the time to spend on learning.
No Child Left Behind and its teach-to-the-test mandate is long gone. It’s time for Arizona to update its evaluation framework and give teachers flexibility to teach and students time to learn.
Arizona should remove the statutory requirement on having a teacher evaluation framework tied to student test data. It gives educators and district administrators back local control to collaborate and determine the evaluation framework that works for them and improve student outcomes.