Media Coverage: Crisis in Arizona Classrooms

Monday, April 24, 2017

Business Journal: Arizona teacher pay lowest in nation

Phoenix Business Journal reported that according to a new report being issued by the Arizona State University Morrison Institute for Public Policy, teacher recruitment, retention and pay are at crisis levels in Arizona.

More teachers are leaving the field because they're either retiring or can't make a living on low salaries, according to the report, Finding & Keeping Educators for Arizona's Classrooms.

Arizona has been experiencing a shortage for several years, with the Arizona Department of Education issuing a report in 2015 showing why so many teachers are leaving Arizona.

ASU's complete report will be released in May.

READ: ASU report: Teaching recruitment in Arizona reaching crisis levels


Republic: Reasons why Arizona’s teachers are leaving

A column in The Arizona Republic highlighted a few facts – according to a summary of a policy report released by ASU’s Morrison Institute – as leaders ponder Gov. Doug Ducey’s whopping proposed four-tenths of a percent pay raise for teachers.

The study -- funded by the Arizona Community Foundation, Helios Education Foundation and The Pike and Susan Sullivan Foundation – concluded that teachers are leaving the profession for a variety of reasons – retirement, disillusionment, low pay and a belief that they aren’t supported.

READ: Roberts: Teachers fed up? In Arizona? Noooo
(includes 1 min. video)


KTVK: New report warns of crisis in AZ schools

In a newscast, Phoenix 3TV reported that according to a new report released by ASU's Morrison Institute, Arizona schools are facing a crisis in the classroom.

The new report comes as state lawmakers are brokering a deal to boost salaries for teachers. Senate President Steve Yarbrough says legislators are looking at a 2 percent bump phased in over two years. The proposal is larger than Gov. Doug Ducey's original offer of 0.4 percent.

A 2 percent raise means about an extra $1,000 a year for someone earning the average salary of roughly $50,000. Activist groups are demanding a 4 percent increase next year.

SEE: Report: AZ Teacher retention, recruitment, pay at crisis levels


Republic: A need to respect our Arizona teachers

The editorial board of The Arizona Republic wrote that despite making remarkable gains, Arizona teachers have it worse than ever. Teachers are barely making ends meet.

Arizona needs to look hard at the twin realities of what teachers face and how our schools are performing — despite severe cuts during the recession that have not been restored.

Yet student achievement is growing fast. Arizona is the only state to show statistically significant increases in National Assessment of Educational Progress scores in fourth- and eighth-grade math, science and reading between 2009 and 2015, says Dan Hunting, senior policy analyst at Morrison Institute.

Arizona needs to pursue a better wages for teachers, better support for schools, more ways to show respect for teachers and appreciation for the progress schools have made.

READ: Our View: How Arizona created a teacher shortage


KTAR: Teacher retention is a value we should afford

KTAR News reported that the teacher shortage in Arizona has hit “crisis levels” as the number of educators leaving the profession each year has outpaced the number of education degrees produced by the state’s public universities.

Dan Hunting, a senior policy analyst with Morrison Institute at Arizona State University and the principal researcher of the report, said not having experienced and qualified teachers in the state hurts more than just students.

Steve Seleznow, the president and CEO of Arizona Community Foundation and Morrison Institute Distinguished Fellow, called teacher pay and support, the factors causing state’s teacher shortage, a “proxy for how highly we think of students and their education.”

“When we undervalue our educators, we under educate our children,” Seleznow said.

READ: Arizona’s teacher shortage has reached ‘crisis levels,’ report finds


KJZZ: Arizona has a teacher retention problem

Senior Policy Analyst Dan Hunting was a guest on KJZZ’s The Show, talking about a new study from Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University that shows teacher retention and pay are at crisis levels in our state.

LISTEN: Report: Arizona Has A Problem Keeping Teachers — And It's Not Getting Better
(Running Time: 5:30)


12News: Panelists discuss new report on issues facing Arizona’s teachers

12News presented a “Sunday Squareoff” roundtable discussion on a new report that shows Arizona classrooms are in the throes of a crisis brought on by low teacher pay and high turnover.

Dan Hunting, Morrison Institute policy analyst and lead researcher on the report; Akshai Patel, CEO of the Phoenix Collegiate Academy charter schools; and Jennifer Johnson, of Support Our Schools AZ, a public-school advocacy group, break down the report and explain what they would do to turn the numbers around.

WATCH: Part 1 – Arizona classrooms suffering from low teacher pay: new report
(Running Time: 5:46)

WATCH: Part 2 – How to reverse Arizona teachers' low pay, high turnover
(Running Time: 3:02)


Expect More Arizona: Addressing AZ education issues

Expectmorearizona.org published a blog in response to a preview of a new report released by Morrison Institute for Public Policy that offers further insight into the teacher recruitment and retention issues Arizonans have been hearing about for several years.

The full report, available in early May, will focus on teacher turnover and pay. A key finding states that Arizona elementary school teacher pay is lowest in the nation and high school teacher pay is 48th of the 50 states.

“If we care about the success of every student, this is an issue we cannot wait to address,” the blog stated.

READ: Arizona’s Students Deserve Better Than Last


Blog for Arizona: Survey finds AZ education issues very real

Blogforarizona.net posted a blog that ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy released a preview of a new report coming out in May on education in Arizona, summarizing a few data points and facts such as “Forty-two percent of Arizona teachers hired in 2013 left the profession within three years.”

“There continues to be much discussion regarding quality education in Arizona, and that goal often begins and ends with quality teachers in the classroom,” said Thom Reilly, director of Morrison Institute, an Arizona State University public policy center. “This report looks at the status of the teaching profession from many angles to help further the discussion and resolution from a fact- and evidence-based perspective.”

Morrison Institute Senior Policy Analyst Dan Hunting was the principal researcher of the report, which includes an exclusive survey of teachers from throughout Arizona. The project was funded by the Arizona Community Foundation, Helios Education Foundation and The Pike and Susan Sullivan Foundation.

READ: New study: ‘Arizona teacher recruitment, retention and pay are at crisis levels’


KQTH: Understanding Arizona teachers struggles

Tucson’s KQTH morning news host Mike Rapp spoke with Senior Policy Analyst Dan Hunting of Morrison Institute for Public Policy about some of the data points and facts in the upcoming Morrison Institute report, Finding & Keeping Educators for Arizona’s Classrooms.

LISTEN: Arizona in Crisis Over Teacher Pay and Retention
(Running Time: 5:05)


RELATED: Press Release with Key Facts

from the upcoming report: Finding & Keeping Educators for Arizona's Classrooms