Kyrene report card, A and B grades rate schools’ effectiveness.


By Diana Whittle

untitledEarning straight “A” ratings is a
feat any time it happens, but
to start the school year on the
honor roll is an unusually impressive
The Arizona Department of
Education recently issued its annual
report cards with letter grades,
with the Kyrene Elementary School
District receiving an A rating for
overall excellence. Out of the district’s
schools, 16 also received a grade of A
and 9 earned a B.
To earn this distinction, the district
reported information about testing
scores and on students’ achievement
and growth in knowledge from one
year to the nextfor a point total of 100.
The measure of academic outcomes,
which are based on the percentage of
students passing AIMS, also based on
100 points.
To earn an A rating, the school
district must receive between 140 to
200 points; to earn a B rating between
120 to 139 points. To view the complete
rating results, view
“Report cards provide important
information to parents, the public,
educators, community members,
researchers, and others about schools
in our state. They also contain the
accountability information required in
Arizona state statue,” said Dr. David
Schauer, superintendent of the Kyrene
Principals and teachers also
receive evaluations and Dr. Gina
Taylor, assistant superintendent of
instructional services, along with Dr.
Mark Knight, assistant superintendent
of Human Resource Services,
presented results of the new evaluation
tools used to judge the performance of
teachers and principals.
The Marzano Teacher Evaluation
system was implemented at the
beginning of the 1012-13 school years;
the Kyrene District made 12,000
evaluations in total, which included
meetings and classroom visits. Ratings
showed that 802 teachers were graded
as highly effective and another 200 as
The rating system includes
classroom strategies and behaviors,
planning and preparation, reflecting
and teaching and collegiality and
professionalism, explained Taylor.
Both teachers and principals receive
evaluations each year demonstrating
a high level of performance and
satisfaction with their jobs.
In the final rating of principals
for the year a total of 18 rated highly
effective, 7 rated effective, while none
were in the third category called
developing or the fourth category
called ineffective.
Knight stressed that the district is
committed to “tracking performance
as a process instead of just a one-time
Knight continued that assessments
should be viewed as a tool to
encourage educators to strive for better
effectiveness and student performance.
Commentary By Diana Whittle
For this Midwestern transplant, I
never saw the inside of a schoolhouse
until after Labor Day. But, with
Arizona still experiencing monsoon
temps, the air-conditioned comfort
of a classroom must be welcome to
students when the doors open in
After nearly a year of closely
observing the Kyrene School District
and writing about the decisions of
the Governing Board for Wrangler
News—I admit it—I am truly
impressed at the programs this school
district offers.
In my school days, we had to
wait until the bi-weekly bookmobile
made a pilgrimage to reach my small
community. Today, students have the
With the advances in technology,
the enthusiasm of most teachers and
principals, and the resources available
to all Kyrene families—I really do wish
I could be a kid again.
No, this isn’t a paid advertorial,
just a gentle nudge to Kyrene Corridor
neighbors to look closely at the positive
results achieved by your hometown
school district. And be sure to tell
your students to take advantage of
everything that’s offered.



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