Sponsored by

Note: This story is more than 3 years old.

Az. schools' performance now given grades

Letter system should clear up confusion, state superintendent says

A new school accountability system based on letter grades and taking into account students’ academic improvement in addition to test scores offers a clearer view of how schools perform, Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal said Wednesday.

“All of our parents and our voters are familiar with the letter grade system and what it means,” Huppenthal said at a news conference. “There can’t be anything more clear than what an A means, what a D means or what an F means.”

Until now, schools were judged as “underperforming,” “performing,” “performing plus,” “highly performing” and “excelling.” That system, which relies on standardized test scores, will remain in place until 2013.

The new accountability system assigns public schools, charter schools and school districts grades of A through F and values year-over-year improvement in standardized test scores as much as the test scores themselves.

Under the new system, 295 schools got an A, 536 got a B, 486 got a C and 184 got a D. No school got an F as it takes a D during three consecutive years to get that grade.

Huppenthal helped push for the change as a state senator in 2010.

Because the two systems don’t evaluate the same things, a school getting a good label under the old system can find itself with a bad grade under the new one.

“There will be some confusion this year, but we’re going to stick with the letter grade system on off to the future,” Huppenthal said.

Thanks to our donors and sponsors for their support of local independent reporting. Join Trudy Wilner Stack, Sharon Orchekowsky, and Jeffrey Mariotte and contribute today!

Debra Duvall, executive director of Arizona School Administrators, a nonprofit that represents school administrative leaders, said even though the difference between the two systems can be confusing the new one is easier for parents to understand. However, she said that grades aren’t the only way to assess performance.

“I do think that many parents recognize that there are many other factors that go into determining their child’s motivation to learn and the effectiveness of the school,” she said.

Joe Thomas, vice president of the Arizona Education Association, called the new system “a step in the right direction” and said parents should use the grades to start conversations with schools.

“If we just use the data as an end point, we are missing the picture,” Thomas said.

Grades for Pima County schools

DistrictSchoolCharter?Grade
Academy of Mathematics and Science, Inc. Academy of Math and Science X A
Academy of Tucson, Inc. Academy of Tucson Elementary School X A
Academy of Tucson, Inc. Academy of Tucson High School X A
Academy of Tucson, Inc. Academy of Tucson Middle School X B
Accelerated Elementary and Secondary Schools Accelerated Learning Laboratory X A
Ajo Unified District Ajo Elementary School   D
Altar Valley Elementary District Altar Valley Middle School   C
Altar Valley Elementary District Robles Elementary School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Amphitheater High School   D
Amphitheater Unified District Amphitheater Middle School   C
Amphitheater Unified District Canyon Del Oro High School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Copper Creek Elementary School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Coronado K-8 School   B
Amphitheater Unified District E C Nash School   C
Amphitheater Unified District Frances Owen Holaway Elementary School   C
Amphitheater Unified District Helen Keeling Elementary School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Ironwood Ridge High School   A
Amphitheater Unified District L M Prince School   C
Amphitheater Unified District La Cima Middle School   C
Amphitheater Unified District Lawrence W Cross Middle School   C
Amphitheater Unified District Lulu Walker School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Marion Donaldson Elementary School   A
Amphitheater Unified District Mesa Verde Elementary School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Painted Sky Elementary School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Richard B Wilson Jr School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Rio Vista Elementary School   B
Amphitheater Unified District Winifred Harelson Elementary School   A
Aprender Tucson Southside Community School X D
Arizona Community Development Corporation La Paloma Academy X C
Arizona Community Development Corporation La Paloma Academy (Lakeside) X C
BASIS School, Inc. BASIS Tucson X A
Carden of Tucson, Inc. Carden of Tucson X B
Catalina Foothills Unified District Canyon View Elementary School   A
Catalina Foothills Unified District Catalina Foothills High School   A
Catalina Foothills Unified District Esperero Canyon Middle School   B
Catalina Foothills Unified District Manzanita School   A
Catalina Foothills Unified District Orange Grove Middle School   A
Catalina Foothills Unified District Sunrise Drive Elementary School   A
Catalina Foothills Unified District Ventana Vista Elementary School   A
Continental Elementary District Continental Elementary School   B
Daisy Education Corporation dba Sonoran Science Academy Sonoran Science Academy - Tucson X A
Desert Springs Academy Desert Springs Academy X A
El Centro for the Study of Primary and Secondary Education, Inc. Adalberto M. Guerrero School X C
El Pueblo Integral - Teaching & Learning Collaborative Paulo Freire Freedom School X A
Flowing Wells Unified District Centennial Elementary School   B
Flowing Wells Unified District Flowing Wells High School   A
Flowing Wells Unified District Flowing Wells Junior High School   A
Flowing Wells Unified District Homer Davis Elementary School   A
Flowing Wells Unified District J Robert Hendricks Elementary School   B
Flowing Wells Unified District Laguna Elementary School   B
Flowing Wells Unified District Robert Richardson Elementary School   B
Flowing Wells Unified District Walter Douglas Elementary School   C
Great Expectations Academy Great Expectations Academy X B
Griffin Foundation, Inc. The Children Reaching for the Sky Preparatory X C
Griffin Foundation, Inc. The Future Investment Middle School X D
Ha:san Educational Services Ha:san Preparatory & Leadership School X D
Hermosa Montessori Charter School Hermosa Montessori Charter X B
Indian Oasis-Baboquivari Unified District Baboquivari High School   D
Indian Oasis-Baboquivari Unified District Baboquivari Middle School   D
Indian Oasis-Baboquivari Unified District Indian Oasis Primary School   D
Khalsa Family Services Khalsa School X B
Marana Unified District Butterfield Elementary School   B
Marana Unified District Coyote Trail Elementary School   A
Marana Unified District Degrazia Elementary School   B
Marana Unified District Desert Winds Elementary School   A
Marana Unified District Ironwood Elementary School   B
Marana Unified District Marana High School   C
Marana Unified District Marana Middle School   C
Marana Unified District Marjorie W Estes Elementary School   B
Marana Unified District Mountain View High School   B
Marana Unified District Picture Rocks Intermediate School   C
Marana Unified District Quail Run Elementary School   A
Marana Unified District Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary   B
Marana Unified District Roadrunner Elementary School   B
Marana Unified District Thornydale Elementary School   B
Marana Unified District Tortolita Middle School   B
Marana Unified District Twin Peaks Elementary School   B
Math and Science Success Academy, Inc. Math and Science Success Academy X B
MultiDimensional Literacy Corp. Desert Mosaic School X D
Nosotros, Inc Nosotros Academy X D
Pima Prevention Partnership dba Pima Partnership Academy Pima Partnership Academy X C
Pima Prevention Partnership dba Pima Partnership School, The Pima Partnership School, The X D
Pima Unified District Pima Junior High School   C
Portable Practical Educational Preparation, Inc. (PPEP, Inc.) Arizona Virtual Academy X C
Presidio School Presidio High School X B
Sahuarita Unified District Anza Trail   B
Sahuarita Unified District Sahuarita High School   C
Sahuarita Unified District Sahuarita Intermediate School   B
Sahuarita Unified District Sahuarita Middle School   C
Sahuarita Unified District Sopori Elementary School   C
Satori, Inc. Satori Charter School X B
Sonoran Science Academy - Broadway Sonoran Science Academy - Broadway X B
Sonoran Science Academy - Davis Monthan Sonoran Science Academy - Davis Monthan X B
Sunnyside Unified District Apollo Middle School   D
Sunnyside Unified District Billy Lane Lauffer Middle School   B
Sunnyside Unified District Challenger Middle School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Chaparral Middle School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Craycroft Elementary School   B
Sunnyside Unified District Desert View High School   D
Sunnyside Unified District Drexel Elementary School   D
Sunnyside Unified District Elvira Elementary School   B
Sunnyside Unified District Esperanza Elementary School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Gallego Basic Elementary School   B
Sunnyside Unified District Liberty Elementary School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Los Amigos Elementary School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Los Ninos Elementary School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Los Ranchitos Elementary School   D
Sunnyside Unified District Mission Manor Elementary School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Rivera Elementary   C
Sunnyside Unified District Santa Clara Elementary School   C
Sunnyside Unified District Sierra Middle School   D
Sunnyside Unified District Summit View Elementary   B
Sunnyside Unified District Sunnyside High School   C
TAG Elementary, Inc. TAG Elementary X C
Tanque Verde Unified District Agua Caliente School   A
Tanque Verde Unified District Emily Gray Junior High School   B
Tanque Verde Unified District Tanque Verde Elementary School   A
Tanque Verde Unified District Tanque Verde High School   B
The Charter Foundation, Inc. AmeriSchools Academy - Country Club X B
The Charter Foundation, Inc. AmeriSchools College Preparatory Academy - Tucson X B
Tucson Country Day School, Inc. Tucson Country Day School X B
Tucson International Academy, Inc. TIA West X D
Tucson International Academy, Inc. Tucson International Academy X C
Tucson Small School Project City High School X B
Tucson Unified District Alice Vail Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Anna Henry Elementary School   A
Tucson Unified District Anna Lawrence Intermediate School   C
Tucson Unified District Annie Kellond Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Blenman Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Bloom Elementary   C
Tucson Unified District Bonillas Elementary Basic Curriculum Magnet School   C
Tucson Unified District Booth-Fickett Math/Science Magnet School   C
Tucson Unified District Borman Elementary School   B
Tucson Unified District Brichta Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District C E Rose Elementary School   A
Tucson Unified District Carrillo Intermediate Magnet School   C
Tucson Unified District Carson Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Catalina High Magnet School   D
Tucson Unified District Cavett Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Cholla High Magnet School   D
Tucson Unified District Collier Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Corbett Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Cragin Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Davidson Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Davis Bilingual Magnet School   D
Tucson Unified District Dietz Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Doolen Middle School   C
Tucson Unified District Drachman Primary Magnet School   B
Tucson Unified District Dunham Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Ford Elementary   C
Tucson Unified District Fort Lowell Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Frances J Warren Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Fruchthendler Elementary School   B
Tucson Unified District Gale Elementary School   A
Tucson Unified District Gridley Middle School   C
Tucson Unified District Harold Steele Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Henry Hank Oyama   D
Tucson Unified District Hohokam Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Holladay Intermediate Magnet School   B
Tucson Unified District Hollinger Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Howell Peter Elementary   C
Tucson Unified District Howenstine High School   D
Tucson Unified District Hudlow Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Ida Flood Dodge Traditional Middle Magnet School   B
Tucson Unified District Irene Erickson Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District John E White Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District John E Wright Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Laura N. Banks Elementary   C
Tucson Unified District Lineweaver Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Lynn Urquides   C
Tucson Unified District Magee Middle School   C
Tucson Unified District Maldonado Amelia Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Mansfeld Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Manzo Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Marshall Elementary School   B
Tucson Unified District Maxwell Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Menlo Park Elementary School   B
Tucson Unified District Miles-Exploratory Learning Center   C
Tucson Unified District Miller Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Mission View Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Myers-Ganoung Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Nan Lyons Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Naylor Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Ochoa Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Palo Verde High Magnet School   C
Tucson Unified District Pistor Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Pueblo Gardens Elementary   C
Tucson Unified District Pueblo High Magnet School   C
Tucson Unified District Raul Grijalva Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Rincon High School   C
Tucson Unified District Roberts Elementary School   B
Tucson Unified District Robins Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Robison Elementary School   D
Tucson Unified District Roskruge Bilingual Magnet Middle School   C
Tucson Unified District Sabino High School   A
Tucson Unified District Safford Engineering/Technology Magnet Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Sahuaro High School   A
Tucson Unified District Sam Hughes Elementary   B
Tucson Unified District Santa Rita High School   D
Tucson Unified District Schumaker Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Secrist Middle School   C
Tucson Unified District Soleng Tom Elementary School   A
Tucson Unified District Tolson Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Townsend Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Tucson Magnet High School   C
Tucson Unified District Tully Elementary Accelerated Magnet School   B
Tucson Unified District University High School   A
Tucson Unified District Utterback Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Valencia Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Van Buskirk Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District Vesey Elementary School   C
Tucson Unified District W Arthur Sewel Elementary School   B
Tucson Unified District W V Whitmore Elementary School   A
Tucson Unified District Wakefield Middle School   D
Tucson Unified District Wheeler Elementary School   B
Vail Unified District Acacia Elementary School   A
Vail Unified District Cienega High School   B
Vail Unified District Corona Foothills Middle School   A
Vail Unified District Cottonwood Elementary School   A
Vail Unified District Desert Sky Middle School   A
Vail Unified District Desert Willow Elementary School   A
Vail Unified District Empire High School   B
Vail Unified District Mesquite Elementary School   A
Vail Unified District Ocotillo Ridge Elementary   A
Vail Unified District Old Vail Middle School   A
Vail Unified District Rincon Vista Middle School   A
Vail Unified District Senita Valley Elementary School   A
Vail Unified District Sycamore Elementary School   A
Vail Unified District Vail Academy & High School   A
Wildcat Secondary School Wildcat School X D
- 30 -
have your say   

1 comment on this story

1
8 comments
Oct 20, 2011, 8:05 am
-0 +0

I’d very much like to know the criteria for the grade because I’m not particularly happy with the school my kids attend and yet it got an A.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Click image to enlarge

Bastien Inzaurralde/Cronkite News Service

From left, Andrew LeFevre, the director of public relations for the Arizona Department of Education, and John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, detail the new grading system.

Youtube Video