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High school graduation rates improved steadily in recent years, according to America’s Promise Alliance. Arizona shared in the gains, but still trailed the national graduation average in 2011, the report said.

Arizona posted one of the country’s sharpest declines in so-called “dropout factories” in the last decade, but was still slightly below the national average for high school graduation rates in 2011, according to a recent report. Read more»

Audrey Beardsley, an associate professor in Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said Arizona's education policies align well with the goals of StudentsFirst, which gave the state a C-minus but still ranked it eighth in the nation.

A conservative advocacy group gives Arizona a C-minus in a national report card on education policy but notes the state has made strides in reform and has room for growth. Read more»