Advocacy & Policy
Stand for Children’s mission is to is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, a college education.
To meet these needs and expectations, Stand Arizona is pursuing the following policy priorities based on principles we believe are critical success factors for our education system:
Every child needs high expectations and quality instruction tailored to their needs
Children are remarkably resilient and have an incredible talent for rising to meet the challenge placed in front of them. Raising standards and expectations for students is the first and most-critical component to an effective education system. Ensuring instruction is held to an equally high standard goes hand in hand with ensuring our students achieve at the highest level.
Every child needs access to quality pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten
Early childhood learning positively affects children throughout their lives. Three and four year-olds need access to quality pre-kindergarten and five year-olds need access to full-day kindergarten. Children are much more likely to reach the critical milestone of reading on grade level by the end of third grade if they have quality pre-k and full-day kindergarten. When resources are limited, access for underserved students should be prioritized because they stand to benefit the most. Intervening early is more cost-effective than waiting to remediate students in middle and high school and beyond.
Every child needs effective teachers and principals
Effective teachers and principals are the top two in-school factors impacting student achievement. Strong, well-supported teachers and principals can close the achievement gap, help underserved students stay on track, and impact students throughout their lives. Ensuring every child has a strong principal leading their school and effective teachers in every class, every year, requires a comprehensive approach to developing educators, including effective systems for:
• training and preparation;
• recruitment and hiring;
• mentoring and induction;
• evaluation that is connected to well-designed professional support and development;
• competitive compensation; and
• retention of the strongest educators and dismissal of ineffective educators.
In addition, to ensure the most effective teachers go into and stay in the profession, we need to value and celebrate teachers for their invaluable contributions.
Schools need transparent information about performance
School policymakers should assess schools based on their progress in helping students graduate high school prepared for college. The staff at schools should work with students and be responsive to key indicators of school quality and student performance. School policymakers should be guided by information about student progress in their decision-making about schools. State policymakers must ensure that accurate and timely information about school quality is accessible to educators, parents, and the community. Parents and children need understandable, relevant information about local schools to make sure they can choose the best school for their child.
Schools need sufficient funding, spent wisely
Quality public education is an expensive undertaking – a worthy investment which delivers tremendous social and economic returns. To ensure limited dollars produce the best possible outcome for students, every possible dollar must be directed to essential educational strategies through disciplined budgeting, strong financial controls, and a constant search for efficiencies. Such intentional spending builds public support for adequate investments in the practices that make a difference for students.
To ensure that underserved students graduate from high school prepared for college and career training, targeted investments must be made to meet their specific needs. Achieving the best possible outcomes for students requires spending adequate money strategically based on student need, and ensuring those dollars reach the students they are intended to serve.
Learn more about what we Stand for here.