A key challenge facing Arizona students today, a nationwide teacher shortage, also represents a timely opportunity for current and future educators who are eager to face this reality head on and make a difference for Arizona students. All students deserve a high quality education, and Arizona’s teachers and leaders can be the changemakers those students need.
The Connection Between Effective Teachers and Student Success
When parents are deciding where to send their children to school, they typically look at important elements such as small class sizes, the type of curriculum offered, and school district funding. However, one of the most important aspects to consider is the educators themselves. Studies have shown that effective teachers are the most important factor contributing to student achievement. One study revealed that students who were placed with “highly effective teachers for three years in a row significantly outperformed comparable students on a mathematics assessment.”
Qualified Teacher Retention
Retaining strong teachers is a key priority for Arizona, and lawmakers have taken action by committing to pay raises for educators statewide. Grateful for these changes and fueled by our scholars’ academic achievement, Vista College Prep is proud to report an 87 percent average year-over-year staff retention rate, meaning that many of our students have seen the same friendly faces since we opened our doors almost seven years ago. We recruit like-minded teachers who are dedicated to providing an exceptional education for our scholars in an environment with frequent, targeted, quality professional development opportunities.
Fewer AZ Students Going to College
Arizona’s pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade education is currently ranked #44 in the nation, based on high school graduation rates, preschool enrollment, standardized test scores, and college readiness. In fact, only 78 percent of students graduate high school and 47.7 percent chose not to enroll in either a two-year or four-year college. As a result of the teacher shortage, class sizes are increased, courses are cut, and students have fewer opportunities to receive the excellent education they need to prepare them for college.
At Vista College Prep, however, we strive to meet the educational needs of each and every one of our scholars, which is why our rigorous preparatory model is designed to ensure all scholars meet or exceed grade-level expectations. The results speak volumes. In 2017, our students scored in the top six percentile in literacy and the top 11 percentile in math for the entire state. Moreover, our students develop college-going identities from their first day at VCP, with classrooms adorned in college pennants, yearly field trips to state colleges and universities, and a school mission that focuses on college readiness.
At Vista College Prep, we believe that access to passionate teachers is the number one determiner of academic achievement. If you’re interested in joining a joyful, urgent, and intentional culture of like-minded individuals who are dedicated to educating Arizona’s students, contact us today.