06
Aug

TEMPE PREP ONLY PUBLIC SCHOOL WITH OPEN ENROLLMENT TO RANK AS A TOP TEN SCHOOL TWO YEARS IN A ROW

Test Scores from 2012 School Year Show School Was One of Best Performing in Arizona

Tempe Preparatory Academy has been ranked as one of the top 10 schools in Arizona for two years running, and is the only public school with open enrollment to do so. Tempe Prep is required by law to select students who apply by lottery, regardless of background or test scores.

Tempe Prep was #7 in this yearʼs rankings by the Arizona Department of Education, earning an “A” grade for the school and marking the second consecutive year the school made the top 10. The schoolʼs overall evaluation score increased by one point this year to 173.

Hugh Hallman, who has served as Headmaster for the past four years and currently serves as Superintendent, said that the students, teachers and parents of Tempe Prep deserve an extraordinary amount of credit for their hard work in helping the school perform at such an exceptional level.

“Because of the way the stateʼs education funding is set up, Tempe Prep only receives 79 cents for every dollar that traditional public schools receive in Arizona — despite the fact that we have the same open enrollment they do,” Hallman said. “Our faculty and staff have done a tremendous job of maximizing these resources and creating a positive impact in the classroom.”

Hallman said that several measures create the schoolʼs success, including:

  • Teachers at Tempe Prep teach a maximum of 88 students (as opposed to an average of 135 students in Arizona), during four classes a day (below the average of five).
  • Tempe Prep maintains rigorous academic and social standards and then its faculty and staff work diligently to help every student meet those standards.
  • Tempe Prep teachers are paid competitively with traditional school teachers, and even received raises in the last three of four years, notwithstanding the significant funding cuts made by the State of Arizona during the recession.
  • Tempe Prepʼs curriculum, based in the liberal arts, using the Great Books and Socratic method teaches students to think critically so they are prepared to succeed in life.

“The challenge in Arizona is not that we donʼt have enough money for education,” Hallman said. “Itʼs that we are mis-spending what we have. Tempe Prep offers a model of how we can better educate students throughout Arizona.”

(August 2013)