The State Of Arizona Education: Changemaker High School

Over the next several weeks, the Arizona Daily Independent will examine Arizona’s schools in terms of their students’ performance on the AzMERIT test. Changemaker High School, in Tucson, Arizona was chosen as our first.

The AzMERIT is an untested test at this point, and as a result it tells us very little about how kids and teachers are doing in our classrooms. However, because it is administered statewide, it does provide a meager basis of comparison.

Changemaker High is a charter school that sells itself to kids and parents with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. Kids and parents are told they can become “the change we all want to see in the world!” If in fact, we want a world in which less than 20 percent of the presumably educated citizens cannot perform the basic skills tested in the AzMERIT assessment, then Changemaker will get us to that goal.

In July 2015, the school changed its name from the Western Institute for Leadership Development to Changemaker High.

Changemaker is “the first high school in the U.S. to partner with the Ashoka Youth Venture network.” According to its website, “Ashoka’s Youth Venture is cultivating and equipping an eco-system that supports youth to be changemakers. Youth are powerfully and confidently solving the issues they uniquely face through activating pathways of Empathy, Sophisticated Teamwork Collaborative Leadership and Changemaking as they embark upon their journey to become changemakers.”

Changemaker’s mission is based on the philosophy of praxis. A Marxist-based method of developing students into change agents. From the school’s website:


From Changemaker’s website:

“Changemaker High School is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation legally recognized by the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. Changemaker High School is supported with public funds appropriated by the Arizona legislature. The Arizona Charter School Board is the charter authorizer.”

“Changemaker High School received a $690,000 federal grant from the Dept. of Education to develop our unique academic program and share our best practices with schools throughout Arizona. During our first year of operation, a research team from the University of Arizona’s Department of Education began a 3-year study to document and participate in the development of our academic program.”

To develop student leaders who turn ideas into action.


All graduates will be prepared for college, careers, and civic engagement to make an equitable and sustainable world a reality.

We Educate

Every student prepares for a college/university level education in a safe, supportive learning environment with small classes and dynamic, caring teachers.

We Inspire

Students develop their unique voice and talents by working with innovators and positive role models at the cutting edge of science, technology, community development, and the arts.

We Act

All students are change-makers who apply classroom learning in real-world projects with real-world results that contribute value to the community.

We Transform

Our students transform themselves and their community by setting big goals and rising to achieve them. We celebrate the achievements of students and community changemakers through awards, public exhibitions, scholarly presentations, and cultural events.

WE INVITE YOU to join our students, staff, and parents to be the change we all want to see in the world!

2017 AZMerit Scores – Changemaker High School | Institute for Transformative Education, Inc.

Population Content Area Test Level Number Tested Percent
Minimally Proficient Partially Proficient Proficient Highly Proficient
Changemaker Math All 76 9 84 * 5 4
Statewide Math All 818019 40 36 24 26 14
Changemaker English Language Arts Grade 10 22 9 77 * * *
Statewide English Language Arts Grade 10 77150 31 52 18 22 9
Changemaker English Language Arts Grade 11 15 13 * 27 * *
Statewide English Language Arts Grade 11 72886 25 52 23 17 9
Changemaker English Language Arts Grade 9 36 14 67 14 6 8
Statewide English Language Arts Grade 9 82754 36 37 27 26 10
Changemaker Math Algebra I 37 8 84 * 3 5
Statewide Math Algebra I 85931 39 40 21 28 11
Changemaker Math Algebra II 13 15 * 19 * *
Statewide Math Algebra II 68133 34 44 21 27 8
Changemaker Math Geometry 26 8 85 8 4 4
Statewide Math Geometry 75081 33 40 26 26 7