The Academy of Math and Science (AMS) was founded in 2000 in Tucson, AZ, and now consists of four schools in Tucson and Phoenix. AMS is a college preparatory, STEM-focused network which serves roughly 2000 students. AMS consistently ranks among the top-performing charter schools and has received numerous awards and recognitions. Emily Casarona, the Secretary of Education’s Regional Representative from the U.S. Department of Education, has called AMS “a model school” and “an inspiration to other teachers and students…across America”.
As a network, AMS by some measures is one of the highest performing networks in the state. Our campuses outperform most or all schools in their respective neighborhoods and the AMS district as a whole has outperformed local schools by an average of over 20% in math, language arts, and science since 2010. AMS Prince in Tucson was named the 2016 Charter School of the Year by the Arizona Charter Schools Association. In 2008, the same campus was one of only sixteen public charter schools nationwide honored by the United States Department of Education "No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools" program, which recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. Also in 2008, AMS Prince received a Gold-Gain award from New Leader’s Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) Program. EPIC selection is based on value-added (student growth) analysis completed by Mathematica Policy Research, one of the leading national research companies on education. During the five years that the EPIC Program existed, AMS was the only school in Arizona to be recognized for its significant student achievement gains and top-of-the-line teachers.
The AMS Flagship school has been an “A” rated school every year since the Arizona Department of Education implemented letter grades. In the 2015-2016 school year, AMS Prince students passed the AzMERIT statewide assessment at nearly double the rate of other schools in Arizona. In March 2016, AMS Prince and MASSA were recognized by the Education Equality Index as two of 10 schools in Tucson closing the achievement gap.
AMS not only excels academically, but also incorporates hands-on STEM projects and succeeds in related competitions. During the 2015-2016 school year, an AMS Middle School Robotics team competed against all high school teams at the Southern Arizona Region Science and Engineering Fair, and won 2nd place for their engineering book. The AMS Science Olympiad team advanced all the way to the state competition, and several AMS students also took home individual prizes. These are just a sample of the many academic and extracurricular competitions our students are excelling in.
The AMS network has recently been featured several times in “A for Arizona” articles, the Arizona Daily Star, blogs by business leaders such as Glenn Hamer, President of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, and has been a source of research on what makes schools effective by notable researchers and research institutions including Robert Maranto, Philanthropy Roundtable, Mathematica, and others. Recent visitors to the AMS schools include Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Phoenix Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela, and many others who have come to see how AMS works and what makes AMS successful. The AMS network plans to both grow the existing schools and expand to new campuses, and expects to add 3000 new students in the next 3-5 years and open at least six more schools over the next 10 years.