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Tucson Festival of Books returns for 9th year

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The books are back in town. The Tucson Festival of Books returns to the University of Arizona campus Saturday and Sunday for the ninth year. Hannah Isaac, an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Festival of Books, says they are expecting 135,000 people to attend this year. The festival will have over 350 authors involved of all different genres, including Molly Yeh, Sam Sykes, Adam Rex, and Lisa See. The current U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will be doing a poetry reading at this year’s festival. There will be workshops and exhibitions as well, including Science City where kids can learn about science and do hands-on experiments. “We’ve always had a really big audience, but as the festival continues to grow and we get different authors, bigger names, we definitely see a lot more traffic,” Isaac said. “We have a...

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Many Arizona students underprepared for college

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Are Arizona students prepared for college? Recent data says no. The 2016 “Condition of College & Career Readiness” from the ACT testing organization shows Arizona behind the national average in all categories: English, reading, math and science. Only 23 percent of Arizona students meet the benchmarks in all four subjects, compared to 26 percent of students nationally. The 2014-2015 Department of Education’s State Report Card divides students into four categories in regard to the two measures the state used to measure performance, AIMS and AzMERIT tests. English proficiency was tested in grades 9, 10 and 11 with disappointing results. Less than a third of students in each grade passed the test. In the 11th grade section, 51 percent of the students tested were at the lowest performance level. Math scores weren’t any better. Just 32 percent of students passed...

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