Summer is in the rearview mirror and Arizona students are back to school across the state. Unfortunately, back to school does not hold the promise of a quality education for all Arizona students. In fact, about 70,000 students have gone back to a ‘D’ or ‘F’-rated school, and the majority of those are Hispanic and lower socioeconomic students.

Allowing these students to remain trapped in failing schools is unacceptable. The right thing to do is shut the doors of underperforming schools or “restart” them under new leadership with a proven record of helping all kids learn. This might sound drastic, but it is absolutely what must be done.

Ideally, growing and replicating excellent schools in place of failing ones is the best option. Gov. Doug Ducey has prioritized replication of excellent charter and district school models because students trapped in failing schools need and deserve these havens of exceptional learning. A for Arizona will continue to aggressively advocate for this strategy.

However, there are other tools in the toolbox currently going unused. State laws and policies facilitate a process to close failing charters. As it stands, Arizona has gone from 12 percent failing charters to 5 percent. But closing a failing district school has never been done.

And only once has the state triggered a school turnaround that involved a forced change in management. School turnarounds can be tough on adults, but for the sake of the children in failed learning environments, we must address these struggling campuses.