Tue, Feb. 18

Mingus AIMS test results up to par

Mingus Union High School students scored above the state average in math and reading and nearly met the average in writing on the AIMS test given in the spring.

Out of approximately 250 students who took the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test in May, 75 percent met or exceeded the reading requirement, 17 percent met or exceeded the math requirement and 32 percent met or exceeded the writing requirement.

According to AIMS test results released by the Arizona Department of Education, the state average in reading was 75 percent, math 16 percent and reading 33 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, 68 percent of Mingus students tested fell far below the state standard in math. In reading, 7 percent fell far below state average and 15 percent fell far below in writing.

So what do these numbers mean?

"They mean that what we’ve been doing with our curriculum and aligning it with state standard is paying off," Assistant Principal Janet Loy said. "Your looking at kids who took the test as sophomores. It’s a senior exit exam. I think kids are going to show regular improvements."

The AIMS test was first administered to Arizona High School students in 1999. It is a criterion-referenced test that compares individual student scores to an absolute set of right or wrong answers. It tests what Arizona students should know and be able to do in each grade and subject.

Beginning with the class of 2002, students must pass AIMS in reading and writing to receive a high School diploma. Students graduating in 2004 and later must also pass in math. The math portion of the test is currently being revised.

Compared to the 25 high schools located nearest to MUHS, Mingus ranked sixth highest in reading, seventh highest in math and eighth highest in writing. Mingus ranked higher than Camp Verde High School in every category but lower than Sedona Red Rock High School.

"I don’t make any guess as to why they (Sedona) did better," Loy said. "I don’t think it’s a reasonable comparison because of the size of students who took the test. We’re not ashamed of ourselves no matter how we did on the test. Just because some students didn’t pass the test the first time around doesn’t mean they’re not well educated."

Only about 90 students each at Sedona Red Rock High School and Camp Verde High School took the AIMS test

Loy also points out that the AIMS test is just one way of measuring how students are progressing in the classroom.

"AIMS is just one piece of the picture here," Loy said. "The test is just one part of the whole child perspective."

Once The test is fine tuned by the state and the math and reading tests are revised, teachers and students will be in a better position to asses what is expected of them, Loy said.

"Hopefully, every year, more kids will be up to speed," Loy said.

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