Thu, April 02

Public schools meet or exceed math state average

Superintendent Tom Horne said that while math scores are still low they are improved.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said the data show "a statewide across-the-board increase in mathematics proficiency at all grade levels." Even so, 71 percent of high school students statewide failed to meet the test's math standards.

Of the nearly 85,000 high school students tested, 56 percent fell far below the AIMS' math standard, and 15 percent approached the standard but still did not meet it. Math standards were met or exceeded by 28 percent of the state's high school students.

Sedona Red Rock High School topped area schools in the math category with 64 percent of its students failing to meet the math standard. Camp Verde High School matched the state average of 71 percent not meeting standards, and Mingus Union High School beat the state average with 68 percent of students not meeting the AIMS' math standard.

Charter schools in Cottonwood did even worse in the math portion of AIMS. American Heritage Academy had 87 percent of high school students fail to meet the math standards, and 95 percent of high school students at Excel Education Centers, Inc. in Cottonwood tested below the standards required. All of the high school students at Edwards Hall Charter School were categorized as "falls far below" the math standards.

American Heritage Academy improved its performance on the other two AIMS' categories with 71 percent of its students meeting or exceeding state standards for reading, and 82 percent meeting or exceeding the writing standards.

The only other area high school coming close to American Heritage was Sedona Red Rock High School with 73 percent passing the reading portion and 78 percent passing the writing.

Camp Verde High School students beat the state average for reading scores with 57 percent of students meeting or exceeding reading standards. But the school dropped 4 percentage points below the state average with 56 percent of students passing the writing standards.

Mingus Union High School tied the state average for reading with 49 percent of students meeting or exceeding the standards. Mingus had 46 percent of students pass the writing portion. The state average for writing is 60 percent of students meeting or exceeding the standard.

Twenty-five percent of Excel Education Centers high school students passed the reading category, and 30 percent passed the writing portion.

Only 4 percent of Edwards Hall students passed the AIMS' reading standard, and 18 percent passed the writing.

Horne said that many students who took AIMS last year weren't strongly motivated because graduation from high school wasn't tied to the test. But that will change for this year's sophomores who will take the test in the spring of 2004. Passing AIMS will be mandatory before receiving a diploma, according to Horne. "That will be a tremendous incentive," Horne said.

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