Mon, Jan. 20

AIMS scores mixed for area schools
Still significant numbers of students failing test

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Horne noted "substantial increases" in academic proficiency based on the 2006 Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards results.

"There are 21 categories -- seven tested grade levels, and three subjects," Horne stated in a press release. "Arizona students increased their proficiency rates over the past three years in all categories, and over last year in 17 out of 21 categories."

A three-year comparison generally backs up Horne's statement. But a comparison with last year's results isn't as positive. Most of the improvement from last year was accomplished by students in third through eighth grades. But the results for 10th graders, the grade-level test that ultimately determines who graduates from high school and who doesn't, isn't as positive.

Statewide results in the 10th grade reading portion of AIMS showed a slight improvement over 2005. But results in the math and writing portions slipped.

The following results were taken from the Arizona Department of Education's posted results for Category 1. That category includes students who are fully English proficient or have been in English language programs for four or more years. Those students took the AIMS without any special accommodations.

Students in Category 2, who are not included in these results, have a first language other than English. Those test results are much lower than Category 1 in all subjects.

To pass AIMS, a student must post a score in each subject area that either meets or exceeds the standard for mathematics, reading and writing.

Statewide, 72 percent of 10th graders passed the math portion of AIMS, 78 percent passed reading and 70 percent passed writing.

In Yavapai County 74 percent passed math, 65 percent passed reading and 54 percent passed writing.

Mingus Union High School tested nearly 300 students. Mingus students had 71 percent pass math, 79 percent passed reading and 73 percent passed writing.

At Camp Verde High School more than 100 students were tested with 61 percent passing math, 73 percent passing reading and 67 percent passing writing.

Sedona Red Rock High School topped all schools in the Verde Valley with 87 percent of its approximately 120 tested students passing math, 91 percent passing reading and 84 percent passing the writing portion.

Results from two Cottonwood Charter Schools show vastly different results.

American Heritage Academy tested 30 students. Of those, 84 percent passed math, 86 percent passed reading and 61 percent passed writing.

Excel Education Centers in Cottonwood tested between 21 and 25 students in the three subject categories. Only 33 percent passed math, 56 percent passed reading and 38 percent passed writing.

Students have more opportunities to take AIMS before graduation.

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