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Sat, Jan. 25

Academy scores big on AIMS
Charter beats area schools in math, reading

American Heritage Academy did better on the 2007 spring AIMS in math and reading than high schools in Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Sedona.

In the writing category the charter high school posted lower scores than Mingus Union and Sedona Red Rock high schools and was on par with Camp Verde High School.

Students are tested by the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards in three categories: mathematics, reading and writing. Students are tested in the lower grades and again in high school, beginning in 10th grade. AIMS must be passed before students can receive a high school diploma.

Steve Anderson, director and founder of AHA, says his students' success on AIMS has more to do with the school's goals than with teaching to the test's standards. "I think we have a great math teacher who is very conscious of the state standards," he said.

He said the focus at AHA is on the school's mission statement. "Our goal is to build great Americans," he said. "Teaching to the test doesn't make them thinkers and doers.

"Our goal is to have a caring environment, and math and English are part of that," Anderson said.

Statewide, 66 percent of students failed in math and 34 percent passed. In reading, Arizona students were split 50/50 between passing and failing. In writing, 52 percent of Arizona high school students passed with 48 percent failing.

The failing classification combines students who fell way below the standard and those who approached the standard. The passing category combines those who meet the standard and those who exceed the standard.

AHA blew away the state average in math with 78 percent of its students passing the standard and 22 percent failing. Mingus Union had 65 percent of its students pass the math standard and 35 percent fail.

Camp Verde results in math showed 55 percent passing and 45 percent failing. Sedona Red Rock High School was closest to AHA in the math category with 72 percent passing and 28 percent failing.

American Heritage did even better in the reading category with 83 percent of students passing the AIMS category and only 17 percent failing. Mingus Union had 72 percent of its students pass the reading test with 28 percent failing.

Sixty-six percent of Camp Verde High School students passed the reading standard and 34 percent failed.

Sedona Red Rock High School almost tied AHA in the reading category with 82 percent passing and 17 percent failing.

Sedona Red Rock students did better than other Verde Valley schools in the writing category with 80 percent passing and 19 percent failing.

Mingus Union had 64 percent of its students pass the writing category and 36 percent failed it.

Fifty-eight percent of AHA students passed the writing test and 42 percent failed. Camp Verde came in last in the writing category with 55 percent of its students passing and 45 percent failing.

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