Bye bye AzMERIT, hello ACT?

Mingus Union school board could agree to new standardized testing for 2019-2020

Mingus Union Superintendent Penny Hargrove said when the state’s A-to-F grades were recently released that the district was already considering ACT as the new assessment.

Mingus Union Superintendent Penny Hargrove said when the state’s A-to-F grades were recently released that the district was already considering ACT as the new assessment.

COTTONWOOD – After the 2018-2019 school year, AzMERIT will go the way of the Dodo.

Thursday, Mingus Union High School District’s governing board could replace AzMERIT with the ACT assessment.

Mingus Union Superintendent Penny Hargrove said when the state’s A-to-F grades were recently released that the district was already considering ACT as the new assessment.

In a draft of the Thursday, Oct. 25 agenda, ACT is described as a “research-based, vetted assessment with a multitude of support materials.”

“Mingus Union High School would like to officially adopt the ACT as our school-wide assessment,” the agenda packet stated.

The agenda packet also stated that if the Mingus Union School Board votes to replace AzMERIT with ACT, the new testing would be administered to all of the school’s juniors in the spring of 2020, according to the agenda packet, and neither AZ Merit nor AIMS Science testing would be administered to the district’s students.

If the Mingus Union School Board chooses ACT, the district would commit to ACT for three consecutive years.

The Mingus Union High School District governing board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at the school’s library, located at 1801 E. Fir St. in Cottonwood. Call (928) 634-0580 for more information.

The district will post a copy of the official agenda no less than 24 hours before the meeting. The district can add, change or remove items from its draft agenda prior to the official agenda’s release, no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting.

For the most up-to-date agenda, visit www.mingusunion.com/Governing_Board.

The district’s regularly-scheduled meetings are typically held on the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Appeal of accountability grade on Mingus Union agenda

Because of a technology failure connected with the school’s AzMERIT testing earlier this year, Mingus Union High School District is appealing its D-grade, Superintendent Penny Hargrove said earlier this month.

Thursday, the Mingus Union School Board is expected to discuss the accountability grade it received from the Arizona Department of Education – ADOE – on Oct. 5.

Before ADOE released the grades, Hargrove sent a letter to families that explained the “major technology failure that took place during our AzMERIT testing session,” as well as system improvements available to the district through the Yavapai County Education Technology Consortium.

Mingus Union received the system upgrades over the summer of 2018.

Joint board meeting, stipulated judgment, secondary tax rate impacts relating to consolidation on Mingus agenda

Responding to a letter from the Mingus Union School Board, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board member Jason Finger said it would be “better that the two boards discuss this rather than writing letters back and forth.”

According to a draft of its Oct. 25 agenda, the Mingus Union School Board could “issue a formal request for a joint board meeting” with the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board.

The letter Finger referenced in his statement was written from Mingus Union to Cottonwood-Oak Creek on Aug. 9 and asked that the C-OC board “reconsider your vote and allow a reasoned, purposeful plan to be developed.”

The “vote” was the C-OC decision in December 2017 to ask Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter to take to voters the issue of consolidation of the two districts.

Also Thursday, Mingus could take action on Yavapai County Superior Court Judge David Mackey’s final stipulated school district consolidation judgment, which was filed on Oct. 5.

Mackey ordered in his judgment in the Mingus Union lawsuit that the “form of petition for consolidation and the stipulated checklist” for Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter “are approved by this court for the purpose of calling an election on Nov. 5, 2019.”

Mingus Union also will discuss a report that estimates the impact on secondary tax rates in a consolidated district.

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