Two-thirds of all Arizona public schools are rated A or B, and 20 percent of schools improved a letter grade over last year, according to data released today by the Arizona Department of Education.
The A-F letter grades are based on the weighting of student performance on the AIMS test and student academic growth from year to year, along with additional points awarded for significant reductions in dropout rates and high English Language Learner reclassifications.
“The majority of Arizona schools are doing quite well,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, “Arizona’s schools are improving.”
At the press conference, Superintendent Huppenthal was joined by leaders from high performing schools and districts.
Leaders from Ash Fork Unified School District, which was named the top performing district in the state, and Encanto Elementary School, in the Osborn School District, which achieved an A letter grade, shared their success stories on raising student achievement at the press conference.
At the same time, the number of schools receiving a grade of B, C, or D fell.
Statewide results for the 2014 AIMS, or Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards test, were released also.
Each year Arizona students in grades 3 – 8 and 10 are required to take the AIMS tests to measure their mastery of the various subject materials as outlined in the adopted state content standards.
AIMS math and reading tests are taken in each of the required years, writing is taken in grades 5, 6, 7 and 10, and science in grades 4, 8 and 10.
This year Arizona saw a small gain in both math and reading AIMS scores, according to results released by the Arizona Department of Education.
From 2013 to 2014, the percentage of students passing the math assessment was steady at 61%. Over 79% of students passed the reading test, an increase of 1%.
Since 2010, Arizona students have steadily increased proficiency in both of these areas.
Writing scores jumped 5 points to 75%, after remaining stagnant for two years.
Sixty-four percent of tenth graders passed the math portion of the test.
Reading showed higher success with 86% of tenth grade students passing.
This was the final year for the AIMS math and language arts assessments, since students will take a new assessment this school year aligned with Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.
This year was the first year for Move on When Reading Legislation.
In 2011, nearly 4500 students tested at the “falls far below” level, with more than 1600 students at risk for being held back to repeat the third grade under the MOWR laws.
This year, only 600 students could potentially repeat the third grade, showing a dramatic increase in third grade literacy.
A complete list of AIMS test results by grade, school, district, charter and county can be found at: http://www.azed.gov/research-evaluation/aims-assessment-results/
A complete list of A-F Letter Grades can be found at: http://www.azed.gov/accountability/