The Arizona Department of Education released official 2016-17 AzMERIT results Wednesday afternoon, but the public will have to wait until Oct. 9 to see how the scores will impact new A-F school letter grades.
Official results back up what The Arizona Republic reported in July: Overall reading and math scores across Arizona improved incrementally, but the majority of students are still failing the standardized test.
“I believe Arizona’s children and educational system is much better than the scores indicated by AzMERIT,” Diane Douglas, Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement Wednesday following the release of official test scores.
Forty percent of Arizona’s students passed the math portion of AzMERIT, compared to the passing rate of 35 percent in 2015, the first year students took the test.
Thirty-nine percent of the state’s students passed the test’s reading portion. It’s an improvement of five percentage points compared to the inaugural year’s 34 percent pass rate.
Schools’ performance on AzMERIT will largely determine their new A-F school letter grade rankings. The new letter grades will place an even bigger emphasis on how students’ scores have improved in the three years they’ve taken the AzMERIT test.
Arizona is required by state law to issue rankings to district and charter schools on an A-F scale, and will do so this fall for the first time since 2014.
The state paused issuing new letter grades as it transitioned to AzMERIT, a standardized test that is considered more rigorous than the previous exam, AIMS.
Douglas in her statement reignited previous calls to allow parents to opt their children out of taking the standardized test.
“AzMERIT was never designed as a tool to evaluate school or teacher performance,” Douglas said. “It is also limited to English Language Arts and Math. There are many other important topics and aspects to a child’s education that are not even measured by AzMERIT.”
Search your school’s 2016-17 AzMERIT scores below.
Mobile users, to search our database, click here.