Education A State Capitals Roundup

Arizona Class of 2006 Gets Break on Graduation Exams

By Joetta L. Sack — May 24, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

It’ll be easier than planned to earn a high school diploma in Arizona next year.

Faced with large percentages of failing students, the state board of education this month lowered the passing scores for the state’s required graduation exams, which first affect the class of 2006. Students may now score as low as 59 percent in reading, down from 72 percent, and 60 percent on mathematics, down from 71 percent.

In addition, the legislature last week approved a “safety valve” that would give students who received grades of A, B, or C in reading, writing, and math their sophomore years extra points on the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards, or AIMS, as the state testing program is known. The additional points would allow many borderline students to pass, but would be in effect only for the classes of 2006 and 2007. The legislature would allow the state board to write the final details of its plan.

Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, was reviewing that bill last week, and had until May 25 to decide whether to sign it, according to her office. The governor has previously expressed support for options beyond a single test score to count toward the graduation requirement.

Before the state board voted 9-1 on May 10 to lower the passing scores, only about 43 percent of students in next year’s senior class had passed all three sections of the required AIMS tests. The board’s preliminary estimates show that percentage would rise to just over 60 percent as a result of its change, and possibly higher if the legislature’s changes become law.

Tom Horne, the state superintendent of schools, cast the only dissenting vote on the state board. He said that students are doing better through motivation and extra tutoring, and that those who had still not passed would have two more chances before graduation.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read