AIMS scores in Arizona crept up in math, reading and science from 2010 to 2011.
But students did not fare well with the revised state writing test.
Education leaders changed not only how the writing portion of Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards is graded, but the test itself. A multiple choice piece was added this past spring.
With the changes, only 56 percent of Arizona students passed the writing test in 2011, compared to 71 percent in 2010.
Overall, East Valley students did a bit better - also seeing gains in every category except writing, but still outpacing the state.
Students in Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler school districts scored higher than the state in writing: 59 percent of Mesa students passed, as did 74 percent of Gilbert students and 73 percent of Chandler students.
While only 37 percent of Arizona students passed the math portion of the AIMS test given in the spring, Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler districts saw much higher numbers - 66 percent, 73 percent and 74 percent respectively.
The AIMS test was given to students in grade three through 12 last school year. The test itself is standards-based and is developed by Arizona educators. It is given in every public school in the state - district and charter.
The reading, math, science and writing portions of the test for high school covers content that is expected to be covered in grades nine and 10, according to the state website. Students have multiple chances to pass the test since it is required for graduation.
At the younger levels, all students in grades three through eight are tested in reading and math in the spring. Students in grades five, six and seven are also tested in writing. The science portion of the AIMS is given to students in grades four and eight.