January 13, 2005
High school principals in Mesa are celebrating after learning a majority of their juniors appear to be steadily improving their AIMS scores.
Students in the class of 2006 are the first required to pass Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards to graduate.
Joe O’Reilly, executive director of student achievement support, gathered principals from every high school last week to release figures on individual student scores.
He shared the information with the Mesa Unified School District governing board on Tuesday.
"Schools did a lot of work with students," he said. "Almost all students showed improvement on the test this time."
As many as 98 percent of juniors improved their reading scores, as many as 90 percent improved their writing scores and as many as 95 percent improved math scores.
That included students whose scores were still falling far behind — but who tripled the number of questions they answered correctly, O’Reilly said.
Districtwide, 78 percent of juniors have now passed the writing test, 65 percent the math test and 74 percent the reading test. Statewide, 43 percent of juniors passed all three tests. In Mesa, at least 59 percent of students passed all three tests.
Students have three more times to take the test before they graduate.
Associate superintendent of educational services Michael Cowan said the district has also seen an increase in students who are taking the test. The federal government holds school districts accountable for ensuring at least 95 percent of every subgroup of students, in ethnic, socioeconomic and special-needs categories, take the test to ensure they’re improving.