High school seniors hoping good grades in electives such as journalism, dance and physical education would help earn them a diploma may be in for a rude surprise.
The state House of Representatives voted 30-22 Monday to kill legislation that would have let students earn extra points toward passing the Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards test by doing well in all of their courses, including electives.
Unless the measure is resurrected, that means only good grades received in the courses specifically required for graduation will count.
Monday’s vote is a defeat for Sen. Thayer Verschoor, RGilbert, who ushered the original AIMS bonus-point measure through the Legislature last year. That law permits students to supplement their scores on the reading, writing and math portions of the test by up to 25 percent for A, B and C grades in course work.
But Attorney General Terry Goddard, in a formal legal opinion last October, said the measure was crafted so that only grades in required courses counted.
Those required courses include English, English as a second language, courses on the state and federal constitutions, world history and geography, math, science and fine arts or vocational education.
Senate Bill 1443 was designed to address that flaw, spelling out that grades in all courses count, including electives students need to get the required 21 credits to graduate.
AIMS is designed to ensure students have mastered skills the state has determined are necessary to graduate. This is the first year that students need to pass the test to receive a diploma.
No one spoke for or against the measure during Monday’s vote.
Verschoor, after being told of the House action, said he may try to convince colleagues to reconsider their action.