|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Thursday, 21 July 2011 00:00|
Students in the Camp Verde Unified School District showed general improvement in their performance on the 2011 Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards, or AIMS, according to numbers released last week by the Arizona Department of Education.
The test measures student proficiency in math, reading, writing and science.
Of the eight grades tested, seven performed better than last year in math, said Steve Hicks, district grants coordinator. Of high school sophomores tested, 58 percent achieved a passing score, with 16 percent of the 102 students tested exceeding the required math scores.
In the elementary school, where the third, fourth and fifth grades are tested, 59 percent passed the math portion.
At the middle school, where sixth, seventh and eighth grades are tested, 49 percent passed.
Seven of eight grades also performed better on the reading portion of the test, with 81 percent of 10th-graders passing. Three grades were tested in science, with two of three showing improvement. In this subject, 44 percent of sophomores earned passing marks. The elementary school had 76 percent of its students passing overall, with 74 percent passing at the middle school.
The writing test was tweaked this year, Hicks said, making a meaningful comparison to the previous year’s results unreliable. Still, 70 percent of 10th-graders earned a passing grade on this section. Elementary grades had 50 percent passing, while the middle school posted 32 percent.
In science, 42 percent of sophomores passed, up from 20 percent the year before, 66 percent passed at the middle school and 49 percent passed at the elementary school.
At South Verde Technology Magnet School, 28 percent of those who took the test passed the math requirement, 58 percent passed reading and 44 percent passed the writing portion, all improvements over the previous year.
Superintendent Dan Brown said the improvement in scores is encouraging. He credits some of the improvement to the district’s new focus on the methods of education since teaming up with the district’s “sisters schools” in the Vail School District.
“It’s a small percentage of improvement,” Brown said. “But we’re seeing a stronger energy.”
Brown said he hopes to get away from small incremental changes and eventually see a “quantum leap” in the educational performance of the district’s students.
“It’s phenomenal to me that we’ve seen improvement in just one year,” Brown said.
Of course, AIMS scores are just one measuring stick the district uses to assess performance. There are many other standards the district relies on, Brown said, many of them more important in terms of measuring a student’s progress from day to day rather than the cumulative measurement of what a student has learned in the past like the AIMS test.
AIMS results were also released for other schools around the region. At Beaver Creek School, where grades three through eight were tested, students overall showed a four-point improvement in math with 53 percent earning a passing grade. Students showed a five-point improvement in reading with 71 percent passing. About 39 percent of students passed this year’s writing portion, while 67 percent passed science, up from 48 percent in 2010.
At Rimrock Public High School, 21 percent of tested students passed the math requirement, an overall 1 percent improvement, while 75 percent passed reading, up from 56 percent the year before.
In the writing portion, 67 percent of students passed, while 41 percent passed science, up from just 6 percent the year before, according to the data.
Pace Preparatory Academy saw 10 percent of tested students pass math, down from 25 percent the year before. Reading saw a seven-point improvement with 63 percent passing. In writing, 17 percent passed; no scores were available for the science portion of the test.
Data was not immediately available for other schools as of press time or not enough students were tested at a particular school to make the data meaningful.