The State Board of Education adopted criteria Friday for the AzMERIT test that renders the performance of about two-thirds of Arizona students as insufficient.
Though scores will not be officially released to parents and schools until October or November, the board got a preview of how the performance standards would impact students who took the new test last spring.
The “cut” scores, which determine whether students are labeled minimally proficient, partially proficient, proficient or highly proficient in math and English language arts, are said to be more in alignment with national measures that have previously found student performance to be lower than the state’s findings.
Based on what the board approved, about 67 percent of students failed to meet the mark, while about 33 percent met or exceeded the standards.
Though the scores, when released, will show lower performance than what parents, schools and districts are used to, Arizona Department of Education officials and others say the future is bright.
“Parents will now have more accurate information about how their children are doing and whether they are ready for the next grade and ultimately for college and career,” Expect More Arizona said in a statement. “There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure more students are proficient in every grade, but we are confident that higher standards and the AzMERIT assessment will result in improved outcomes for students at every level.”
AzMERIT replaces AIMS, which set the bar relatively low, measuring a minimum rather than a student’s readiness level for college and career.
More than 80 educators were involved in the standard-setting process.