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home : opinion : letters February 5, 2016

4/7/2013 6:00:00 AM
Letter: AIMS feedback important

Note: In a letter to the editor in Friday's Miner, Donna Wickerd urged Mt. Tipton students to boycott the AIMS tests. This is the response.

Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) is a standards-based assessment. AIMS measures student proficiency of the Arizona Academic Content Standards in Writing, Reading, Mathematics, and Science and is required by state and federal law.

All Arizona public schools, including district schools and charter schools, are required to properly administer state and federally mandated assessments. This means that as a minimum 95 percent of our eligible students at each KUSD school and student cohort group must take the test or the school will fail to meet state requirements.

Schools are labeled A, B, C, D, or F based on their test scores, but equally important is whether they meet the 95 percent of eligible students testing. If they do not test at 95 percent or better, the school fails. Not only does the school fail but Governor Brewer has supported legislation that will tie school district funding for schools to school labels.

AIMS testing is a very important part of student education. In most cases, students must take and pass the high school AIMS tests in writing, reading and mathematics to graduate. Our community, our parents, and our students need to know how our KUSD educational system is doing when it comes to creating positive academic student growth. It is important for us to know how we measure up with other school districts in the state.

Most importantly, our students and teachers work hard to master academic standards and take pride in improving their assessment scores as individuals, classes, and schools. The AIMS test gives us an opportunity to evaluate ourselves, compare ourselves with other schools, and reflect on what we need to do better in the upcoming school year. Students and parents can measure their academic progress with a standardized testing instrument that is at a statewide assessment level. All students, families, and taxpayers deserve that annual feedback.

Roger Jacks

KUSD superintendent

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Article comment by: Sarah Stepup

If the district was doing something wrong, the state would be in here fixing the mess. I don't see that happening.
We are tired of hearing about Mt Tipton and how they are perfect and what a crime it is that they are getting picked on. There are real problems in the world.

Mr Jacks... keep up the good work!!

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Article comment by: Sorry Mr. Jacks

Mr. jacks and Wanda Hubbard

I am sorry that you must deal with people like Mrs. Wickerd who has shown absolutely no professionalism as a (previous teacher)for asking under aged students who are not her own children to boycott the AIMS. There is so much stress with funding issues that your time could be much better spent than one person trying to create a situation that hurts the whole district.

I am sure there are parents who reside in Dolan Springs that are going to be upset when their child boycotts AIMS. Sadly this will not only affect the older students but will affect their younger brothers and sisters. Hopefully those parents will personally hold her responsible for her negative impact on their children. Thankfully she chose to leave the profession of teaching. We wish you the best and may the district be successful in AIMS.

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Article comment by: Rebecca Smith

The information in this letter is accurate. However, Mt. Tipton fails because KUSD failed. Our students DID take reading, writing, and will take the AIMS test for science. We are encouraging them to do their best on the science AIMS test. As for math, you took our math teacher last year, and gave him a position at Lee Williams. In his place you gave us a new math teacher who proved in the first round of ATI results in November, that he was completely incompetent! You put our middle school children on E2020, and continued to pay his salary while our art teacher, and Assistant Principle taught an additional math class each day to make up for his incompetence. Finally, he was forced to resign two weeks ago. If our students do not take the math AIMS test this time, they can take it next year after they have a fair shot at either meeting or exceeding that test, because they were given a qualified teacher bought by OUR tax dollars. THAT is in their best interest. For those children who need to pass AIMS math this year in order to graduate either this year or next, they can boycott Monday, and then take it on the makeup day, and still not harm themselves. Also, any high school student has a total of five chances to pass this test during their entire high school career. Why should we demonstrate to the state, that KUSD was successful at MT. Tipton when it was not. We will not lie.

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Article comment by: A Serious Thought

@ Mr. Jacks
Except for a few people, I believe everyone knows how important the AIMS test is. However, I do not agree that it gives a fair assessment of how our students are really when they are coached, two or more weeks before the assessments, in order to improve their scores. Also, many of us are aware that the 95% number is tied to funding. I do not believe this is something new that Governor Brewer came up with.

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Article comment by: Marla Kiriakidis

Sadly the kids see these test as "stupid" and a "joke". But don't take my word for it, go ask them.

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Article comment by: Donna Wickerd

As I stated in my letter, the district uses the ATI benchmark test, which they give to students four times per year, to gauge your child's learning. The AIMS test data does not even come out until the end of the year, and is not usable until the beginning of the new year. When new students come in, the district uses ATI test data to place those students.

The AIMS test is important for the STATE to ensure that our schools are being professionally managed by our school districts. By boycotting the HIgh School Math test (which our students tend to score lowest in anyway, and have three years, or five tries, to pass) we can get the attention of the state and federal regulators whose job it is to ensure that Roger Jacks and Wanda Hubbard are actually doing their jobs.

That is why they are afraid...they have been lying to us....and it is illegal to lie to the regulators, so they would rather avoid getting their attention at all!

Let's get some attention...BOYCOTT the HS MATH AIMS April 8, 2013!

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