Kingman students' AIMS results average

Kingman High School students are on a par with their peers in the state in the reading and math portions of the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test.

Kingman Unified School District Superintendent Mike Ford said Daryl Heinitz, director of testing for the district, contacted other high school districts and compared results from the spring 2001 administration of the AIMS test.

"In 10th grade reading, we were in the middle of the pack, 24th of 41 districts," Ford said.

"We also were 24th of 41 in math.

"Unfortunately, we dropped down to 29th of 41 in writing."

The accompanying graphs depict results for KHS sophomores taking the test for the first time and juniors, who retook the exam in the spring.

Taking into account the top two scoring area of meeting the standards and exceeding the standards, comparisons with the same grade level students from the spring 2000 test show KHS students improved on two of the three subtests.

Sophomores went from 24 percent meeting or exceeding the standards in 2000 for writing to 26 percent in 2001.

The percentage also rose in math from 17 to 24 percent.

However, sophomores fell from 69 to 66 percent in reading.

"We had Daryl (Heinitz) do a composite of all (high school) districts so we could put into perspective of where our students are performing," Ford said.

"We'll look at individual scores and do what we can to help students improve.

"But we're not going to see the total results of this for another 4-5 years.

Then we'll see scores take tremendous jumps because our students will be better prepared and that's the value of the standards and having us work toward them."

A smaller number of juniors retook the AIMS test in the spring.

They also improved in two subject areas from juniors the previous year.

Juniors meeting or exceeding the standards went from 45 to 57 percent in reading and from 14 to 16 percent in math.

Writing was the troublesome subject with juniors dropping from 20 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2001.

Ford said individual students would get whatever help they need to be able to pass the test next time.

A handful of KHS seniors took the AIMS test in the spring.

Eight took the math test, six writing and five reading.

The state Department of Education does not release results for any class with less than 10 students taking the exam, fearing the small numbers would compromise confidentiality.

In August, the state Board of Education voted to change implementation for passage of all three elements of AIMS as a graduation requirement to 2006.

It was to have taken effect for the class of 2002 for reading and writing and the class of 2004 for passage of math prior to the change.

"We look at AIMS as a barometer of what the state wants us to do and because of the way it is implemented I think we're behind where we need to be but are catching up," Ford said.

"They pushed back the graduation dates because they realized in putting AIMS together as a high-stakes test they had jumped the gun."