Area AIMS scores need improvement

KINGMAN – Kingman Unified School District officials received AIMS test results Wednesday for the 2005-2006 school year– the first year requiring students to pass the test by senior year to graduate.

For area sophomores taking it for the first time under the new requirements, 54 percent of the students in the district met or exceeded the requirements in math, 51 percent in writing and 66 percent in reading.

The state average was 65, 64 and 72 percent for those subjects, respectively.

In the county, 56 percent of students met or exceeded requirements in math, 58 percent in writing and 70 percent in reading.

Students in grades second through eighth also took the test. This was the second year AIMS has been used for those grades to gauge performance.

The percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards for those grades varied mostly between 49 and 63 percent, though some percentages varied widely between grades.

Of fifth-grade students in the district, for example, 49 percent met or exceeded standards for writing, however, the students in sixth grade for the same subject totaled 87 percent.

Director of assessment for the district, Daryl Heinitz, said that the district is still working to match the objectives sought by the board of education.

“One year they will add different standards that’s not reflected in our curriculum,” Heinitz said, adding that the test is an indicator of what the district should improve as designated by the Department of Education.

Students currently are required to take the AIMS test each year in high school beginning their sophomore year to graduate. However, students are allowed to augment their scores with A’s and B’s from their report card to earn a diploma, Heinitz added, which enabled some Kingman seniors to graduate.

Seventy-six seniors in the district took the test last April, with 11 percent meeting requirements.

Heinitz said school officials plan to hold a workshop in August to evaluate the test results and target areas for improvement.

“We need to focus in our areas of strength and support that, and sort out the weaknesses throughout the district,” he said.

“The bright spot is that the areas and programs that have scored high in the past continue to score high,” he added.