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AzMERIT test could be replaced with selection of state-approved tests

(Flickr/U.S. Department of Education)

PHOENIX — Instead of just one statewide test, Arizona’s public schools may soon be able to choose from a selection of state-approved tests to give their students.

That means the current AzMERIT statewide test may soon become a thing of the past.

This comes after the Arizona State Board of Education voted to put together the list of approved tests as a result of recently-approved legislation.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas recently told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the current AzMERIT test only shows “a one-day snapshot” of how students perform in school.

Only 41 percent of Arizona students passed the math and reading portions of the test during the last school year, according to the latest results.

Douglas said the AzMERIT test does not reflect the full picture of what’s really going on inside classrooms and that she looked forward to a new set of tests.

“It hopefully will bring some better accountability for our system overall,” Douglas said.

Though the AzMERIT will not be required to be taken by all schools this school year, it may be included in the selection of state-approved tests.

The state’s contract with the company that makes the AzMERIT will be extended through November 2019, after the Joint Legislative Budget Committee reviews it.

The contract would end at that time to give students a testing window to make up or retest from the previous school year.

Companies will be asked to submit their test proposals in the next few months. To be considered, the tests must measure students’ achievement in reading, writing and math in at least four grade levels.

The State Board will choose which tests to make available to schools for the 2019-2020 school year.

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