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AIMS results: Arizona public school students gain in reading thanks to new law

Park rangers watch over the National Park Service's 100th birthday celebration in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday on Thursday with events across the U.S. including the creation of a giant, living version of its emblem in Washington, D.C., a naturalization ceremony on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and an outdoor concert at Yellowstone National Park. (Hannah Potes/The Billings Gazette via AP)

The results for the 2014 Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test have been released, and Arizona is seeing positive results.

President and CEO of Expect More Arizona Pearl Chan Esau said Arizona saw an increase in percentage points in math, reading and writing.

Notably, this was also the first year where there was a move in government for reading.

Arizona recently passed a law where third graders could be retained if they scored far below in their reading AIMS test scores.

Back in 2011, about 1,600 students would’ve been at risk of being retained prior to this law and this year, the number went down to 600.

“There are a lot of things we can thank for that, and certainly the implementation of higher education standards is one of [them],” she said.

Next year, however, a new test will be replacing the AIMS. “It was a pretty low bar test. We were allowing high schoolers to graduate at a 10th grade proficiency level which isn’t where we want our graduates to be,” she said.

The new exam will be more rigorous, and will test the student’s critical thinking rather than focusing on memorization.

“It’ll be a better indicator of whether our kids are on track to be successful.”

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