More Arizona grade school students pass assessments, but most still fail

Sep 7, 2022, 8:12 AM
(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona public and charter school students made slight gains in standardized testing for 2021-22, but more than half still failed their English and math assessments, according to data released Wednesday.

Overall, 41% of grades 3-8, the only classes that take the test, passed English language arts, up 3 percentage points from the previous year, while 33% passed math, up by 2 percentage points.

“We know the pandemic sidelined students and teachers for weeks at a time, presenting challenges for all our learners,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in a press release.

“Even with those obstacles, our students and teachers did something incredible: increased test scores.”

The scores were the first using Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessment test, which replaced AzMERIT.

The Arizona Department of Education said that while the tests are similar, conclusions based on comparisons between the two should “be made with caution.”

The agency also pointed out that test participation in the 2020/2021 school year, disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, was historically low, with 86% taking the math portion and 84% taking the English test.

Test-taking climbed past 90% in both sections this time, but final rates weren’t available yet.

“These results show we still have significant work to do, and we must remain laser-focused on providing students and teachers with the tools they need to succeed,” Hoffman said.

Passing scores by grade level 2021-022:

  • Grade 3: English Language Arts 41%/Math 40%
  • Grade 4: ELA 44%/Math 40%
  • Grade 5: ELA 39%/Math 37%
  • Grade 6: ELA 39%/Math 31%
  • Grade 7: ELA 43%/Math 28%
  • Grade 8: ELA 36%/Math 27%

Passing scores by grade level 2020-2021:

  • Grade 3: ELA 35%/Math 36%
  • Grade 4: ELA 45%/Math 35%
  • Grade 5: ELA 45%/Math 32%
  • Grade 6: ELA 37%/Math 30%
  • Grade 7: ELA 37%/Math 30%
  • Grade 8: ELA 35%/Math 27%

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More Arizona grade school students pass assessments, but most still fail