It's What We Thought...

College & Career Readiness | 08/07/2015

Jeff Howard
Regional Digital Strategist

As regional digital strategist, Jeff helps to build online engagement to support students and improve education.

This past spring, students in Arizona took a new statewide achievement test to measure whether or not students were meeting our state’s higher academic standards in math and English language arts.

That test, AzMERIT, is a smarter version of the tests we’ve had in the past. These new tests help us to actually determine if our students are proficient in English language arts and math. They now measure our students’ ability to think critically, problem-solve, and communicate. But they are also more rigorous -- as are our state’s academic standards -- to ensure Arizona students are ready for college and career.

We’ve known for a long time that our students have not been prepared for college and career. For example, almost 60% of students in Arizona who enroll in a 2-year college program need remediation and aren’t ready for college-level material.(1) 

A recent survey shows that less than 30% of employers say schools are adequately preparing students for the workplace today.(2)

With these numbers, it’s critical that our state keep its rigorous academic standards and aligned tests to make sure we undo this trend.

Today, the Arizona State Board of Education released a portion of these new statewide scores. These new scores are what we expected. We know Arizona’s current standards are more difficult and these AzMERIT test results are a reflection of that increased rigor.

Next week, the Arizona State Board of Education will vote to use this recommendation moving forward. They will be responsible for ensuring we keep expectations high for our students and we hope they will have the courage to do so.

Parents will receive their child’s individual scores this fall.

We’ll make sure to keep you up-to-date on this important work in our state to make sure every child in Arizona is ready for college and career. Check back on our blog for the latest.

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