Chino Valley students' AIMS scores<BR>above average
CHINO VALLEY – The Chino Valley Unified School District has a lot to brag about when it comes to the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test. The district scored above the average state score in almost every area.
District Superintendent Linda Nelson said the way the students performed impressed her.
One reason the district performs so well on the AIMS test, Nelson said, is because all of the district's school principals have been at their jobs for at least three years. She said for necessary reforms to take place, the schools must have stability.
One area that gives Arizona high school students the most difficulty is math, and Chino Valley High School students also had their lowest scores in that area. Nelson noted that the state is bringing in an expert to review the math section.
"It does look like there is a discrepancy between the math scores on AIMS and the Stanford 9 test, so it should be looked at," she said. "I know that our 10th graders do better on other math tests, such as Stanford 9.
"Some adjustments will take place, but we can't punish the kids for that," she said in reference to making AIMS a high school graduation requirement. The Arizona Department of Education apparently agrees with her, as it has postponed the graduation requirement until the year 2006.
Nelson said AIMS is a good idea, but most states that implemented a statewide test experienced problems with trying to do it too soon and had to delay using the test for graduation purposes – and Arizona is no different.
Nelson said adequate money remains a concern, because having the tools to prepare for AIMS has a cost.
As the state Legislature considers statewide cutbacks because of lack of sales tax revenue, Nelson said she is glad to hear that Gov. Jane Hull would not allow educational cutbacks.
Nelson credits state Reps. Henry Camarot, D-Prescott, and Tom O'Halleran, R-Village of Oak Creek, as well as state Sen. Ken Bennett, R-Prescott, with listening to the school districts' concerns about educational financing.