Originally Published: November 19, 2001 6 p.m.
PRESCOTT – Third-grade readers led the pack of Prescott Unified School District high achievers in a recent comparison of 2000 and 2001 AIMS spring testing results.
Linda Ryan, curriculum and testing coordinator, said Lincoln and Taylor Hicks elementary students, who are now fourth graders, did the best, with 95 percent of them meeting or exceeding Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards in that subject this year. In 2000, their numbers were 86 percent and 87 percent, respectively.
This year's percentages in reading for other PUSD third-graders are, Abia Judd, 94 percent this year, 87 percent in 2000; Washington Traditional School, 91 percent, the same as this past year; and Miller Valley Elementary, 79 percent vs. 90 percent in 2000.
The district average for this year rose to 91 percent, two more points than this past year and 20 points above the state average.
"That's the area I'm most proud of," said Ryan. "It's a function of our teachers' instruc-tion and our students' hard work."
In math, 76 percent of the third-graders met or exceeded the standards this year, up from 62 percent in 2000. Across the state, 52 percent of third-graders met or exceeded the standards this year, up from 47 percent in 2000.
Ryan said local third-grade percentages "showed lots of promise," with Taylor Hicks gaining 21 points over the 57 percent it posted in 2000.
The other four schools had gains, too, with Lincoln students being the math champs at 85 percent, up 15 points from this past year. Washington Traditional was one point behind with 84, up 11 points over its 2000 tally. Abia Judd posted 78 percent, up 16 points, and Miller Valley was steady at 58 percent.
The district math average for third-graders was 76 percent, up 14 points over this past year and 24 points above this year's state average.
PUSD's fifth-grade percentage in reading was 78, a drop of eight points from 2000, but still 23 points higher than the state average. Seventy-three percent of PUSD fifth-graders met or exceeded math standards, up 13 percent from their 2000 tally and 28 points above this year's state average.
Depending on school, the percentage of eighth-graders who passed reading and math rose or fell.
At Granite Mountain Middle School, 77 percent met or exceeded reading standards, while 41 percent mastered math.
At Prescott Mile High Middle School, 60 percent met or exceeded reading standards, but only 14 percent passed the AIMS math test.
Ryan said Mile High teacher turnover and other factors contributed to the lackluster math score, which is eight points lower than in 2000.
"Our goal is to help Mile High teachers increase their eighth-grade math scores," Ryan said. One method would be to align AIMS blueprints with textbooks, something Ryan said Granite Mountain teachers have already done.
Ryan noted that the district's eighth-grade math average is 27 percent, seven points lower than 2000 but 12 points higher than the state 2001 math average of 15 percent.
At Prescott High, the percentage of 10th-graders who met or exceeded the math standards was up 22 points, to 51 percent. That's 20 points higher than the state average.
"We're especially proud of their achievement," Ryan said. "It's a tough test, really 12th-grade math, and our students and teachers are showing nice gains."
Eighty-six percent of Prescott High's 10th-graders met or exceeded writing standards, and 82 percent mastered reading.
That represents a gain of three points over 2000 in writing, and a drop of 1 percent in reading. The state average this year in writing is 68 percent, and reading, 67 percent.
According to Ryan, all district principals have received lists of student scores in math and reading. For more information, call your child's school.
At press time, the Arizona Department of Education had not released some of this year's AIMS writing scores or sent individual student reports for parents to schools. Local officials expect them any day.
Contact Louise Koniarski at email@example.com