Arizona Board of Education Certifies New AzMERIT Exams

Published: Friday, August 14, 2015 - 6:34pm
Updated: Monday, August 17, 2015 - 8:54am
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The Arizona State Board of Education has certified the results of this year’s new AzMERIT exams. Those are the tests aligned with the new College and Career Ready Standards, known nationwide as Common Core.

Education officials said the results are alarming, but expected.

That’s been the reaction to the results that show two-thirds of students around the state failed to meet the new proficiency standards from this year’s AzMERIT exams.

Patricia Tate is Supervisor of Phoenix’s Osborne School District. She spoke to the State Board of Education, urging them to certify the results.

"If we want our students to be globally competitive, and for Arizona to be the best to live and do business, then we should embrace these results,” Tate said.

Board member Roger Jacks ultimately agreed, but not before reminding attendees of the other major issues facing Arizona educators.

“The standards definitely are a step, but other things that are affecting schools are the recruiting and retention of teachers that we need to solve, and funding for education,” Jacks said.

In the end, the board unanimously approved adopting the stricter new standards, meaning officially now that 67 percent of the state’s public school students failed to meet the AzMERIT mark.