Stanford 9 test scores on slow rise in Arizona
The Arizona Republic
August 9, 2002
Arizona schoolkids continued their slow climb to the national average in
reading, math and language skills, according to the 2002 Stanford 9 test scores
Most overall statewide scores jumped a point or two over last year, with the
highest gains in math.
"For a body as large as a state, a move up is significant if it's a 2-percentile
point increment or more," state Assistant School Superintendent David Garcia
Sixth-graders earned the state's highest score with a 65 in math, 15 points
higher than the national average of 50; the most disappointing news came from
ninth-graders, whose reading scores have remained at 43 since 1997.
"To remediate a student at that age who can't read is an extremely difficult
thing to do," Garcia said.
The test is taken by second- through ninth-graders each spring. This year, for
the first time, students just learning English took the test in English, but
their scores were not averaged in with state results.
Testing experts caution parents not to assume that the scores, high or low,
truly reflect a child's progress or a school's quality. Parents need to visit
the school and examine what's being taught, said Jeanne Miyaska of WestEd, an
education research laboratory. "A parent ought to get beyond a single test score
before they make a judgment," Miyaska said. "When you look at a score in a
newspaper, it's difficult to interpret what's going on at the school."
The state will use Stanford 9 scores as part of a formula to determine if a
school will be labeled in October as excelling, maintaining, improving or
Dropout and graduation rates and the state's AIMS test scores also will be part
of the criteria.