Tucson district says AIMS test won't keep grads away
Associated Press
May 22, 2008


TUCSON- More than a dozen Amphitheater Public School District students in Tucson will be allowed to graduate this week despite failing the state AIMS test.
Amphi was the only local school district initially to exclude seniors from graduation if students could not augment their AIMS scores to passing levels.
At the Capitol last week, the Legislature passed a bill allowing seniors to use good grades in English, math, science and social studies to boost their AIMS scores, short for Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards.
The bill does not take effect until September.
Todd Jaeger, Amphi's associate to the superintendent, previously had said AIMS was a graduation requirement and the district had decided to comply with it.
But an impassioned plea by the mother of the only student at Canyon del Oro High School who was in the situation of not passing AIMS without the Legislature's augmentation law prompted district officials to reconsider and let the young man walk with his class Tuesday night.
The decision also affects 12 students at Amphitheater High, which will hold graduation ceremonies Thursday.
"Ultimately, while we still feel very strongly about students meeting requirements for graduation whatever they are we also felt the Legislature had put us in a bad predicament and had put the families in a bad predicament," Jaeger said. "They hang this carrot in front of the students and say, try to reach it, and when they do, they say, oh, but wait for 90 days," he said.
Amphi had initially decided that students in augmentation limbo would be allowed to graduate in September.
But the district reconsidered because it's been an issue for a year since the old law expired, Jaeger said. "We decided if we were going to err, we would err in favor of the students."