Students have 1 more shot at passing AIMS in July
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 9, 2005

Pat Kossan

Seniors who still haven't passed the AIMS high school exam by graduation day can take it again in July.

It would be the sixth time some members of the Class of 2006 get a crack at the exam they must pass to get a diploma.

About 24,000 of the state's 63,500 seniors have yet to pass all three sections of Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards. They had their fourth chance in October and are waiting for scores. Those who don't pass have one more chance this spring before graduation day.

Arizona schools chief Tom Horne said teachers and principals asked state officials to add the July exam.

"The summer administration will enable students to have a diploma in hand before beginning post-secondary school and career opportunities," Horne said.

Only those seniors who passed all their high school courses will be eligible to take the summer exam. Horne estimated that would be about 4,500 students.

The writing section will be offered July 11; reading July 12; and math July 13. It will be administered in at least four cities: Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Yuma. Other cities may be added, and exact locations are not yet settled.

Until testing begins, a federal judge could exempt students still struggling to learn English from the exit-exam mandate. Earlier this year, lawmakers passed legislation that will help some seniors add bonus points to their AIMS scores by completing high school courses. Some legislators continue to make noise about easing the exit-exam mandate, even killing it, when they gather in January. Horne said it's unlikely such legislation would pass, especially in time to apply to the Class of 2006.

"Their time was last year," Horne said about the lawmakers. "This issue is over."