Higher Standards & Smarter Tests

Higher Academic Standards

In 2010, educators, experts, and parents in Arizona came together to support higher learning standards for students—Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. Our state’s previous standards weren’t built to prepare students for college or the careers of today.

Almost 60% of Arizona’s high school seniors require costly remedial classes when they get to college, which means they aren’t getting what they need in high school. 61% of jobs in our state will require postsecondary education or training by 2018, but less than a quarter of Arizona’s adults hold a college degree.

Arizona’s academic standards cover thirteen academic content areas (see a handy graphic below), outlining what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. You might have heard of the Common Core – Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards incorporate those deeper learning expectations in math and English – and raise the bar for student success. The best part? Teachers across our state are already seeing the benefit of incorporating these higher expectations into their classrooms.

Learn what these standards mean for you and your child.

Smarter Tests

In November 2014, Arizona adopted a new statewide achievement test to measure whether or not students were meeting Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. That test, AzMERIT, is a smarter version of the test we’ve had in the past. This new test helps us to actually determine if our students are proficient in English language arts and math. It measures our students’ ability to think critically, problem-solve, and communicate. But this test is also more rigorous -- as are our state’s academic standards -- to ensure Arizona students are ready for college and career.

We’ve known for a long time that our students have not been prepared for college and career. For example, almost 60% of students in Arizona who enroll in a 2-year college program need remediation and aren’t ready for college-level material. A recent survey shows that less than 30% of employers say schools are adequately preparing students for the workplace today.

Find out more about this new, smarter test and what makes it better



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