High-Stakes Education Testing in Arizona

Education is the sphere of people’s lives, which allows people to get knowledge about the surrounding world and to become a deserved members of society. An educated society is a powerful society and this argument makes people improve and search for some new techniques in the educational sphere. The level of education at schools shows the number of qualified teachers and the level of education in the definite school. The quality of the school education may be easily checked using tests, which usually occur at the end of the educational year.

It is impossible to imagine modern schools without tests, which make sure that the education, which was implemented on students, was qualitative. The states of the country and different schools in the area have different test programs which guarantee to reflect the real students’ scope of knowledge. These tests have some differences, but the main feature is that without passing these tests students are unable to graduate from high school with the appropriate documents and to provide some other activities. Arizona State is not the exception; moreover, it has created the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS). This is the test system, which all students of Arizona schools have to pass.

Considering the test structure of AIMS, it was researched that the test comprises reading, writing, and mathematics tasks, which aimed to grade the skills of students in the named arias and to construct the teacher’s opinion about the work, which was provided by the student and whether it is possible for this student to go on the other grade. Arizona public schools provide such tests on the third, fifth, eighth, and high school grades. The AIMS test on the last stage allows students to get the diploma about their education (Visual representations, 2002).

The official site of the Arizona Department of Education (2008) contains the samples of the tests in the subjects, which are obligatory in the frameworks of the AIMS test. The mathematics tests contain simple tasks in addition and subtraction and more difficult tasks which require deeper knowledge in Mathematics and Geometry. The Reading assignment consists out of six different texts (prose and poetry are involved) and 27 questions (for 4 -5 questions per text).

The Writing task consists out of three stages, Prewriting/Planning, Draft, and Final Copy. The Prewriting/Planning stage contains the information about the very task, requirements to the final work, and its structure. This part of the task requires from students the outline and some sources which may be found by students. The Draft is the part where the student writes his assignment, using the previous information. The last stage is Final Copy, which should be perfect in mechanics, structure, and style as this mark is impossible to change.

So, after investigating the samples of the tests, which are offered in the frameworks of the AIMS in Arizona, it was proved that the test can check the knowledge of students adequately, as the assignment consists out of tasks of different complexity, so even the weakest students can answer at least some questions. The AIMS test in Arizona corresponds to the standards, which are provided by the country, and the results of these tests are acceptable in Universities and other educational establishments all over the world.

Reference List

Arizona Department of Education. Official site. (2008). Web.

Visual representations: the impact of a high-stakes test AIMS. (2002). Web.

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