GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Ash Fork High School and almost the entire Williams Unified School District made significant gains in student passing percentages on the 2016 AzMerit test when compared to the 2015 results. The Arizona Department of Education released the final AzMerit statewide assessment for all Arizona schools Sept. 16.
The 2015-2016 AzMerit results showed marked improvement over the first year of testing for many rural schools in the Williams-Grand Canyon area.
Students in grades three through 12 took the tests in April and May of 2016 and results were distributed to schools in July of 2016. The tests assess the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards adopted by the Arizona State Board of Education in 2010 but only include the subjects of math and English-Language Arts (ELA).
Of Arizona’s 1.1 million students, 38 percent were proficient in both the math and ELA portions of the AzMerit. Those scores are up from the 34 percent passing rate for ELA and 35 percent passing for math in 2015.
Of the five local school districts in the Williams, Ash Fork, Grand Canyon and Parks areas, Ash Fork Unified School District had the highest passing percentages of the schools with 60 percent of the district passing the math portions of the test and 61 percent passing the ELA portions. Williams Unified School District and Maine Consolidated School District followed with 37 percent of Williams students and 38 percent of Maine students passing math and 39 percent of Williams and 38 percent of Maine students passing ELA. Grand Canyon Unified School District had 28 percent passing math and 28 percent passing ELA, and Heritage Charter School had 17 percent passing math and 35 percent passing ELA.
All five local elementary schools showed gains at the third grade level when compared to the 2015 test results.
The Williams-Grand Canyon area middle schools showed mixed results on the AzMerit test with most scores hovering around the state average. Maine School, Ash Fork, Heritage and Williams were at the top for percent passing although none of the schools matched both the math and ELA percent passing for the state. All three schools surpass FUSD schools. Williams, Grand Canyon, and Heritage were all far below the state average.
Ash Fork High School had the highest percent passing for both math and ELA for ninth, 10th and 11th graders when compared to other Williams-Grand Canyon area schools. For ELA, 60 percent of Ash Fork high school students passed the test. For math, 44 percent passed. These scores far surpassed the state averages of 31 and 33 and FUSD averages of 31 and 27 respectively.
Williams tenth graders led the three schools in Geometry with 40 percent passing the test. Ash Fork led the ELA results with 53 percent passing.
Grand Canyon 11th graders had the highest percent passing for Algebra II at 46 percent. Ash Fork led the ELA results with 45 percent passing. Williams math and ELA improved from 2015 but were still significantly lower than the state averages.