AZMerit Is Not So Unique After All

AZMerit AZ Daily Independent

 AZMerit’s “uniquely Arizona” practice tests not so unique after all by Brad McQueen —Arizona Daily Independent

“The Arizona Department of Education announced to great fanfare that it has now created unique practice tests for our ‘uniquely Arizona’ Common Core statewide test, the AZMerit, which is being administered by the testing company A.I.R.

Teachers, students, and parents alike have been complaining that no practice tests existed as an aid to prepare for the AZMerit since it was hastily adopted just two months ago.  As a result, the Department of Education instructed Arizona teachers to use Utah’s Common Core practice tests until they could develop uniquely Arizona AZMerit Common Core practice tests.

Sounds like the AZMerit people and the Arizona Department of Education staff spent many sleepless nights working on these ‘uniquely Arizona’ practice tests to help Arizona’s kids and educators prepare for our ‘uniquely Arizona’ Common Core test, huh?

Not so fast.  Our AZMerit practice tests for 5th grade is identical to Utah’s Common Core practice test.  Utah’s Common Core test is called the SAGE test, which stands for the Student Assessment for Growth and Excellence, and is also being created by A.I.R. the same testing company that administers our Common Core test AZMerit.

Oh, and by the way, our AZMerit practice tests for 5th grade is also identical to Florida’s Common Core practice test.  Floridians will take the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) also created and administered by the testing company A.I.R.

The testing company A.I.R. (American Institutes for Research) was belatedly awarded the contract for our statewide test which not only replaces the AIMS test but also assesses Arizona’s newly implemented federal Common Core standards…

…  A.I.R. also administers the Smarter Balanced Test (SBAC).  One requirement for getting federal stimulus money in 2009 was that Arizona and 46 other states had to join at least one of two Common Core testing consortiums which would create the test to assess the new Common Core learning standards…

…We are are all so sick of the Common Core double talk coming from testing companies, the Department of Education, and their education industrial complex enablers.  Arizona deserves more transparency and honesty from the Department of Education at long last. ”

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