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'A wake-up call': Report cards for schools show failures statewide

'A wake-up call': Report cards for schools show failures statewide

By Kevin Keen. CREATED Aug 1, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A report card on the first day of school? Students didn't earn this one. Schools did, and the state superintendent said the new individual school grades hold a "wakeup call" for Arizona.

The Department of Education made public the listing of the letter grades -- A through F -- that every public school earned this year. The grades are based in part each school’s AIMS standardized tests scores.
Statewide, more than 78 percent of test-taking kids passed the reading section, according to the department, and 61 percent passed math.
Only 57 percent passed the science section and 56 percent passed the writing, the department reported.
Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called those results a "wakeup call," essentially calling the rates unacceptable.
Parents across the state wanted to see their school's report card Thursday.
 “I think there has to be a measure on everything,” said mom Karla Orozco. “They have to keep close eye on how schools are doing.”
Orozco has a child at TUSD's Booth-Fickett Magnet School, which earned a C.
“Ouch,” she said right after learning the grade. “I was expecting something higher. It's something that you go by as parents.”
The grades vary widely within some districts and Southern Arizona.
Vail School District’s Ocotillo Ridge Elementary earned an A. The district scored very well.
“That's why we chose this district and this school,” said Heather Bersback, a parent at the school.
“Certainly principals care about it,” added Jennifer Holt, principal at Ocotillo Ridge. “We work really hard to be proactive.”
The education department reported 300 schools statewide upped their grade from last year.
But the organization Expect More Arizona pointed out "... approximately 4 out of 10 of our schools received a grade of a C or D this year, which means that too many of our children in Arizona are still struggling to succeed."
A complete list of the letter grades is online. Click to download the spreadsheet then you can search for your school’s name within the document.
More detailed information is also online, listing the AIMS test results by grade, school, district, charter and county.