What are AASA and AzSCI?
Arizona's Academic Standards Assessment
(AASA) is an annual statewide assessment that measures how students are performing in English language arts (ELA) and math. AzSCI
is the assessment that is used for science. Assessments can be effective tools to support your child's learning. They can tell you and your child's teacher if your child is on track to succeed or if he/she needs to spend additional time learning a topic.
Who takes AASA and AzSCI?
Students in 3rd through 8th grade will take AASA in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. AzSCI will be administered to students in 5th, 8th and 11th grades in the 2022-2023 school year.
What is ACT and who takes it?
ACT is an assessment that can be used to help students enter college, in addition to serving as our assessment for high schools. ACT is taken by 11th grade students.
What if my child is absent during the testing?
Each school will have makeup days. Please avoid making doctor, dental or other such appointments on testing days, and do not pull your children out of class unless it is an emergency. Once a test is started, the child must finish or risk having to leave sections blank.
How are AASA and AzSCI assessments graded?
All of the test items are reviewed and approved by Arizona educators. That review includes confirming the answer key for items and any scoring rubrics. Items that require hand scoring are scored by trained scorers using the appropriate scoring rubric.
When are the test results being released?
School districts generally receive copies of each student's family score report at the end of May to early June, and we plan for the individual reports to be ready for parents to pick up before the start of the school year.
What is Move on When Reading (MOWR)?
Move On When Reading is a state law that says a student may not be promoted from third grade to fourth grade if the student is reading at a much lower level than is expected of a third grader. A student's reading level is determined using the AASA ELA assessment. More details about a student's performance on these two areas can be found on the back of the family score report.
Schools and districts will notify parents at the earliest indication that a student is not reading at grade level. Therefore, if your child's score report shows that he or she did not pass the Move on When Reading requirement, you most likely will have already received a letter or other form of communication from the school. If you are worried about your child's reading ability, you should speak directly with his or her teacher to learn more.
Most schools and districts included a message for parents on end-of-year report cards of third grade students explaining that promotion to fourth grade is dependent upon the student's final AASA reading scores. Parents with students identified as not meeting the MOWR requirement will be notified this summer, after districts and schools review their students' raw scores.
If your child did not meet the requirement on last year's test, there are a variety of services that may be available to provide the necessary support to help your child catch up.
It's important to note that some students are exempt from the law, including certain English Language Learners (ELLs), students with individual education plans, students in the process of a special education evaluation, or students diagnosed with a significant reading impairment, including dyslexia.
How do assessments help students succeed?
Standardized assessments are like annual checkups—opportunities to find out how your child is doing. Just as doctors check height and weight, teachers use the assessments to check how your child is performing in subjects. The information from these tests will provide the constant, objective measure you can track over the course of your child's education.
What does AASA mean for students?
AASA goes beyond multiple choice questions to provide a better indicator of what students have learned during the school year. Students will have a chance to show their critical-thinking skills by applying concepts and showing deeper understanding of a topic.
Will my high school student need to pass ACT to graduate?
Students are NOT required to pass the assessment for graduation. Beginning with the class of 2017, all students need to pass a civics test for graduation.
What are the benefits of these assessments?
The assessment results provide teachers, parents and students with valuable information about how students are doing and if they are prepared for the next grade and eventually for college and career. Students should use the test as an opportunity to check on their progress without the anxiety of needing to pass to graduate.
What if my child is not a good test taker?
Your child's school and teacher can provide suggestions for helping your child successfully know and demonstrate his or her understanding of the state standards, which is what the AASA, AzSCI and ACT tests are based on. Throughout the school year, there are many ways teachers assess how students are doing in their classroom, including classwork, homework, quizzes, projects, and teacher and counselor observations about your child's growth. The results from AASA, AzSCI and ACT should be used along with all of this information to ensure your child is on track to succeed.
How can I help prepare my child for these assessments?
At the beginning of the school year or semester, set shared goals with your child's teacher for what your child needs to know and be able to do during this school year. Check in regularly on your child's progress to see where your child might need help.
Talk with your child about the test—your conversations can help minimize any fear or anxiety your child may feel when taking the test this spring. You can also take practice AASA and ACT tests at home to help your child prepare. For AASA, visit the TestNav portal, select Arizona and click on "Mic Check and Sample Tests." Practice ACT tests are also available through TestNav.