AZ Merit Exam results show AZ students are lacking

Students will be working throughout the year to prepare for the "AZ Merit" exam.

That's the test that replaced the AIMS test.

Last year was the first time students took the test, and the results were not good.

The test was designed to measure student learning and progress towards readiness for college or career.

Some 750,000 students took the test last year, and the preliminary results are disappointing.

They show that Arizona students in grades 3-12 are not proficient in English and Math.

It's not shocking says one valley mom, who blames it on the states lack of education funding.

"Absolutely, we get what we pay for, you pay for nothing you get nothing," said Cindy Rogers.

Rogers has a 4th and 6th grader in elementary school and says the low scores do not surprise her.

Pearl Esau of Expect More Arizona hopes parents and the community will see the low test scores as an opportunity to push forward. Arizona Merit was a new test for students, some say the bar has been raised.

"This year was the first year they took a new test and it measures different things, because we're now more focused on critical thinking, and we're focused on problem-solving skills that students need to be successful," said Pearl Chang Esau.

Esau says we shouldn't be afraid of what the test results show. She says Arizona needed to raise the bar, and she views the results as an opportunity.

"This is a change we need to embrace, our kids are going to have jobs that don't even exist today, that means education needs to teach kids to be critical thinkers, they need to be able to adapt, and that requires a different approach," said Esau.

Arizona parents can start looking for their childs individual test scores in the mail starting in October.