Aims Graduation Test Should Be Eliminated

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by Don Bower

payson christian school board president

I have read the AIMS High School booklet called "Arizona's Instruments to Measure Standards." I must say that this is "college stuff" and should not be given to high school students. I must add that each person that has anything to do with this mess of information should have to take this test after the questions have been changed.

I must also say that I have three and a half years of college and a high school graduation diploma, so I am not ill-informed. Next, all of those college and university graduates in Arizona (will have to) take this test to keep their college or university degrees. I will tell you why.

In Santa Barbara, Calif., there is and was a State College, a branch of the University of California, Los Angeles. They decided to give the entrance exam to the graduating students just before they received their four-year degrees. Guess what happened? Well, the worst happened. Only about 20 percent passed the test.

What went wrong? Well, most students, when they get through a class, sell their book, trash all of their notes and ... forget what they have learned.

I was amused at the truth of this last statement. English lit. and American lit. and psychology and math including algebra, geometry and trig. I thought I was done with it. There were a few things that I remember, but that was all. Even Spanish, German and Greek are gone. I cannot remember the alphabets anymore. If you don't use it, it's gone.

After 40 years in the communication engineering field, and now for about six months as the president of the Payson Community Christian School Board, I could not pass this test. No way. If you look at some of the examples, they are wrong and misleading. Try to get the answers in the black book without looking.

How stupid (to tell an) "A" student in high school that if he or she cannot pass this test, (they won't) receive their diploma. Wrong! I hope there will be a hundred lawsuits against the State Board of Education and that all of the local school boards will rally around the changing or deletion of this horrible law.

I think everyone should let the board of education and our legislators know that it is wrong to put this kind of requirement on these graduates.

The board of education has gone way past its responsibility in all of this. School boards have too much to do to keep the students from leaving their school. This will force those slower students, or those not motivated enough, to be discouraged from trying or leave.

I hope you have received my intent. There is an old saying, "A word to the wise is sufficient, but a word to the otherwise is wasted."

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