Students Struggle To Pass Aims Math

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Among the 221 students in the Payson High School junior class there are 49 who have not yet passed any of the three sections of the test.

Only 14 of those, however, are regular education students. The others are either enrolled in special education or English Language Learners classes.

ELL courses are for students who come from homes where English is not the primary language spoken.

A certainty at PHS and around the state, is that the biggest hurdle to passing the test is the math section.

Myers estimated about 70 PHS juniors still need to pass the math.

Junior Tim Dixon is among those who passed the math test the first time he took it.

"I aced it," he said.

Other students who have taken the math test, said it was difficult, irrelevant to their lives and covered material they hadn't studied.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne announced last week that only about half of Arizona's students have cleared the AIMS math requirement for graduation. He estimated there are about 37,000 students in the state who have yet to pass the test.

Students who do not pass all sections of the test -- reading, writing and math -- are in danger of not graduating in the spring of 2006.

Those juniors who have not yet passed have three more opportunities to retake the test. The next chance will be in mid-February.

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