The Casualities of the AIMS testing

Jan 27, 2007

As a teacher of math for the last six years on the rez, I have seen both the good and the bad consequences of AIMS in my classroom. I do like the fact that when I get up to teach a lesson, I can give the students that added motivation to get the concept, and I have had the satisfaction last year of seeing 70 percent of my students pass.

The student that bothers me is the one who, just can't seem to "get it." I have had friends like that who were still gifted creatively but whose left brain was not set up for algebra or the harder geometric concepts.

I have heard the pendulum of political opinion swing back and forth on this matter and I have hoped all the while that somehow common sense would prevail, but now I see the state (Mr. Horn) will be only giving diplomas to students with passing scores.

To me, a stamp that certifies a certain level math attainment on the diploma would suffice without letting off the hook accountability-wise, an educational system that is tied with Mississippi for last place. (Mississippi is one of the poorest states. What's Arizona's excuse?)

Teaching on the rez, I deal with the AIMs test as a necessary minimum, but still those students who try so hard (about 5-10 percent) but who just can't get it, stay in my mind, and I feel bad for them.

Cliff Alexander

Math Teacher

TCUSD, Tuba City

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