Arizona Students Bomb Standardized Science and Writing Tests

About half of Arizona students failed their yearly science and writing tests, which are given to gauge their understanding of subjects.

The Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test is distributed each year to students in grades 3 through 8 and to 10th graders as well.

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"Our writing and science test results are a wakeup call. It is unacceptable that over 40 percent of our students cannot test at a minimum AIMS standard in writing and science," says Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.

Only 61 percent of students passed the 2013 math portion of the test, and 78 percent passed reading.

The grotesque state of the state's education is due to many factors, but many people have cited the conservative budget-balancing techniques utilized throughout the years.

A recent study found Arizona has cut education spending nearly 22 percent from 2008 to 2013, and listed Arizona as the worst in the nation for under-funding education.

In fact, Education Week ranks Arizona as 44th in the nation overall for its lack of focus on education. Arizona placed 48th in the study's "Chance-for-Success Index," which examines the role education plays in students' lives as they move through school, into college and work.

The same study gave Arizona teachers a D- in its "Teaching Profession" category, which was the lowest grade passed out in that field.

So not only are students nearly failing and politicians stripping schools of funding, but the teachers responsible for educating underachieving youth collectively have been ranked only slightly wiser than that one senior in your freshman chemistry class who was taking it for the third year in a row.

But we guess that in a state where the governor needs to sound out the words scrolling across her teleprompter, the sky -- or the governor's mansion -- is the limit.

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Weston Phippen
Contact: Weston Phippen