From: "B Irvin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 14:27:30 -0700

Dec. 7, 1999/ORP/730 Manzanita Dr./Apt.A/Globe, AZ 85501
Ben F. Irvin, Editor
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                 AIMS May Bring AIM
     The state of Arizona has began the count down to the year 2002; for in that year 
all Arizona public school seniors will have had to pass what is call the Arizona 
Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS).  The AIMS test is simply an achievement test 
that requires a high score to pass; or in Arizona's case, to graduate from high 
school. Regardless of a student's academic record or grade point average, if they do 
not meet "standards," they will not get a diploma and/or graduate.  If a student 
passes the test they will have the AIMS score attached to their diploma.
     Trial tests of the AIMS test has recently been given this Fall to all 10th. grade 
students (the first class to be victims).  Almost half of all Arizona students failed 
"to meet standards."  In the two largest schools on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, 
not a single Indian student passed.  Similar test results have been reported on all 
state Reservations.  As things now stand, in the year 2002 less than 5% of all 12th. 
grade Indian Seniors will be graduating. It should be noted that between Kindergarten 
and the 12th. grade over 60% of Arizona's Indian students drop out of school. Now, for 
the handful of Indian students left in the system their reward will be a non-degree.  
     It is desirable that all students be expected to meet or exceed high standards; 
however, the AIMS test is culturally biased.  It tests only those things that upper 
middle and high income Anglo-Saxons value:
English reading skills, math, science, and Anglo biased Social Studies.
For the tens of thousands of Indian children that use English as a second or third 
language the test is unfair.  What is needed in Arizona is a sincere attempt by the 
public schools to make the system more "user friendly" for Indian students. An example 
of what could be done is on the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory website: .  Much of the credit to this website needs to be given to 
Robey Clark.  Until, Arizona's Indian students are given the quality of education they 
deserve and a system that measures in part Indian values/cultures, the AIMS test 
should be either trashed or ignored. 
     Perhaps it is time for AIM to look at AIMS.  Comments by readers on the AIMS 
tests, or questions, would be appreciated.

Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine 
of international copyright law.
           Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)

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