State Disbands AzMERIT; Focus Now Turns to ACTs


Nadine Loureiro

English teacher Penny Snyder interacting with her students.

Testing week is always difficult, for students and teachers alike, but the unexpected has occurred, a new chapter has now been opened, or to be more specific, a new test booklet.

AzMERIT is officially cancelled.

The feeling of shock and happiness seems to pierce everyone’s hearts, but leaves questions clouding their brains. Why was it cancelled? What test would replace it? Principal Dan Serrano answers these questions in a press conference that took place on September tenth, a monday morning.

“The district had an opportunity that we were going to use a different test, the ACT.” Serrano stated. “Which I think is a better test.” Along with the ACT, Serrano further notes that not only is the writing on demand here to stay, but “we’re going to utilize a district wide common final”, this is being done to see how Perry is doing compared to other schools in the nation.

With the AzMERIT, there were two types of students, those who did not take the AzMERIT seriously and those who did. The ones who did not take the AzMERIT seriously only did the bare minimum, which led them to not showing their true potential.

“I think one thing with the AzMERIT is there’s no consequence for not doing well. Aims there was, you didn’t graduate.” Serrano continued. “To me, it’s like saying go run the mile, but it doesn’t matter how fast you run.”

The Math Department Chair, Thomas Rothery, held a similar view. The AzMERIT math portion only tested students in Algebra 1 and 2 or Geometry. The students in higher math courses were not included in the test. “Therefore, the PHS community could never see how intelligent our students truly were in mathematics based on the AzMERIT exam.”

You may be bubbling the “yes” option when it comes to the question whether or not the AzMERIT cancellation is a good thing, but there are two sides to every story.

Kate Copic, the English Department Chair, has mixed emotions with whether or not the ACT will be a better test than the AzMERIT. The ACT is taken in junior year, so there is an absence of results in 9th, 10th, and 12th grade. “It’s difficult to know because we’re going to have less data now to make this decision, so I don’t know if it’s better or worse, I think it’s too soon to tell.”

Data seems to be a reoccurring issue when it comes to the two tests, the results are what show which areas need improvement and which reached a satisfactory level.

This new chapter in the world of testing could be a success or a downfall, or perhaps nothing will change at all. In the end, it depends on whose reading glasses you look through.


AIMS Science faces the same predicament as AzMERIT.


It’s been confirmed, this year’s biology students will not have to see the likes of the AIMS science test.

Up until 2015 when “education reforms” were put into action and almost all of the AIMS tests, with the exception of AIMS science, were replaced with the AzMERIT, a “more rigorous” test. This year the district opted to completely remove the last remnant of the AIMS era.

Just when students thought they had seen the last of the standardized science test, plans to replace it were confirmed. But the test will not be replaced the same way its fellow AIMS counterparts were.

Principal Serrano said instead of applying standardized testing that, “We’re going to see some changes in what we do to get prepared for the ACT test.”    

In the long run Perry wants to be able to take tests that can help compare its curriculum with other school and AIMS science appeared to be a dead weight. Even the biology chairman, Mr.Bell, thought the AIMS test was not a true measurement of science knowledge acquired throughout the school year.   

Overall the focus has been shifted towards the ACT and will give bio students the relief of one less test.