Arizona schools falling short in national measurement

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Time is ticking away for school districts in Arizona.

The government program No Child Left Behind lays out the expectation all students are proficient in reading and math by the year 2014.

But in Arizona, new numbers show more schools fall short.

Standardized testing is a controversial way to measure student success.

"Anytime you have one test, you're going to have concerns about the validity of the approach," said Todd Jaeger from the Amphitheater School District.

But AIMS results are a major piece of Adequate Yearly Progress.

AYP is a federal accountability measure that factors in, percentage of students tested, attendance and graduation rates.  All that together, gives the final result, a simple yes or no officials use to determine whether schools are making progress.

The problem is, this year's results aren't good.

"It gives a false impression of what is happening in our schools," said Frances Banales from the Tucson Education Association.

Locally, only 56% of Tucson area districts met the standard, down from 64% last year.

But folks at Tucson's Education Association blame constantly raising standards.

"Realistic, no absolutely not," said Banales.

Educators say that's because every student is different, and under the current system, when one group of students fail, their entire school comes up short in the rankings.

"It makes sense in the sense that wee need to care about every child's performance," said Jaeger.

Everyone agrees No Child Left Behind needs reform, but with lawmakers busy dealing in D.C.  No one is holding their breath for anything, anytime soon.

Some local districts' results are better than others.  Fifteen of Amphitheater's 20 schools, met AYP's standards.

Arizona schools falling short in national measurement