State Board of Education selects new test

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX (AP) -- The state Board of Education has selected a Washington-based organization to provide Arizona's new test for assessing whether public school students' academic progress satisfies state standards.

The board on Monday held a special meeting to consider recommendations of a procurement official and later announced the selection of the nonprofit American Institutes for Research to provide the literacy and math test.

It's called AzMerit (a-z-merit), short for Arizona's Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching.

AzMerit will replace the current Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards, or AIMS.

The board says AIR already has delivered or is preparing assessments in 14 other states.

Along with assessing students' instructional progress, AzMerit will be a basis for assigning letter grades to schools.

Students are to start taking the new test next spring.

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