Student takes AIMS test 11 times, says new requirements unfair

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Many former high school students are outraged that the AIMS test is no longer a graduation requirement.

One of those students is a young woman who had to take the test 11 times. Taylor Lyons says she had no trouble passing the English and writing portions of the exam, but math had her number.

"I tried my hardest to get through it," Lyons says. "I sacrificed my electives, my fun time."

Lyons says that while the rest of her 2012 classmates were preparing to don their caps and gowns, she was preparing for the AIMS exam over and over again. It would take her 18 months after her original graduation date before she finally passed the test.

She left Mesa High School and enrolled in a nearby charter school where they offered an AIMS math prep class. "I didn’t quit," Lyons says. "I kept going to high school. I kept doing what I had to do."

Last week, the state eliminated the AIMS testing requirements just days before the exam was going to be administered. School districts like Phoenix Union began clamoring to determine how many students are now eligible for diplomas.

District spokesperson Craig Pletenik says they are advising former students to contact schools and credentials clerks to determine whether they are now going to receive a diploma.

When Lyons heard that other students would not have to meet the same requirements she did, she was outraged. "I sacrificed," Lyons says. "It's unfair because now they’re just getting things handed to them."