/ Modified aug 4, 2014 3:01 p.m.

3 Pima County Districts in State’s Top 10 School Systems

AZ Department of Education releases letter grades, AIMS results; statewide, little gain in student performance.



The Arizona Department of Education released test results and letter grades for schools across the state, and while schools were declared to be "doing quite well," student test scores were flat.

“The majority of Arizona schools are doing quite well,” said John Huppenthal, superintendent of public instruction.

About 65 percent of schools received a grade of A or B, Huppenthal said.

Letter grades are based on AIMS test results and student academic growth from year to year, along with points for reductions in dropout rates and English Language Learner reclassifications, according to the Department of Education.

Vail Unified School District, on Tucson's southeast side, was the highest-ranking district in Southern Arizona and third statewide.

Catalina Foothills Unified also received an A grade and placed fourth in the state.

Tanque Verde Unified was the third school district in Pima County in the top 10, at seventh. Benson was Southern Arizona's highest-ranking school district in 2013, and it fell to 10th statewide and fourth regionally this year.

Tucson’s largest school district, Tucson Unified, scored about the same in 2014 as in the previous year, with most of its schools earning Bs and Cs.

About a dozen schools improved one or two letter grades, while about the same number took a step back, “which is why I say we maintained,” said H.T. Sanchez, TUSD’s superintendent.

The last academic year was the first for Move On When Reading, legislation that holds back third-grade students who can’t read at third grade level.

“This year only 600 students could potentially repeat the third grade, showing a dramatic increase in third grade literacy,” according to the state Department of Education's press release.

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