AzMerit scores plummet across the board for southern Arizona schools

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:36 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The official AzMerit scores were released to the public Friday, Aug. 27.

As expected, there was a huge drop in scores across the board and the pandemic is likely to blame.

According to the Arizona Department of Education, the English language arts (ELA) scores dropped 4% and the math scores fell 11%.

“COVID-19 significantly impacted students and families, and scores reflect the challenging learning environments many students faced,” the ADE said in a news release. “Statewide, 38% of students passed the ELA section, and 31% passed the mathematics section.”

Each of the top 10 school districts in southern Arizona saw drops except Tanque Verde USD (2% increase in ELA score) and Sahuarita USD (no change in ELA score).

School districts got a look at their preliminary results in the last few weeks and most saw a dramatic drop in the scores.

In April 2021, testing began for third, eighth and 10th graders at public and charter schools as mandated by Arizona law. But due to the pandemic, school districts will not face penalties and individual schools will not be graded.

The AZMerit is now known as AzM2, but that will change next year. In April 2020, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted new assessments to “better measure students’ proficiency and college and career readiness.”

Starting in 2022, grades third through eight will take a test developed by NCS Pearson. High school students will be given the ACT, but school districts will be able to supplant it with the SAT. For more on the new test, go HERE.

You can see the complete results at

2021 AZMerit Scores For Southern Arizona’s Top 10 School Districts

District2019 ELA2021 ELAPercent Change2019 Math Score2021 MathPercent Change
Tucson USD32% passed23% passed9% decrease30% passed14% passed16% decrease
Amphi Public Schools44% passed40% passed4% decrease42% passed32% passed10% decrease
Sunnyside USD26% passed15% passed11% decrease28% passed9% passed19% decrease
Flowing Wells USD41% passed29% passed12% decrease40% passed23% passed17% decrease
Marana USD39% passed37% passed2% decrease40% passed31% passed9% decrease
Vail USD63% passed56% passed7% decrease66% passed51% passed15% decrease
Tanque Verde USD60% passed62% passed2% increase55% passed41% passed14% decrease
Sahuarita USD45% passed45% passedNo change41% passed32% passed9% decrease
Catalina Foothills USD66% passed63% passed3% decrease67% passed55% passed12% decrease
Nogales USD36% passed23% passed13% decrease36% passed12% passed24% decrease

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