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 ATI Home >> Galileo K‑12 Online >> ATI Supports Districts and Charters Transitioning to AzMERIT 


Galileo K-12 Online

ATI Supports Districts and Charters Transitioning to AzMERIT


ATI continues to support districts and charters transitioning from Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to Arizona's Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching (AzMERIT) as the statewide assessment for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Following are answers to some of the most frequently asked transition questions. For further information about AzMERIT, the Arizona Department of Education AzMERIT website has many resources. For information on how we can support and help in preparing students for AzMERIT, contact ATI.

What is AzMERIT?

The Arizona State Board of Education selected AzMERIT as the new statewide assessment to measure student ability in ELA and math. Arizona partnered with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to develop tests unique to Arizona. At this time, AIMS remains the instrument for statewide assessment of student capabilities in science.

How is AzMERIT different from the AIMS test?

AzMERIT and AIMS assessments differ in part because they are each aligned to different sets of standards. AzMERIT assessments are being created in alignment with the Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards (AZCCRS) adopted in 2010 and AIMS assessments are aligned to Arizona Academic Content Standards originally adopted in 1998. The assessments also differ in method of administration. AzMERIT will provide offline and online administration in spring 2015 to be followed by primarily online administration in subsequent years while AIMS delivery has been offline. This difference creates both a different assessment environment and different item type options. These differences also create a need for students to develop additional test-taking skills. Because the content standards on which the assessments are based differ, it is expected that the reporting of assessment results will also differ and in ways not yet specified.

How is ATI supporting the transition to AzMERIT?

ATI has approached support for districts and charters transitioning to AzMERIT in a number of ways. One of these ways is through the creation of assessment items aligned to AZCCRS and, in many instances, reflective of the technology enhanced items planned for the online testing environments by AIR and others. ATI has also developed a digital curriculum platform that will support districts and charters as they move toward the integration of instruction and assessment called for in current best practices approaches to education. Instructional Dialogs in the digital curriculum platform provide a place for students to respond to new technology-enhanced item types and to develop expanded test taking skills. Additionally, ATI has created district-wide assessments aligned to published AzMERIT blueprints and to district pacing guides. In 2014-15 virtually all Galileo benchmark and instructional effectiveness assessments in ELA and math being administered are aligned to the AZCCRS. Assessments aligned to AzMERIT blueprints will be available for administration this spring. For the 2015-16 academic year, ATI will further refine the Arizona premade assessments to reflect AzMERIT assessments.

How does the transition to AzMERIT impact measurement of growth?

The implementation of the AzMERIT assessment is not expected to significantly affect measurement of expected growth. ATI recommends the continued use of growth reports for guiding instruction.

How is forecasting affected by the transition to AzMERIT?

Because at this time there is no data available regarding student performance on AzMERIT assessments, it is not yet possible to know its relationship to other measures such as past AIMS tests that might play a role in forecasting. Thus, the implementation of AzMERIT may or may not affect forecasts of student performance on statewide assessments.


Forecasting requires information regarding the comparability of student performance across years. Beyond 2015, the necessary information is likely to be available in order to support the charting of progress from one year to the next. Currently available information is believed to be insufficient to ensure effective forecasting in 2015.


Although it is not possible at this time to determine the effect on forecasting of the transition to AzMERIT, it is likely that current forecasting estimates will continue to be of value. Thus, ATI suggests the use of forecasting reports. For example, it may be wise to consider intervention for students at all risk-level classifications, including those classified as On Course. Using the content recommended in reports such as the Group Benchmark Profile drilldown from the Aggregate Multi-Test Report, or the Instruction Performance Tracker on the Galileo Teaching Dashboard can guide these focused interventions. Focused intervention efforts should improve the probability of student success, regardless of decisions made by the state regarding cut points for student performance level classifications on the AzMERIT assessment.

When will the test be given?

AzMERIT will be administered the spring of 2015. Online testing is slated for March 30 - May 8, 2015 and paper-based testing is slated for April 13-24, 2015.


We look forward to working together to ensure successful performance by district and charter students. 

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