What is summative testing, you ask? Arizona, like most states, participates in statewide standardized testing which takes place in the spring in public schools. In Arizona, the test is called AZMerit (formerly called AIMS), which tests the skills a scholar has in mathematics and English language arts (ELA). Public schools, including charter schools like GIA must distribute this test each year to measure growth and proficiency in both of these areas. Results are then collected by the State to determine a school letter grade. Standardized testing has long been protocol in states like Arizona.

During the Arizona Department of Education’s 2-day conference every year following testing, “…sessions presented by both national and local experts explore the deep connections at the district, school, and classroom level between the academic standards, Arizona’s state assessments, and accountability data.” Educators and school administrators take part in this conference to properly learn how to integrate the assessment results from earlier in the year to the upcoming school year.

Despite standardized testing being successful on a broad level, GIA recognizes the importance of measuring the whole scholar, meaning test more than just skills, but the content knowledge is all core areas: ELA, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics. GIA teaching teams are seeking to create a more comprehensive summative test, to test in more subjects than just math and ELA, since math and ELA are only two of the many subjects covered on a given day in the classroom at GIA. The GIA summative test will cover other subjects like Social Studies and Science and be distributed as two separate tests (the first being Math and Science, and the second being ELA and Social Studies). The hope is that by combining the new test with the standardized AZMerit test, GIA will be able to more accurately measure scholar success and integrate these results into our curriculum quicker and to a higher degree. 

At GIA, providing for the “whole scholar” is the top priority. Along with basic academic subjects, we offer daily PE class, Spanish/Art, SmallLab and FabLab learning spaces, and ThinkLaw mock trial as well as a lounge for middle school scholars…and so much more!

If you’re interested in learning more about summative statewide testing in Arizona, GIA’s unique testing, or anything else GIA has to offer, reach out to [email protected] and someone will be happy to chat with you.