Should there be an AZMerit Test this year?

Connor Graf, Staff Writer

This year has been a very tough year for almost everyone. School has just been very different than previous years. To be honest it kind of hurts me to be even writing this, knowing it’s still on the table that the state department of education is still planning on having Az merit this year. It just doesn’t make sense.


First, it would be very difficult to set up because so many students are online. Doing Az merit online at home would be very easy to cheat on. This year the tests won’t impact school grades because Gov. Ducey agreed to suspend school grades for another year during this pandemic, but the state still wants the data from the tests. With this much meaning on the test,  how will that work? Will students take it at home where they can cheat on it, or would virtual students be “forced” to come into school to take it. If at home, students would not be able to ask the teacher any questions. Also, if there are any malfunctions with AZMerit when online, there would be nobody there to help you out and fix the issue. If at school, don’t count on too many students coming into school to take a test that has no impact on them. 


My guess is that teachers won’t be too upset either if the AZMerit test is not administered this year. How could they possibly be as successful this year compared to every other year. It’s not fair to the students, but it’s also not fair to judge the schools and their teachers based on this test in the current situation.


Another reason why I believe that we shouldn’t have AZMerit is just because of how uncomfortable it would be. Imagine being in a classroom for hours straight, no breaks to take off your mask. Also you have to wait for everyone to be done with their test to get a mask break outside, so it’s not about when you finish. I just feel like when districts or teachers put out a test, they tell you to like being in a good testing environment, but this is not a good testing environment. 


Maybe the most important reason to shelf the AzMerit test this year is it has been a rough year for a lot of students and no need to stress them out with another test which is basically meaningless this year. AZMerit is being replaced soon and everyone should be able to agree that it just doesn’t make sense in the current situation students and teachers are in. I understand how it is a very necessary test, but I do not think it’s necessary for this year in particular.


If the AIA can change their mind with the flip of a coin, maybe the state department of education can too.