Results for Arizona's new standardized test show that many students failed to show proficiency in math and English.

Many say that was expected because this was the first year that AzMerit, the school's new test, was implemented.

Only 34 percent of all students passed the English test, while 35 percent passed the math one.

The data was released by the Arizona Department of Education on Monday.

Spokesman Charles Tack said the results showed trends seen in past tests that reveal minority and low-income students fare the worst.

Ruth Tomlinson / Robert Harding Picture Library /Aurora Photos

The Grand Canyon wants to change the way backcountry areas are managed as more outdoor enthusiasts take to the park's open spaces, with proposals that would require hikers using the most popular inner-canyon trails to spend a few dollars on a permit.


Millions of people visit the Grand Canyon each year, taking in the sweeping views from developed areas where they can stroll along the rim, grab a bite to eat and hop on a shuttle bus to other outlooks. Far fewer people venture into the 1.1 million acres that make up the backcountry, including trails below the canyon rim.

Melissa Sevigny

The first comprehensive study in decades of the world’s aquifers found that most groundwater doesn’t renew itself in the span of a human lifetime.

Dan Ruby, University of Nevada, Reno

Rollie-polies, book lice and bugs called springtails are among the 10 newly discovered insects that live only on the remote Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. Northern Arizona University Ecologist Jut Wynne and his colleagues found eight of these creatures. They're eking out an existence in the limited entrances and skylights of caves.

Earth Notes: The Southwest’s Nutritional Wonder Tree

Nov 25, 2015

It's tough, spare, and spiny, but the common mesquite tree is a nutritional wonder of the Southwest. 

Federal officials have reached a settlement with a natural gas company over the costs of field work at abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

Under the settlement announced Monday, El Paso Natural Gas Company LLC must repay the government about $500,000. The company is the corporate successor to former uranium mine operators near Cameron from 1952 to 1961.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working to identify parties responsible for hazardous or potentially hazardous waste.


Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are among those set to testify about border drug trafficking at a field hearing of a U.S. Senate committee in Phoenix.

Ducey is expected to outline his new efforts to use state police to beef up border security during Monday's Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. The Republican governor has ordered the Department of Public Safety to create a strike force to aid federal, county and local law enforcement in addressing drug trafficking and human smuggling.

Cronkite News

Most voting machines are only designed to last about a decade. A new study shows many of the machines in use across the U.S. are close to that age, and that could increase the chances of voting irregularities for the 2016 election cycle. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports. 

Mark Rozema

Author Mark Rozema grew up in Flagstaff, but has lived all over the West working as a photographer, fisherman, firefighter and teacher. His first book is called “Road Trip.” It’s a collection of personal essays that chronicle his travels and examine how the natural world molds our relationships. Mary Sojourner interviewed Rozema for this month’s Southwest Book Review.

Deborah Lee Soltesz/Coconino National Forest/USFS

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have called on the U.S. Forest Service to increase the scale and speed of large forest-thinning projects in the state. They say more work is needed to protect the forests from catastrophic wildfire. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


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