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Alabama Adopts ACT Aspire

Alabama-Adopts_ACT-AspireThe Alabama State Board of Education has approved the statewide use of ACT Aspire, ACT’s new assessment system, making Alabama the first state in the nation to do so. The state will implement ACT Aspire as Alabama’s summative assessment for grades 3 through 8 beginning in the 2013–2014 school year.

“It was great to have ACT as a resource as we considered our assessment options,” said Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama state superintendent of education. “I felt we were working together to meet the needs of Alabama students, parents and educators. I am confident that we will continue to focus on what really matters in college and career readiness”

“We are pleased and honored by the trust the state of Alabama has placed in ACT to help measure, track and improve the academic achievement of its students,” said Jon Erickson, ACT’s president of education. “The insights provided by ACT Aspire will help Alabama students get and stay on track for college and career readiness starting early in their educational careers.”

ACT Aspire will be the first digital, longitudinal assessment system to connect student performance from elementary grades through high school. The system will include summative assessments that measure how much students have learned over time as well as classroom-based assessments that help educators better understand students’ learning needs throughout the school year.

Student assessment results will be tied to readiness benchmarks early enough for schools to take appropriate and effective actions to address problems and help students improve. The ACT Aspire system will also inform teachers about students’ progress toward specific learning standards, so they can better tailor their instruction and resources to help students learn.

The state-of-the-art, digital delivery of the system will be powered by Pearson, with which ACT is partnering on this initiative. The system is in development and will be launched in the spring of 2014.

Alabama had previously approved the statewide administration of the ACT® exam to all 11th grade public school students starting in the 2013–2014 school year. In addition, the state currently administers ACT Plan® to 10th graders, ACT Explore® to 8th graders, and ACT QualityCore® assessments in math and English. As is the case with the programs already in use in Alabama, ACT Aspire will be linked to ACT’s validated College Readiness Standards and College Readiness Benchmark scores.