Here’s a look at the state-mandated standardized testing for students in grades three through twelve (ninth graders take no state-mandated standardized tests). The chart does not reflect any testing required by local school district and local school officials.
There are a couple of changes from last year’s testing regimen.
ACT QualityCore End-of-Course (EOC) tests are no longer required. EOC tests had been used for federal accountability under Alabama’s waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
ACT Aspire results for students in tenth grade in Reading and Math will now be used for federal accountability purposes. That change was approved in the most recent flexibility waiver granted by the U.S. Department of Education.
According to the waiver, this school year (2015-2016) will be the first full year of implementation of the entire suite of new assessments for college- and career-readiness.
Time for testing eighth graders decreased by 85 minutes compared with last year, while the time for testing tenth graders went up by 45 minutes compared with last year. This is due to ACT’s shift from the ACT Explore (8th grade) and ACT Plan (10th grade) to the ACT Aspire. Total times for other grades did not change.
By all accounts, these total times are much less than the time required for the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT), the test previously used as Alabama’s standardized test.
Here is the actual list of dates available for school officials to administer these tests.
Here is the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) web page housing standardized test results from the 2013-2014 school year. Test results were not provided for the ACT Plus Writing or ACT WorkKeys.
Results from the Spring 2015 ACT Aspire administration have been provided to schools and parents. A few districts are releasing their results to local media and/or presenting those results to their boards of education.
According to a spokesperson for the ALSDE, statewide, district, and school results for standardized tests should be available in November.
Here’s more information about the actual ACT Aspire test. Fair warning, it’s a bit technical.
The Poverty vs. Performance Challenge – from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA)
This post was updated at 10:45 p.m. to list additional resources.