A class at Liberty Middle School. (CONTRIBUTED)
A class at Liberty Middle School. (CONTRIBUTED)

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Madison elementary, middle schools pilot state assessment test

Published 12:25pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MADISON — Teachers and students in Madison’s seven elementary and two middle schools have piloted a possible replacement for the Alabama Reading and Math Test (AMRT).

Madison schools ‘tested’ the ACT Aspire test. “This test may be the state assessment for grades 3-8 in the future to replace AMRT,” director of instruction Dr. Camille Wright said. “Although this extended the test period for our students, we felt like it was important to have an opportunity in advance to see how our students performed on these assessments.”

The ACT company is best known for its American College Test (ACT) but also has developed assessments like Explore for middle schools and Plan for sophomores. “The Aspire tests will only be used as a pilot for the company and are not used as part of a student’s grade,” Wright said.

The Alabama State Department of Education will replace ARMT “to align the state adopted College and Career Ready Standards with standardized assessments,” coordinator of auxiliary services Bob Lipinski said. “This will also be a national test that will allow us to compare our children to the nation, instead of just Alabama.”

ACT Aspire is the first digital, longitudinal assessment system to fully connect student performance from elementary grades through high school (act.org/products/k-12-act-aspire). ‘Longitudinal assessment’ “means that the assessments track student performance consistently from elementary through graduation,” Lipinski said.

ACT designed Aspire to measure students’ learning over time, along with classroom assessments. Teachers see a student’s progress toward specific learning standards and then can adjust instruction.

ACT Aspire will provide educators and parents with the insights they need to help students get and stay on track by better connecting assessment to teaching and learning, Lipinski said.

“The big change or difference will be the implementation of the College and Career Ready Standards. This year, these standards were implemented in mathematics. Next year, these standards will be implemented in language arts,” Lipinski said. “As far as parents helping their children, I do not see any large adjustment.”

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