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Alabama’s New Testing Plan: What’s Happening? practice.

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Presentation on theme: "Alabama’s New Testing Plan: What’s Happening? practice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alabama’s New Testing Plan: What’s Happening? practice

2 Background November 2010: State Board of Education, on the advice of educators, adopted the Common Core State Standards as the basis for the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS). 2012-13: Math standards implemented. 2013-14: English language arts standards implemented. They require students to truly understand material, not just be able to regurgitate it on a test.

3 The Need for Higher Standards According to the ACT: Only 1 in 5 of Alabama’s graduating seniors in 2013 were ready for college. Only two thirds of students who enrolled in our public colleges in the fall of 2013 were ready for college-level classes. One third of students who enrolled in our public colleges in the fall of 2013 had to take remedial classes. – Remedial classes teach material that students were supposed to learn in high school, and students do not receive college credit for taking them.

4 The Need for Higher Standards By 2018, 82% of jobs in Alabama will require some education beyond high school. (Source: National Skills Coalition) – 4-year degree, 2-year degree, certification, etc. States with higher academic standards have more students who do well on the NAEP than states with low academic standards. (Source: EdSector)

5 Plan 2020 The CCRS are part of the State Board of Education’s Plan 2020. – “Every child a graduate – every graduate prepared” – Students should graduate without the need for remediation in a two-year, four-year, technical or trade school. – Students should have the ability to use academic knowledge in real world situations. New tests are part of Plan 2020, NOT Common Core.

6 Overview of Alabama’s New Tests ACT Aspire (Started in 2013-14). – Replaces the ARMT+ in Grades 3-8. ACT QualityCore End of Course Tests (Started in 2012-13). – Subject-specific, beginning in Algebra I and English 10. ACT College Readiness Exam (Started in 2013-14). – Given free-of-charge to all 11 th graders. ACT WorkKeys (Starting in 2014-15). – Voluntary job skills assessments for seniors.

7 ACT Aspire Replaces the ARMT+ in 3 rd -8 th grade. The Explore (8 th grade) and Plan (10 th grade) tests will become part of the ACT Aspire. Will show whether a student is on track to graduate college and career ready, based on the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. Focuses on higher-order thinking, not just regurgitation of facts.

8 ACT Aspire: Higher-order thinking

9 ACT Aspire: Meaningful, Honest Feedback 5 th grade 9 th grade

10 ACT Aspire: Meaningful, Honest Feedback

11 ACT College Readiness Benchmarks If a student earns one of these scores on the ACT subject-area tests, he has a 50% chance of earning a B or higher in the corresponding college courses and 75% chance of earning a C or higher. (Source: ACT) SubjectACT Benchmark English18 Math22 Reading22 Science23

12 QualityCore End of Course Tests Class of 2013 was the last class required to take the High School Graduation Exam. QualityCore provides meaningful information on a student’s college-readiness in specific subjects. There was a trial run in 2012-13 for English 10 and Algebra I, and we used them for real in 2013-14. – Schools can decide locally whether to include them as part of a student’s grade. (Hint: They really should.)

13 QualityCore End of Course Tests Eventually, these EOCs will be used for: English 9Algebra II English 10Pre-Calculus English 11Biology English 12Chemistry Algebra IPhysics GeometryU.S. History

14 ACT College Readiness Exam Starting in 2013-14, all Alabama juniors will take the ACT at no cost to them. Provides honest feedback for parents and students on where they stand—good or bad. Expands the horizon for students who may not have previously thought about college. Gives a clear picture of college readiness in Alabama based on a familiar, well-respected test.

15 WorkKeys Voluntary job skills tests seniors can take to indicate whether they are career ready. Foundational SkillsSoft Skills Applied MathematicsFit Applied Technology Talent Business WritingPerformance Listening for Understanding Locating Information Workplace Observation Reading for Information Teamwork

16 Timeline for New Tests Sept. 2009: SBOE votes to phase out Grad Exam and use Explore, Plan and ACT in grades 8, 10 & 11. 2010-11: All 8 th graders take Explore for first time. 2012-13: All sophomores take Plan for first time. April 2013: SBOE votes to replace ARMT with ACT Aspire. 2013-14: All Alabama juniors take ACT. April 2014: Students in grades 3-8 take ACT Aspire for first time. Fall 2014: Parents receive results from ACT Aspire.

17 The Proficiency “Drop” Aspire scores will look more like NAEP than ARMT. 2011 ARMT: Roughly 80% of students were Level III or Level IV in math. 2011 NAEP: Roughly 30% of students scored the equivalent in math.

18 The Proficiency “Drop” The so-called “drop” in scores is actually just a shift in measurement. Unfortunately, we’ve set the bar too low for too long – not just in Alabama but nationally. This is tough medicine – and we need it to get students on track. Scores will rise as students adjust to the higher level work.

19 What does this mean for us? Moving to higher-level, more rigorous tests comes with challenges for educators and leaders: – It will appear the percentage of students deemed “proficient” has dropped. It actually proves the need for higher standards. – Alabama will finally have an accurate reading on the percentage of students ready for college-level work and the workforce.

20 What does this mean for us? For the first time, Alabama has high-quality tests that: Test students at a high level. Provide meaningful information for teachers about their students. Provide honest, clear information to parents and students as they plan their future.

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