A Quick Guide to ACT Aspire
You may have heard students talking about some recent testing on Mustang Mountain. This year, CAC has transitioned to the ACT Aspire program, which I am very excited about. Over the past five years, we have experienced outstanding success with our graduating classes’ ACT scores averaging over 24. In an effort to continue that success, our goal is to use ACT Aspire to better prepare our students and ensure that our classroom instruction aligns with the content skills our students need in order to be successful.
To help explain the program, I’ve included answers to some recent questions I’ve received.
I’ve heard a few things about the ACT Aspire test. What is it exactly?
ACT Aspire is a grade-level assessment modeled after the ACT. Similar to the ACT, students are tested in four areas: English, Reading, Math, and Science. The Aspire tests are aligned with the same College & Career Readiness standards used by the ACT. So in essence, the Aspire tests are mini-versions of the ACT (based on grade level).
Who will be tested and how often?
There are two types of Aspire assessments — summative and interim. The summative test is similar to most end-of-the-year standardized tests (i.e., IOWA, Stanford 10, etc.), and an entire day will be planned around administering that single test. This summative test will replace the spring SAT 10 and OLSAT tests administered to students in grades 3-9.
The interim assessments are shorter tests given periodically throughout the year (usually every 6-8 weeks) to monitor and measure student growth. This year, students in grades 6-9 will complete three rounds of interim assessments in English, Reading, Math, and Science. To maximize classroom instruction, our 6-8 graders will take their tests during their self-paced Spanish classes, and our 9th graders will rotate between different classes to complete their tests.
Our 6-9 grade students have already taken their first interim assessments in English and Reading, and that data has already been put to work. Each English teacher had immediate access to their students’ results and worked through each question to identify the skills and concepts assessed, and that information can be used to plan future lessons. Essentially, teachers now have a roadmap that helps with classroom instruction and curriculum design.