ACT Inc. announced today that it is developing a new series of assessments for every grade level, from 3rd through 10th, to measure skills needed in college and careers.
The tests, which would be administered digitally and provide instant feedback to teachers, will be piloted in states this fall and scheduled to be launched in 2014, says Jon Erickson, the president of education for ACT, the Iowa City, Iowa-based nonprofit testing company.
The “next generation” assessment will be pegged to the Common Core State Standards and cover the four areas now on the ACT: English, reading, math, and science.
“It connects all the grades—elementary school through high school—to measure growth and development,” says Erickson. “It informs teaching, as students progress, to intervene at early ages.”
The assessment would look beyond academics to get a complete picture of the whole student, he says. There would be interest inventories for students, as well as assessment of behavioral skills for students and teachers to evaluate. (Read more, including the comments.)
It will fill a niche as the first digital, longitudinal assessment to connect student performance across grades, both in and out of the classroom, according to the ACT. The hope is to get information on students’ weaknesses and strengths earlier so teachers can make adjustments to improve their chances of success.