Now as never before, the long-term economic viability of the United States depends on the creation of a culture in which parents, educators, and policymakers are united and committed to developing students prepared to seize 21st century opportunities.
To meet this challenge, ACT is developing ACT Aspire—the first digital, longitudinal assessment system to fully connect student performance from elementary grades through high school. 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.
ACT Aspire will include summative assessments that measure how much students have learned over time, as well as aligned classroom-based assessments that help educators better understand students' learning needs in individual classes throughout the school year. The aligned assessments will inform teachers about students' progress toward specific learning standards, so they can better tailor their instruction and resources to help students learn.
ACT research shows the direct link between early assessment and intervention and the improved likelihood of students succeeding in school and reaching their college and career goals. ACT Aspire will help educators identify foundational skill deficiencies earlier, which will provide the opportunity to quickly address weaknesses and build on strengths.
ACT Aspire—launching in 2014—will continue ACT's historic mission of helping students stay on target to maximize their full potential. And while it will do so in new ways, the system will be grounded in the same high-quality research and data that have anchored ACT programs and solutions for more than 50 years.
ACT Aspire features:
- Vertically articulated, standards-based system of assessments to monitor progress toward college and career readiness from elementary school to high school, connecting each grade level to the next
- Longitudinal assessment data tied to readiness for middle school, high school, and college
- Aligned summative and classroom-based assessments
- Content areas of English, math, reading, and science with direct writing at all grades
- Alignment with Common Core State Standards and ACT College Readiness Benchmarks
- Multiple question types including multiple choice, constructed response and technology-enhanced items to better assess student knowledge, improve test experiences, and provide more meaningful insights
- An affordable system that can be configured and integrated with school districts today and in the future
- A multidimensional approach that measures other critical areas needed for success after high school, such as providing insights on science skills, critical thinking, and the ability to understand complex text
- Online delivery of assessments using state-of-the-art technology to enhance effectiveness and support multiple devices, while also offering paper-and-pencil options
- Ongoing research, support, and validation of the system to reflect changes in college and career readiness standards