Voting 6-2 on April 11, the State Board of Education approved a resolution making Alabama the first state in the country to implement new standardized tests aligned with common core state standards .
ACT Aspire, from ACT Inc. — the makers of the ACT test taken by most college-bound high school students — will take effect in August as the yearly reading and math assessment for Alabama public schools third grade through eighth.
The nonprofit testing company reports the system is “fully aligned” with the common core standards that Republicans attempted to repeal in the Alabama Legislature earlier this year.
State Superintendent Thomas Bice said the new standardized tests aligned with common core and the tests align K-12 with the demands of colleges, business and industry and will allow state educators to better guide instruction.
He also said they will provide more meaningful feedback to parents, allowing educators to project what a student would score on the ACT test taken by college-bound students if they remain on the same trajectory.
The resolution drew dissenting votes from Vice President Stephanie Bell of Montgomery and Betty Peters of Kinsey.
Bell said she had concerns about adopting the system before ongoing pilot tests are completed. She also said she wanted more time to address concerns raised by a member of the board’s Assessment and Accountability Task Force, which recommended the change to ACT Aspire.
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Read more about transitioning to the Common Core.