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ACT developing exams for elementary through high school students

July 2, 2012 |  4:31 pm

The organization that administers the ACT college entrance exam announced Monday it is developing a new assessment system aimed at measuring student growth beginning in elementary school through high school.

The program, currently being tested and planned to launch in 2014, would track student progress, career interests and academic performance through digital assessments, providing real-time data for educators, said Jon Erickson, president of education at the Iowa-based ACT Inc.

The goal is to identify and address gaps between what students are learning in school and what they need to learn to be successful after high school, Erickson said.

“It is designed to have measures that help the teachers daily, weekly in the classroom,” he said. “It will help identify what student needs are as they’re progressing toward college.”

The assessments are being designed to begin at the third-grade level and continue through high school. They will also be linked to Common Core standards, a series of learning standards in math and English language arts for students in kindergarten through 12th grade being adopted across the country.

The system will connect college and career readiness throughout students' schooling and will help look at the whole student, not just academic scores.

“Tests alone won't do that, but providing practical information can really help spur this country and our students on to a higher level of achievement,” Erickson said.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

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