After four years, Alabama is dropping the ACT Aspire exam and will develop a new standardized test to track student achievement.
The Alabama State Board of Education voted Monday to abandon the ACT Aspire. The U.S. Department of Education had recently raised concerns about whether state standards were properly aligned with the test and had requested the state provide information regarding the matter.
District 2 board member Betty Peters said the move was an early step in weaning Alabama away from the Common Core standards, known here as the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards. Peters said the ACT Aspire did not provide helpful information. Peters also said that the Common Core standards, which she has long opposed, needed correction because they did not match up well with the developmental pace of children.
“There are some good things in there, but some of them are in there at the wrong grade levels,” she said.
Since the ACT Aspire was adopted, Alabama students have not performed well on the exams. Until a new test is developed, the state will use the Scantron, which was previously known as GlobalScholar.
Malissa Valdes Hubert, a spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Education, said GlobalScholar has been used by school systems around the state for periodic assessments of students during the school year. Hubert said GlobalScholar is less expensive than the ACT Aspire.