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Changes could be coming to state testing

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior staff Writer

Standardized testing could be changing for Alabama students, if State Board of Education ends its contract with ACT for the ACT Aspire test.

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Tommy Glasscock said the state can either renew the existing contract or find another testing company to give an assessment aligned with Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.

Changing the testing provider could mean a year without a standardized test, according to Glasscock.

He said “it would almost be impossible” for the state to pick a new vendor and have everything in place to give the test in the 2017-2018 school year.

The SBOE must make a decision by July 1.

According to poll results released during a recent SBOE work session, 51 percent of school superintendents throughout the state would like the state to adopt a new assessment.

The main concern is that the ACT Aspire does not fully align with the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.

Many superintendents, including Glasscock, want the state to continue to use ACT Aspire next school year, while they decide what will replace it. Glasscock said he does not want to see the state go a year without an assessment.

“You’ve got to think about it from a classroom teacher’s perspective. I have a year that I’m going to teach, but no one is going to assess me on it,” Glasscock said.

The local superintendent sees a year without a test as “detrimental to the classroom.”

“We have to have some kind of accountability,” Glasscock said.

The State Board of Education has discussed the issue in several meetings and work sessions, including a special called work session on May 24.  The next regularly scheduled meeting of the SBOE is June 8. An agenda for this meeting has not been posted on the board’s website, yet. Meetings of the SBOE are steamed live and archived on the state website, alsde.edu.