Saturday, February 13, 2016

UPDATED: ACT Aspire-Even more positives with linking studies

ACT Aspire

At first blush,  ACT Aspire provides teachers with actionable data to use this year.   Arkansas dropped PARCC and decided to use ACT Aspire for the required state assessment.  In the eyes of the state legislature, ACT Aspire will help prepare our students for the ACT college entrance exam.  It will take years of data before we can say that is true. But, using the tests that are available this year, there are many positive outcomes for our students with the newly provided linking charts. We are now able to see the relationship between the interim scores and the potential Summative scores. We are also able to link our student's ACT Aspire score with their NWEA RIT score!

Our school has chosen to give three ACT Aspire Interims this semester.  The interims do allow the students to practice the question types.  But, sadly only the English test is currently allowing teachers to see the actual questions so that they can be reviewed in class.
(Interims do not contain the writing test, nor any open response questions)

The data available to teachers following an interim is impressive.
Reports include
1.  Individual student reports that contain their score on each test given
2.  Student performance by grade or class
3.  Subject proficiency by group (groups students as above or below the group average to help teachers group their students based on the report)
4.  Skill proficiency by group (groups students by broad skill category)
5.  Subject proficiency by student

The most helpful report is the last one.
6.  Response Content Analysis- teachers can use this report to view the questions/standards that the students missed as a grade, class, or individual. We review each question with individual students to help them learn how to answer each type of question they missed.  As with all tests, knowing HOW to answer is as important as knowing the correct answer. For example, the pronoun questions on the English test can be answered by looking at the sentence and matching the pronouns, usually.

Our school has decided that the Classroom Periodics are encouraged but not required. Each Classroom Periodics is a short five question 15-20 minute test aligned to one or two standards. Our ELA department has decided to try out these periodics during our Saturday Camps. Today, we completed our first Classroom Periodic in Reading. My ten intervention students completed the five questions in roughly 15 minutes. The test results were ready as soon as the students completed their test. As with the Interim, the actual reading questions were not available to view. We were able to log in as a different student and work through the questions with the correct answers on the board.

MOST EXCITING! This week, teachers received linking reports from ACT Aspire and NWEA. These linking reports are critical to understanding how our students are performing. I've provided both of these reports in the Resources section below. The good news is that even more of our students appear to be proficient/Ready or capable of meeting or exceeding the ACT Aspire Benchmark.

If you are interested, you can view the ACT Readiness Benchmarks on page 4 in the pdf below. The scale scores for each test are also provided. Three descriptors are provided to help parents understand the score. (Ready, Close, Or in need of support)

ACT Aspire Linking Interim to Summative Assessments
NWEA Linking study that correlates ACT Aspire and NWEA
Understanding ACT Aspire results video
Understanding Results pdf
Scale Scores