New Standardized Testing In Arkansas

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SPRINGDALE (KFSM)-- Across Arkansas, students in the third through the tenth grade have a new standardized test.

The test is called ACT Aspire, and the Arkansas Board of Education has implemented the exam for the 2015-2016 school year.

Megan Witonski is the Springdale Schools associate superintendent. She said they're looking forward to utilizing the new testing.

"We understand that parents have choices and rights and have different opinions," Witonski said. "But I do think that ACT Aspire definitely brings name brand recognition to the assessment world."

She said there will be some challenges. Witonki said how well the students do on the test determines what kind of grade the school system receives from the state.

"The difficult part is trying to figure out what that baseline will look like for students," Witonski said.

ACT Aspire is the third type of standardized test the state has seen in the last three years. Fourth grade math teacher Christina Higson said it is challenging to learn how to teach a new test.

"There are definitely some growing pains in getting used to the way one test works as compared to the other," Higson said.

Heather Miller is a literacy teacher at George Elementary. She said they've already done some pre-testing with the kids.

"The way the test was set up really threw them off," Miller said. "There were a couple kids that only got like 2 out of 14 that are some of my best readers."

She said she thinks the biggest challenge is going from pencil and paper to working on the computer.

"You don't want the format of the test to mess up their ability to show what they know and what they've learned," Miller said.

The students will have their second round of pre-testing for ACT aspire next week.

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