Alabamans warn WV against switching school tests to ACT

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Alabamans warn WV against switching school tests to ACT
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-mail

The West Virginia Department of Education has removed from proposed policy changes its recommendation that the state Board of Education switch standardized tests in public high schools from Smarter Balanced to yet-to-be-developed end of course exams.

The move comes as the new governor and groups representing teachers and school administrators have expressed preference, instead, for using ACT assessments as the statewide standardized tests.

Local talk continues in favor of using not just the traditional ACT college-entrance exam to replace Smarter Balanced in high schools but also the newer ACT Aspire tests to replace Smarter Balanced in grades three through eight — the other grades the federal government requires math and English language arts standardized testing in. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston and the former Senate Education Committee chairman, is the lead sponsor of a bill submitted last week (SB 18) to force the state to switch to the ACT and ACT Aspire next school year.

But Alabama Media Group’s reported Thursday that the U.S. Department of Education has placed a condition on Alabama’s Title I federal funding — school districts there received more than $210 million in Title I funds last fiscal year — over questions about whether ACT Aspire is aligned to that state’s education standards. The news outlet reported that no funding has been withheld, so far

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