By Kelsie Hoitomt
MADISON – According to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, State Superintendent Tony Evers has proposed that all Wisconsin public high school juniors take the ACT college admissions test under an education budget initiative that would include the four-test ACT suite for career planning and accountability.
Under the proposed plan, all public school ninth-grade students would take the ACT EXPLORE assessment in the spring of the 2014-2015 school year. The ACT PLAN would be administered in the tenth grade and the ACT and WorkKeys assessments in the 11th grade.
The ACT would replace Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE) for mathematics, reading and English language arts administered to tenth graders in fall.
The ACT assessment package will add growth measures and improve career and college readiness measures for Wisconsin’s new accountability system.
The cost for the state to administer the four tests would be approximately $7 million dollars.
ACT has decades of experience measuring academic achievement and career aspirations and is the preferred college admissions test in Wisconsin.
Currently about 61 percent of public high school graduates take the ACT at some time in high school.
At least 12 states use the EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT as part of their state testing program and five states use WorkKeys in their state testing program for 11th and 12th grade students.
The EXPLORE assessment is designed for students to explore both high school and post-high school options. It helps to identify strengths and areas where intervention may be needed.
The tenth grade PLAN helps students continue coursework selection and planning for college and career readiness.
Both assessments prepare students to take the ACT, considering the ACT is benchmarked for college readiness; providing a minimum score that yields a likely passing grade in credit-bearing college coursework.