Arkansas education leaders have chosen Cambium Assessment Incorporated (CAI) to develop a state testing system for grades 3-10 that replaces ACT Aspire starting in 2023-24. This decision came after an extensive Request For Proposal (RFP) process that included input from stakeholders across the state. Let’s take a closer look at what this new testing system will offer, plus the potential benefits it could bring to students and teachers in Arkansas.
Background of RFP Process
The RFP process began in Spring 2021, with 13 companies submitting proposals. A committee made up of educators, representatives from school districts, and members of higher education institutions reviewed all of the submitted proposals before making their final decision to select CAI. The estimated value of the contract awarded to CAI is $148 million over five years.
Features of New Testing System
One key feature of the new testing system is that teachers will have the ability to review every item in the CAI bank and create additional questions if necessary. Furthermore, 9th grade and 10th grade tests will not be subject-specific, with minimum achievement scores for proficiency set by the Arkansas Board of Education in Fall 2024. These changes are meant to improve the test-taking experience for students by creating more personalized assessments that are tailored to their needs and abilities.
Cambium Assessment Replaces ACT Aspire
In a bold move to advance the quality of their state’s educational assessment, Arkansas education leaders have chosen Cambium Assessment Incorporated as the trusted partner to develop a brand new testing system for grades 3-10. It’s an exciting turning point, as this novel system is set to replace ACT Aspire beginning in the 2023-24 academic year.
The selection of CAI demonstrates a strong commitment to empowering students, educators, and even parents through high-quality assessment tools. The coming years are expected to bring remarkable changes in Arkansas’s education landscape, paving the way for a more comprehensive, data-driven approach. With CAI’s expertise and commitment to education, there is no doubt that this new partnership will create a lasting impact on the lives of students throughout the state.
Benefits & Impacts on Students & Teachers
The switch from ACT Aspire to CAI could be beneficial for both students and educators alike. With computer adaptive tests that can adjust difficulty levels based on responses, students will have access to a more engaging assessment experience while still getting reliable feedback about their academic progress. Meanwhile, teachers will have more control over what types of questions they’d like included on tests so that they can better assess student understanding within their own classrooms.
Students in Arkansas will soon experience another big change, as the Arkansas Board of Education has announced that ninth and tenth grade tests will no longer focus on specific subject areas. Instead, by Fall 2024, the examinations will be designed with an emphasis on students’ overall development and learning, encouraging a more holistic approach to education. The Arkansas Board of Education has taken the responsibility to set minimum achievement scores for proficiency, ensuring that adequate standards are maintained. This innovative approach to testing has the potential to greatly impact both learning and teaching techniques in Arkansas, promote versatile skill development, and foster a well-rounded education for students.
In conclusion, the switch from ACT Aspire to CAI is an exciting development for Arkansas education leaders who are looking for ways to increase student engagement and provide better feedback about student progress throughout the school year. By implementing a state testing system with more personalized assessments tailored toward individual student needs, Arkansas educators may be able to make significant improvements when it comes to student performance and academic achievement going forward.
Progress Learning is keeping a close eye on the development of the new statewide assessment program in Arkansas and will be ready with materials that match these assessments to keep you and your students prepared. We are 100% aligned with Arkansas Academic Standards and are equipped with the content and materials you need to help your students achieve mastery.
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