Students excel in Aspire testing

This chart shows Madison students' scores in Aspire testing. For example, Madison third-graders rated in the 89th percentile for math and 82nd percentile for reading. The national average is the 50th percentile. (CONTRIBUTED)
This chart shows Madison students’ scores in Aspire testing. For example, Madison third-graders rated in the 89th percentile for math and 82nd percentile for reading. The national average is the 50th percentile. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Students in Madison City Schools have performed at much higher levels than their peers in the results of national testing.

The ACT Aspire testing for elementary and middle school grades is equivalent to the American College Test (ACT) for high school students.

Aspire testing evaluates the math and reading skills of students in grades 3-8 and science in grades 5 and 7, John Peck said. Peck is public relations manager for Madison City School.

Madison students scored well above the national average in math, reading and science, compared to students in the same grade across the country, according to ACT.

The ASPIRE replaced the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT) in 2014 and serves as an important assessment for instruction and teaching practices. “Many (people) had warned that since the state of Alabama was going to a nationally-normed test that our scores would falter. Not so in Madison,” Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said.

“The high expectations and commitment to perform at a high level that the community and schools possess made all the difference,” Fowler said.

“On many occasions we celebrate the accomplishments of our high schools for making America’s best high schools list, the impressive number of merit scholars they produce and having our seniors earn so much scholarship money,” Fowler said. “We all know that their success begins at the earlier grades.”

For the second consecutive year, the ASPIRE results have given Madison teachers and administrators “cause to celebrate the accomplishments of our elementary and middle schools,” Fowler said.

The ASPIRE is a nationally normed test. The 50th percentile represents the national average.

In designing Aspire, the ACT company measures students’ learning over time, along with classroom assessments. Teachers can see a student’s progress toward specific learning standards and then can adjust instruction.

ACT Aspire is the first digital, longitudinal assessment system to fully connect student performance from elementary grades through high school. ‘Longitudinal assessment’ “means that the assessments track student performance consistently from elementary through graduation.

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