A new study finds the state’s new year-end exam, ACT Aspire, is less directly tied to Common Core state standards than the previous Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, or PARCC exam.
Senior Vice President of the conservative-leaning Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Amber Northern said the study compared a range of assessments, including PARCC, ACT Aspire, MCAS, a Massachusetts exam, and a test called Smarter Balanced.
"The PAARC and the Smarter Balanced tests, which were actually the tests designed with Common Core and other college-ready standards in mind, actually performed a little bit better with matching the content that's expected with Common Core," she said.
According to Northern, one advantage of the ACT Aspire test is it takes less time. The Institute is encouraging states to perform their own comparative assessments on testing options.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson dropped the state’s contract with PARCC last year for ACT Aspire, despite objections from the State’s Board of Education.