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Change to statewide ACT testing being considered

ACT test
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 29, 2022

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Could the future bring a different college assessment test for Nevada high school seniors? The state board of education is considering dropping the state's standardized test from the ACT to a different one.

The rite of passage for any Nevada high school student looking to graduate taking the ACT test.

"It's a fair way to say, hey what did the student learn in high school. Are they prepared to move on to the next level."

The test has been the measuring stick on high school student achievement. However, changes are being looked at. The Nevada Board of Education discussed switching standardized ACT testing to a test created by the Data Recognition Corporation or DRC. Some feel a change is necessary because the act is falling short of the state's college readiness assessments.

Ryan Fitzgibbons, a test tutor who works at several valley high schools says the ACT should stay for consistency.

"If you suddenly change the measuring stick we're not going to have accurate data to say are we helping students come back,” he said.

Under Nevada law, high students must take a college and career readiness assessment. The ACT was chosen for this purpose by the state board and launched in 2015. Fitzgibbons says the proposed DRC test is not widely accepted at many colleges and universities whereas the ACT is.

"Colleges understand what a good test score means. Most parents know what a good test score means. Teachers, principals, students,” he said.

CCSD high school teacher Ryan Fromoltz says he's open to seeing a testing change, but he does have questions about the DRC test.

"Is there going to be a cut score. Is there going to be a mandate score so they can graduate,” he said.

Fromoltz says he would prefer students be judged through a portfolio-based assessment rather than the required standardized testing.

"That students can show off their writing, their math skills, their science skills, their history skills,” he said.

Fitzgibbons says while the ACT may have its critics, he says it helps identify students who may have potential not shown in their grades and provides equal access to the test.

"I like the statewide test opened the door to everyone to say hey let's take a test colleges will look at,” he said.

The state board pushed back the final vote about the new test to their next meeting on July 7.