The Hawaii State Department of Education announced Wednesday it will administer college and career readiness assessments to all middle and high school students statewide in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 beginning next spring.
For the first time ever, the DOE will be able to comprehensively collect and examine college and career readiness data in reading, mathematics, science and English.
"By 2018, Hawaii will rank 10th in the nation in jobs requiring postsecondary degrees," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "We are setting a high bar for achievement and delivering optimal tools and resources to accelerate our students' trajectory toward college and career readiness. All high school graduates must complete a rigorous course of study and be prepared to successfully pursue their dreams, aspirations and goals."
Starting in April 2013, more than 50,000 students annually will take the ACT PLAN test in grades 8 and 9, the EXPLORE exam in grade 10, and The ACT assessment in grade 11. The new ACT College and Career Readiness System is benchmarked to both the expectations of higher education institutions and workforce. It is also designed to help students plan for future education opportunities and explore careers based on their skills, interests and ambitions.
"The DOE's decision to administer the ACT College and Career Readiness System for all students in 8 - 11th grades is evidence of their strong commitment to preparing students for postsecondary success," said Karen Lee, Executive Director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. "The data gathered from the assessments will be invaluable as we work together with institutions of higher education to reach the state's goal of 55 percent of working age adults having a 2- or 4-year college degree in 2025."
Schools, educators and youth will benefit from ACT programs and services that reduce the need for remediation, align with state standards, and foster student success in postsecondary education. ACT’s unique student-level assessment data may also be used by counselors to improve the effectiveness of student intervention plans.
"A systematic, statewide college and career readiness assessment system has been a critical need for schools to comprehensively measure and support students' progress," said Teri Ushijima, complex area superintendent for Aiea, Moanalua and Radford. "The ACT suite of assessments will serve as a key resource for the DOE to fulfill its strategic goal of ensuring all students are on a path toward success in college, career and citizenship."
The DOE Systems Accountability Office is leading the implementation of the ACT College and Career Readiness System. ACT, Inc. was recently awarded a contract totaling approximately $882,000 for the system’s assessment package, programs, and services for school year 2012-13.
The DOE is aggressively addressing key statewide goals and strategies outlined in the BOE/DOE Strategic Plan. The ACT College and Career Readiness System will generate measurable and baseline data to ensure all students are gaining the academic skills they need to succeed on the K-12 pathway and throughout their lives.
For more information about the ACT test, log on to www.act.org.