Every single year, we seem to have a big debate right before testing time aboutwhether it is a good idea or not.
No one likes standardized tests. My kids don’t! But the truth is, just like in life, tests are a necessary part of school. Sometimes you just have to buck up and do hard things in spite of challenges and this year is no different. Despite rumors to the contrary, the ACT Aspire will be administered as planned. The best thing we can do is to make sure that our children are prepared.
While I am the only member of the Alabama State Board of Education who currently has children in public school taking the ACT test, several of my colleagues have grandchildren. All of us want a good test.
We have replaced the state’s previous end-of-year exam, the Alabama Reading and Math Test, because we believed that the ACT Aspire would more accurately tell us how our children are learning in school. We wanted an assessment that would help teachers identify students who need additional help to get on the right track toward college and career readiness before it becomes too late.
Regardless of what the State Board of Education decides in the future about the ACT Aspire, there will be an end-of-year assessment given to students to provide parents with feedback on how our schools are preparing our children.
Earning an education in Alabama schools should mean something, and tests help make sure we stay on track. Otherwise, a diploma in Alabama will be nothing more than the equivalent of a participation trophy in little league baseball.
We deserve more than that.
Mary Scott Hunter represents the 8th District on the Alabama State Board of Education. She and her husband Jon live in Huntsville where their children attend public school.