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YUHSD to use ACT as means of measuring student achievement

Yuma Union High School District has selected the ACT exam from the Arizona Board of Education’s menu of assessment as the means to measure student achievement over time.

The test, which is taken annually by high school juniors, will replace the AZ Merit exam as the district’s chosen achievement gauge.

“The ACT is a normed exam and has been a long-standing indicator of college readiness and indicator of college success,” YUHSD Superintendent Gina Thompson said. ‘YUHSD has been members of ACT DCST for nearly a decade, which gives us a rich background in knowing how students approach the exam. We believe in this investment and believe that students are college and career ready. It provides a target that doesn’t move from year-to-year and allows our students and our teachers to focus on an end result.”

YUHSD, with the financial support of Helios Education Foundation, has been implementing the ACT test for juniors for the past seven years. However, until now it was not approved by the Department of Education as means to measure pupil achievement of the state’s academic standards. That changed in March 2018, with Arizona Revised Statute 15-741.02. According to the Arizona Board of Education website, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, local education agencies will be able to administer an assessment from the Menu to high school students in lieu of the statewide assessment.

“The change is a positive step for our students,” Associate Superintendent Tim Brienza said. “There are more accessible resources available to parents and students, and there are tangible benefits. It’s a test that is recognized nationally, can be used on applications for college and scholarships, and even be used as a placement exam for core college courses.”

Additional information about the ACT exam is available on yumaunion.org under the “student resources” section as well as act.org.

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org