Assignment: Education – Understanding ACT Aspire 9

A new statewide assessment measures career and college readiness.

The ACT Aspire 9 assessment was given in October to about 200 ninth-graders at Holmen High School to measure career and college readiness.

The results of the new assessment are being explained to every freshman who took the test.

“Our school counselors are meeting with the ninth-grade students and sharing what the results mean, and sharing some of the tips that are there for students to work on,” said Wendy Savaske, Holmen School District director of instructional services.

“I found out where I stood and I kind of figured out my strengths and weaknesses there, and what I need to get better at those,” said Peyton La Mere, Holmen High School ninth-grader.

The detailed results showed students how well they’re doing in a specific subject, and how their scores compare to ninth-graders from across the country.

The report provided students with ideas on how to improve on a particular skill.

“It also gives them suggestions as far as books that they can read or additional tips that they could do to increase their ability to ready complex text,” said Savaske.

The students are also given a predicted ACT score allowing students to determine if they are ready for college as they prepare to take the ACT in 11th grade.

“It shows me where I have to go before I take the real ACT test,” said Peyton La Mere.

La Mere’s father finds this information helpful.

“One of my wife’s and my beliefs was to help him get to a four-year school,” said Joe La Mere. “And this, at least, gives us an idea how we can help prepare him for that.”

Taking the right classes in high school may be a part of that preparation.

“We’ll be able to help correlate his class schedule in the future, here, to some of his weaknesses and some of his strengths,” said Joe La Mere.

The results of this ninth-grade assessment are also helping to prepare teachers.

“It shows you which questions the kids did well with and which questions the kids struggled with,” said Bob Baer, Holmen High School principal. “And then for the teachers, how they can take that information and either change their instruction or add to their instruction.”

The hope is both teachers and students will have a better understanding of how to prepare for the ACT

“I, kind of, found my weak points and I just need extra practice at that,” said Peyton La Mere. “And that’s what kind of helps me learn better.”

Improved learning is the goal as the Holmen School District works to make sure every student is career and college ready.