WASHINGTON -- A new digital tool to test academic and behavioral skills will target students starting in kindergarten.
ACT, the organization that developed the ACT college-entrance exam, will start testing the tool in the fall. It will be available to schools starting in 2014.The tool tracks students' career interests, academic performance and progress toward goals. It's designed to follow students from kindergarten through high school.
Jon Erickson, president of ACT's education division, said the goal is to identify and address gaps in skills needed for college and the workforce. The assessment combines traditional testing with teacher-led projects to generate an instant, digital score.
It's a multimillion dollar project, ACT officials said, but will be affordable and easily accessible.
Schools won't be compelled to use the new tool, but Erickson said he anticipates that entire states or groups of states will choose to utilize it. The tool can be customized to include state-specific benchmarks and other performance measures.