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Download Printable Summary of the Alabama ARMT and AHSGE
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As with all states, Alabama participates in statewide testing of students. The assessments serve as a measure of student performance, teacher performance and school performance. Results from these assessments can show areas of strength and weakness for each child, possible needs for remedial instruction, areas where teachers need to focus more efforts and school’s progress towards helping all children attain proficiency in their academic subjects. An objective of the No Child Left Behind Act is for all schools to have 100% of students performing proficiently by 2014. These tests being closely tied to the established curriculum allows for the progress toward this goal to be monitored.
For students starting grade 3, assessments are used to determine academic proficiency in Reading and Mathematics. Alabama schools use the Stanford 10 and related Otis-Lennon School Ability Test to assess students in grades 3-8. The Reading assessment covers vocabulary and comprehension, the Language portion covers grammar and mechanics, and the Mathematics assessment covers mathematical procedures and problem solving.
In high school, students must take and pass the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE). This is first given to students in grade 10 as a checkpoint into students’ abilities and weaknesses. If a student passes the examination at this point, they will receive credit for having passed. These assessments are given in a five day testing period at various points throughout the school year. The subjects covered are Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Reading. In each assessment students receive a result of either pass/mastery or fail/non-mastery.
The Common Core Standards provides that in English Language Arts, students need to have proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language (grammar, conventions). In Mathematics, students need to understand problem solving, reasoning, modeling and the use of analytic tools. In earlier grades, this knowledge is taught through foundational skills; in the later grades a more conceptual approach can be taken.