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Tigard-Tualatin schools to consider providing ACT testing

Providing the ACT test to all juniors could cost the district as much as $43,000 this year

TIGARD - This year the Tigard-Tualatin School District wants every junior to take the ACT test.

And the district just might be willing to pay for it to make it happen.

Commonly used and known as a college entrance exam, the ACT test, according to district officials, could actually be used as an assessment test for students - something School Board members have been inquisitive about for several years. District officials have noted that the state's tests typically fail to accurately assess achievement for individual students.

An ACT test, according to Curriculum and Instruction Director Carla Randall, would give individual students feedback on their academic pursuits even if a student has not considered enrolling in college courses.

The cost, however, is about $43 per test, and with about 1,000 students that could qualify to take the test this year, the district is looking at a $43,000 bill.

And while no current funds are allocated for the tests, Superintendent Rob Saxton told the School Board Thursday that a refund of fees and dues from Education Service Districts could help the Tigard-Tualatin district cover the cost of the tests this school year.

ACT tests are generally given on certain Saturdays spaced throughout the year. However, as with school districts like Beaverton, Hillsboro and Portland Public Schools, the testing company does authorize some school districts to administer the test for juniors on a school day. This school year's test date is Feb. 12.

Aside from academic assessments, ACT tests also provide noncognitive components such as an interest inventory, a student profile section and a high school course/grade information questionnaire.

The ACT testing option was provided as a discussion at Thursday's School Board meeting and no action was taken on adopting the practice. However, board members were receptive to the idea.

'It's another option to expand the horizon for students who might not have considered college,' said board Chairman Mark Chism.