ACT Inc. is offering its Explore and Plan tests for the last time this school year as it gears up to debut a new suite of exams for grades 3-11 that are aimed at capturing a big chunk of the common-standards testing market.
Though word had been trickling out slowly about eliminating the tests that lead up to the ACT college-admissions exam, the Iowa-City, Iowa-based company confirmed this month that it is replacing Plan and Explore with the Aspire system. Aspire is being pitched aggressively to states as an alternative to common-core- aligned tests offered by the PARCC and Smarter Balanced consortia.
The decision affects districts across the country that contribute to the 1.8 million annual administrations of Plan and Explore and would now presumably need a replacement.
A version of this article appeared in the January 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Testing Company to Drop ‘Explore’ and ‘Plan’ Exams