12 North Dakota districts opt for ACT over state assessments

BISMARCK (AP) — A dozen high school districts in North Dakota plan to take the nationally recognized ACT in lieu of state assessments for math and English.
Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, some district officials have said they’re swapping assessments in order to reduce testing time and administer a test that “matters” to students.
A committee of Mandan Public School board members, parents, faculty and community members “unanimously recommended” opting for the ACT during a meeting, according to Jeff Lind, assistant superintendent.
“One of the big discussion points was testing time,” Lind said.
Last year, English and math standards were rewritten. The state Department of Public Instruction is developing new assessments to align with the revised standards, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The department is finalizing a contract with the American Institutes for Research to serve as the new testing provider.
Bismarck and Mandan district officials said that the ACT better matches their interests.
“We don’t know what this new (state) assessment is, but we do know what the ACT is,” said Ben Johnson, Bismarck Public Schools secondary assistant superintendent. “It worked for our schools and our community.”