Arizona School Districts in Partnership with Horizon Education

Nine School Districts from the Arizona Department of Education Partners with Horizon Education

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Posted By

Dodie Carmichael

Published On

April 25, 2022

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Arizona School Districts in Partnership with Horizon Education

Gilbert Public Schools
Lake Havasu Unified District

Tucson Unified School District

Tempe Union High School District

Paradise Valley Unified School District

Kingman Unified School District

Flowing Wells Unified District

Chandler Unified School District

Yuma Union High School District

Nine School Districts Partner with Horizon Education

Horizon Education has partnered with school districts in the state of Arizona since 2021 providing ACT preparation benchmarks. The Arizona State Board of Education adopted statewide alternative assessments to the AzMERIT, to measure students’ proficiency, college and career readiness, as well as providing high quality, nationally recognized college entrance exams at no cost to the student or schools. One of those alternative tests is the ACT. The ACT Aspire is Arizona’s statewide high school achievement test administered to students in Grade 9 and the ACT is the statewide high school achievement test administered to students in Grade 11. The school districts partnering with Horizon Education chose to administer the nationally recognized ACT to their high school students. The benefits to doing this for their students is preparing them for taking the actual ACT. Students can then use their ACT scores for applications for college and scholarships, and use scores in place of  a placement exam for college courses to prevent students from being placed in remedial courses. 

ACT Preparation Benchmark Easy-To-Use Interface

  • 12 month access to an individualized, online student portal
  • Easy administration of subject area practice assessments and subtests are available through the Horizon portal to measure growth; students can practice ACT readiness skills any place they have an internet connection
  • A suite of full length ACT assessments, giving students opportunities to familiarize themselves with the ACT item types, subsections, timing, and measure growth
  • Score reports with analysis within 30 minutes of testing. This allows for showing progress toward targeted readiness standards, and timely and frequent feedback on student progress.
  • An implementation team to work with each participating site to make certain 
  • Testing Tools - Horizon Education platform makes use of standard digital assessment tools to allow students to interact with the test in a manner that suits their individual needs. These include: 
  1. Accessibility - Change the color scheme, font size, and zoom of the assessment window
  2. Response Masking - Eliminate answer choices during the testing process
  3. Full Screen - Improve visibility and minimize distractions
  4. Resources - Review the testing instructions and math formula sheets
  5. Notepad - Take notes across an entire section in an unscored ‘notepad’ area
  6. Sticky Note - Attach unscored notes to specific items and resources 
  7. Drawing Mode - Draw and write over the top of a passage, item, or answer choice

Educator ACT Report Results

Within minutes of students completing benchmark assessments, administrators and teachers see:

  • Overall performance for a group of students
  • Histogram of student performance to help find patterns in the data
  • Section scores 
  • Content area benchmark scores
  • Strength and improvement areas
  • Test details on student subsection performance, item with answer choice selection rates, and test item analysis

Opportunities for Department & Grade Level Data

  • Measuring growth over time
  • Making adjustments to scope, sequence, and pacing documents
  • Calibrating instruction to match student need
  • Evaluating effectiveness of the instructional program

ACT Class Report Sample

Opportunities for School Level Data

  • Monitoring/measuring gaps between populations
  • Measuring growth over time
  • Planning for future resource allocation
  • Identifying unusual data patterns and asking ‘why’?

Student ACT Report Results

Within minutes of completing benchmark assessments, students see:

  • overall scaled score
  • overall subscore result
  • breakdown of their top five strengths
  • breakdown of their top five opportunities for growth that allows students an opportunity to analyze and learn from their errors

ACT Student Report Sample

Opportunities for Student Level Data

  • Post-secondary planning conversations
  • Student study meetings, IEPs, 504s
  • Building confidence
  • Building ownership of learning outcomes
  • Focus on mastery orientation:  effort and use of appropriate strategies 
  • Develop their understanding and competence of material
  • Set short-term goals based on their own growth data
  • Preparation for the ACT exam

Arizona Schools Using Data to Create a Culture of Collaborative Inquiry 

Arizona educators understand that it is important to use data with fidelity and set intentional goals, as well as evaluate systems and policies in place. When everyone has the right information to make decisions, all students can excel, everyone is empowered and changes can be made in the right direction. Valuable, actionable data over time can be used to guide school improvement and build a districtwide culture of inquiry for sound decision-making to meet a school’s purpose and vision.

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