New career test will help young students find what they excel in

By Krista Brooks

Published Wedneday July 11, 2012 –The Daily 49er

Last week, the organization behind the ACT college entrance exam announced the release of a new career test, available in 2014.

This test, like previous career tests, will assess strengths and weaknesses of students in certain subjects and their overall progress.

The precedent in this form of standardized testing begins in kindergarten and continues until the end of high school.

“The test is a next generation assessment system that tracks students’ career interests, academic performance, and progress towards goals,” Jon Erickson, president of the education division, said in a press release. “The goal is to identify and address gaps in skills needed for college and the workforce.”

The test combines standard testing with projects guided by teachers to estimate a digital score.

The project will cost millions of dollars, but will be easy to access and easy to afford for teachers and schools.

Controversy rises on whether or not career options should be questioned so early in a child’s a life.

Should a kindergarten student be troubled with a job title prematurely?

Many find their true passion later in life. Will these test results rush a child’s educational life?

The tests will be implemented in classrooms in 2014, but schools will not be forced to use this new tool.

Within different states and regions, the test can be customized to include state-specific benchmarks and other measures to meet specific needs.

President Erickson predicts that schools will choose to utilize and take advantage of the new testing, but many review articles read otherwise.

A new form of testing could switch up the norm from the standardized “fill-in-the-bubble” at the end of the year during STAR testing, which begins early in grade school as well.

Adding this career and progress test can help track the changes and fluctuation in a student’s grades and capabilities as he or she advances through grade school.

The career test should be ever-changing along with a 5-year-old child’s personality and behavior.

The test results can be a reflection of students’ progress and influence by teachers.

Also, when patterns start to form and a reoccurring result comes from the test, the student can focus more energy on his or her best subject and excel.

However, students and teachers should have confidentiality with these results and utilize them as they please.

The tests should remain as progress checks until the students are older, such as in junior high school. They should not be tunneled to learn the one subject he or she excels in.

The tests would help show where and when students exceed limitation and how certain teachers and grades influenced their personalities and levels of intelligence.

The career tests would be very early in a child’s life, but it would not determine the rest of the student’s life. It would just be a progress report to be utilized however the student wishes.

The test would be beneficial for parents, teachers and even students when he or she grows up and starts preparing to apply for colleges.

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