ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : COM-10-017

Date Created : 08/14/2009


Co-op Directors
Secondary Principals
High School Principals

Type of Memo: Regulatory
Response Required: Yes
Section:   Central Administration - Dr. Tom W. Kimbrell, Commissioner
Voluntary Universal ACT Assessment

Regulatory Authority:
Ark. Code Ann. Section 6-18-1601 et seq. (Act 881 of 2007)

Contact Person:
Dr. Charity Smith, Assistant Commissioner

Phone Number:


Act 881 of 2007 established the Voluntary Universal ACT Assessment program (VUAA), which provides an opportunity for all students in grade eleven (11) to participate in a school day administration of the ACT assessment. The purpose of this Act is to improve the college readiness of all students in grade 11 and to help prevent or minimize college remediation.

During the 2008-2009 school year approximately 63 school districts successfully participated in the inaugural year of the program using NSLA funding. During the 2009-2010 school year, the Department of Education will cover the cost of the basic test for all school districts wishing to participate. The basic test includes reading, Mathematics, science and English.

Districts wishing to participate need to contact the Division of Public School Academic Accountability by filling out the attached form and e-mailing it to Heather Speyer-Rainbolt in Dr. Charity Smith’s office at or faxing it to 501-682-4206. Districts must be registered by August 31, 2009. Districts not wishing to participate are also asked to e-mail or fax this form to Ms. Rainbolt.

Implementation broadcast training for participating district administrators will be held on September 18, 2009, via webinar. Details will be provided to districts registering to participate in the VUAA program and the implementation broadcast by ACT.

In order to avoid conflicts with End-of-Course testing, the school day test date for ACT has been scheduled for May 12, 2010, with NO make-up date. The special accommodations testing window is April 28-May 12. Pre-testing (preparation) for special accommodations must be completed before April 28.

Additionally, grade 11 students within participating districts unable to participate during the school day administration of the test, due to extenuating circumstances approved by the principal, may take the test on any of the Spring National testing dates pre-determined by ACT for the 2009-2010 school year with the exception of the June date.

Please note that students’ Voluntary Universal ACT Assessment scores will not be used for accountability purposes, but should be used by schools for academic planning. All districts are strongly encouraged to participate and provide an opportunity for students to participate in the assessment.

For further information, districts should contact Dr. Charity Smith, Assistant Commissioner, Arkansas Department of Education at 501-682-5891 or Willie Morris at 501-682-4472.


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