High school juniors in the Mountaineer state will take the SAT college entrance exam instead of the Smarter Balanced Assessment the West Virginia Department of Education announced this week.
From their press release:
All West Virginia high school juniors will begin taking the SAT as the statewide summative assessment in spring 2018, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced today. The College Board was selected as the successful bidder following a competitive review process for the high school assessment.
The shift in the West Virginia’s statewide assessment was a result of the state legislation passed last April (HB 2711) which, among other things, required the WVDE to identify a college entrance exam to be used as the statewide high school assessment.
“The College Board’s SAT test is a widely respected assessment used across the country,” said Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Lou Maynus. “College Board proved through the bid process that its product was the better assessment for West Virginia students by providing valuable resources at a lower cost than the other bidder.”
SAT was selected as the successful bidder because their proposal more closely met the specifications of the request for proposals (RFP). Students will have access to a large number of resources including the well-known Khan Academy®, which is the official practice portal for SAT. Through Khan Academy®, students have access to eight practice tests, thousands of practice questions and personalized recommendations to help students focus on the skills needed to improve their performance. Additionally, SAT provides an easy process for approving accommodations and supports for testing students with disabilities, students on section 504 plans and English learners. West Virginia high schools are already familiar with College Board through their Advanced Placement (AP) program that helps students earn college credits while in high school.
The SAT assessment will be administered in a paper format in year one with an option to move online in year two and beyond The assessment will be the same as a typical Saturday SAT assessment, but given to students during the regular school day. Students can send their scores to up to four colleges or universities at no cost.
The law that the department cites in their press release means that West Virginia will dump Smarter Balanced as it prohibits the State’s Board of Education “from adopting the Smarter Balanced Assessment system or the PARCC assessment system as the statewide summative assessment.”
Unfortunately, if they didn’t include language that the college entrance exam should not be Common Core aligned. The College Board with Common Core architect David Coleman at the helm has aligned the SAT with the standards. They have ruined the assessment. ACT would have been a better choice.