SAT Will Replace Smarter Balanced for West Virginia’s High School Juniors

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.

8 thoughts on “SAT Will Replace Smarter Balanced for West Virginia’s High School Juniors

  1. I just keep telling everyone to look at fairtest.org. So many colleges aren’t even looking at any testing scores instead having students submit grades and write essays. The tests mean absolutely SQUAT!

  2. Oh isn’t that just great. We replace one Common Core aligned test with yet another Common Core aligned test and put more money in the pockets of David Coleman and his College Board which administers the SAT. If I had a child in school he/she would not take ANY of these tests state law or no state law. But then again if I had a school age child today I would be educating them at home not in the public school system. I sure hope the parents of WV understand they were duped and this test is no better than the Smarter Balance. All the parents that were astute enough to OPT OUT of SBAC must now be astute enough to realize they were deceived yet again and now OPT OUT of the SAT.

  3. You said ACT would have been a better choice. ACT is also now aligned with Common Core and we now also have ACT Tessera which will assess our children’s values, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and dispositions. ACT was one of the primary creators of Common Core standards. They are even mentioned in the SCANS report. ACT is another very bad player in this scheme.

    1. ACT’s college entrance exam was never aligned to Common Core. ACT Aspire was their Common Core test.

      1. There are many states that use ACT Aspire. So we both need to clarify the difference. I wouldn’t trust ANY product coming from ACT. They were the main architects of Common Core. Every state is now aligned with Common Core (EVERY STATE) and to use tests that are not aligned would not make much sense. I say educate your kids at home and let them take the exam offered by the college of their choice. At least for now that is a safe bet but eventually the college tests will have to line up as well. I think colleges will find out that most kids coming out of a CC aligned system will not have the smarts needed to get into college so they too will have to eventually comply. Believe me PARCC, SBAC and all the other testing companies are working together.

        1. Many states? I know of one, perhaps two, who use it as their state’s summative assessment required under ESSA.

          There may have been ACT staff involved in the writing and review teams for Common Core, but to call them one of the main architects is simply not factually correct. You are entitled to your opinion Karen, but not your own facts.

          That said, just because I said I prefer ACT or SAT doesn’t mean I’m an ACT fan.

          1. Shane I can provide proof of ACT’s involvement in the creation of Common Core standards. I think it very rude and unfair of you to say I make up my own facts. I also never implied you were in favor of ACT.

  4. In a 2012 Presentation of ACT Aspire presenter Kevin Houchin showed a timeline the timeline illustrated that in 2003 ACT develops College Readiness Benchmarks. He said these benchmarks were the foundation for CC standards and were used as a template. This same time line also states 2007 CCSSO engages state chiefs in discussion about common standards, 2008 Joint CCSSO-NGA publication calls for the adoption of common standards Common Core State Initiative begins (ACT development partner in effort). The SCANS report from 1992 clearly demonstrates ACTs role in developing Work Keys, a system for profiling, assessing and teaching employable skills. This is school-workforce training not education. Also, if you look at the list of organizations that were on the original CCSI Work Group Standard Development Work Group ACT is well represented. I did not mean to start an argument over this issue. I simply feel that ACT is a bad player no matter what name they put on their product and I did not imply you were in support of ACT.

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