Why The SAT And ACT Should Worry About This New Anti-Common Core Alternative

May 26, 2016 by

Justin Haskins –

In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) swept through Congress, largely unopposed by leaders on both sides of the aisle. It is perhaps the only piece of legislation during Pres. Barack Obama’s time in office that appears to have pleased politicians of every persuasion. Many Democrats praised ESSA as a significant enhancement over the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act that finally enshrines into law a mandate for “college and career-ready” education standards. Republicans, notably Tenn. Sen. Lamar Alexander praised the legislation for allegedly shifting power back to state and local governments eager to avoid the increased control hoisted upon them by the Department of Education’s Common Core State Standards.

However, decades from now, ESSA may be remembered best as the catalyst that sparked a movement to shift away from the well-established SAT and ACT college admissions tests—the two standardized assessments that have dominated the educational landscape for decades.

ESSA, which is set to begin during the 2017–18 school year, requires states to conduct standardized testing for students in grades 3 through 8 and again in high school. Local school districts who have received permission from the state may choose to use either the SAT or ACT tests to fulfill the high school testing requirement. In the minds of many, this lifts a significant burden off of state and local education officials to create for themselves new standardized tests, which can often cost millions of dollars and several years to develop and implement.

Plans are already in place for every public high school to require SAT testing in six states: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Michigan and New Hampshire. In 15 states, the ACT will be used to test all 11th grade students attending a public school.

But for many parents, government officials and advocacy groups, the promotion of SAT and ACT testing is unacceptable because of recent changes planned or already implemented that have moved both tests closer to the highly criticized Common Core standards. In fact, the so-called architect of Common Core, David Coleman, is now the CEO of College Board, which produces and operates the SAT.

EdSurge reports the transition toward Common Core has been clear: “The SAT has gone through a redesign for debut in March, and according to Jake Firman, director of Education Technology at DSST Public Schools, this newer version of the SAT ‘has made a very focused effort alignment to Common Core.’”

Source: Why The SAT And ACT Should Worry About This New Anti-Common Core Alternative – Forbes

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