The latest permutation in the Connecticut assessment program of the Common Core is the decision to use the SAT in place of the Smarter Balance test for 11th. grade students. The Connecticut Board of Education recently announced that the state has received a waiver regarding administration of the Smarter Balance. Consequently all juniors will take the SAT, regardless of their post-secondary plans.
The stated reason for this decision is that high school juniors are already overburdened with tests. In addition to their academic courses, many of these students are taking the ACT, the SAT, and AP exams. The governor stated, ““We know individualized teaching and instruction works, and we know that student-by-student data can help. But that doesn’t mean we should be overburdening our kids. That’s why we first devised this idea and submitted this waiver last fall, and that’s why we’re so thrilled to be able to deliver for families across Connecticut today.” Students will not pay the $50 fee for the test.
Is this news a surprise to those who have been following the changes about to occur to the PSAT and SAT? After all, the president of the College Board, David Colemen, was,in fact, one of the architects of the Common Core. And now, the SAT will monitor the Common Core? The first administration of this re-engineered test occurs in October with the PSAT. Thus, the Class of 2017 will be the first cohort to demonstrate the effects of the testing. Are they the experimental group? What should they expect? The revised SAT will begin in March, so it has not yet been administered to any large groups, and the analytics are as yet undeveloped. In light of the June SAT fiasco, in which the College Board discounted two sections due to errors in timing, one can only hope that they will be more diligent with the spring test. How accurately will it assess the state’s curriculum? This development close the circle with the new SAT, which is designed to reflect the progress of schools in adhering to the Common Core. Perhaps we will know by this time next year.