State administered SAT on March 2


Connecticut is one of four states that will administer the “state mandated” SAT on Wednesday, March 2. (The other three states are Colorado, Michigan, and New Hampshire.) In Connecticut, it will be used to assess the Common Core standards.  One disconcerting fact about using this test as a measure of student achievement is that it is untested and untried.  How valid can the results be when not compared to any previous exam?

Moreover, this test is supposed to avoid “over-testing.”  The state maintains that students may submit these test scores when applying to college.  However, several weeks ago,  I contacted the state to learn when test results would be avalilable. The reply: that had not been determined.  As of the publication of this article, the Connecticut State Board of Education has not yet decided (or at least publicized) when these test results will be ready.   Many students will wait for their scores before deciding if they will re-take it or take the ACT.  They may have to make a decison in the absence of such feedback.

Furthermore, this test will not include the optional essay. While many of the top colleges have not yet indicated if they will require the essay, others have already reported that they do. Therefore, students may choose to take a test that includes the essay, as doing so can provide them with additional application options. Therefore, thousands of students will have to re-take the SAT with essay.  Who decided on the early March state test date when the national adminstration is March 5? I know students who will take the test twice in the same week–on March 2 and on March 5.  How is that for “test fatigue”?

My final question with regard to this situation: cui bono? Who will benefit from this new testing policy for juniors–the students, the College Board, or the state? 


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