State goes with SAT for 11th grade testing

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State goes with SAT for 11th grade testing
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

The state Department of Education has chosen the SAT as the statewide assessment it will give high school juniors each spring.

The bid from the The College Board, which administers the SAT, won out over a bid from the ACT, Department of Education Executive Director of Communications Kristin Anderson said.

“We’re going to have access to more resources at a lower cost,” Anderson said. “It’s a lot of personalized learning and they customize the resources. So they can pinpoint where students are needing the most help, what skills they need to improve. It will customize the resources in prep for the test.

State lawmakers mandated a recognized college entrance-type exam in a bill (HB 2711) it passed earlier this year. The SAT will replace the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

The results of the tests won’t impact students’ grades but it can serve as a college entrance exam, Anderson said.

“Students are going to have skin in the game when they take this test,” she said. “It’s just like a Saturday SAT assessment, it will just be administered during the school day and at the end of the assessment they can choose to send their scores up to four colleges and universities at no cost to the student.”

Students can still take the ACT, like they do now, on their own and on their own dime.

“I am thrilled that our students will be able take a globally-recognized college admission test at no cost,” West Virginia Associate Superintendent of Schools, Clayton Burch said in a news release. “The SAT will add value and influence the effort index among our high school students because it is tied to concrete outcomes and benefits.”

The SAT is a summative test, Anderson said.

“There’s an English section, a math section. There’s also a science score that SAT will assign and through this test the students will take the essay portion of the SAT,” she said.

The College Board’s bid offers the tests and resources for $51 per student. The state will enter into a one year contract with the opportunity to renew that each year for three additional years, Anderson said.

The state Department of Education plans to announce the successful vendor for the assessments for 3rd through 8th grades next week.