A New Testing Opportunity for IL Public High School Students
Recently, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the SAT with Writing as the state’s accountability assessment for the 2016-2017 school year, replacing the PARCC exam at the high school level. While grades 3-8 will continue to take the PARCC exam for accountability measures, the SAT will be administered to all Illinois 11th grade public school students on April 5th, 2017 to meet the requirements of recently released policy guidelines from the Education Department addressing the directives of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for national accountability.
The PARCC exam encountered significant resistance in the two years since it was adopted in Illinois, including complaints about testing time and student opt-outs. The adoption of the SAT will reduce testing time and provide opportunity and access for all students to a college entrance exam at no cost to the student. Like the ACT, the SAT is accepted as an admissions test by all colleges and universities in the United States.
With a new exam, there is new opportunity, specifically for student learning and test-taking performance. The learning opportunity follows from the SAT’s redesign: the 2016 SAT includes grammar, math, and reading content better aligned with high school and college curriculum, so preparation for the exam is tied more closely to relevant college readiness skills important both for higher scores and more complete academic skills. The performance opportunity also flows from the SAT’s redesign: the new test allows 44% more time per question than the ACT does, allowing students a chance to show what they know, without speeding through to complete the exam. Extra time for problem solving can be used wisely and lead to greater growth in student achievement over time.
At Academic Approach, we provide high-quality ACT and SAT preparation for schools and students. In an often-changing testing landscape, we are committed to finding the most positive and productive pathways for driving higher student achievement. We see opportunity ahead.