Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Turf battle developing over who can test California’s 11th-graders | EdSource

Turf battle developing over who can test California’s 11th-graders | EdSource:

Turf battle developing over who can test California’s 11th-graders 


California is quickly becoming a national battleground over the franchise for testing high school juniors. The College Board, producer of the SAT college admissions test, wants in, while state officials, defenders of the state’s current test provider, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, have a new strategy to keep the SAT and the ACT, the other main college admissions test, out.
What’s at stake is not only two test providers’ market share in the nation’s biggest state, but also their ability to deliver on a double promise: preparing the state’s high school students for admission to college and measuring their mastery of the state’s standards in math and English language arts.
Here’s what happened last week:
  • In an interview, Long Beach Unified Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser said he would challenge the state’s rejection of his request to give the SAT instead of the Smarter Balanced math and English language arts tests to all 11th-graders in his district. “We’re not giving up and will explore all options,” including seeking legislation, he said. “We’re not against SBAC (Smarter Balanced) by any means, but it doesn’t serve the purpose we need to serve.”
  • In letters to University of California President Janet Napolitano and to California State University Chancellor Timothy White, State Board of Education President Michael Kirst and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson asked the university systems to incorporate student scores on the Smarter Balanced 11th-grade tests into admissions decisions – as a potential replacement for the SAT and ACT. This would be a big change for Smarter Balanced, which is used to measure student achievement in high school but was not created for college admissions decisions.
Steinhauser remains adamant in pressing his case for the state’s third-largest district to switch to the SAT. It is one of two dozen districts that give both the Smarter Balanced tests, as required by state law, and the SAT, at their own expense, to all juniors.
Steinhauser said parents, students and teachers want to focus full attention on the SAT because its scores are a key component for college admission. And, starting in the 8th grade, Long Beach uses the PSAT, other assessments by the College Board, and free online tutorials by the Khan Academy to prepare students for the SAT. Smarter Balanced gives tests to grades 3-8 and grade 11, but Turf battle developing over who can test California’s 11th-graders | EdSource:


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