Standardized Testing Got Re-Standardized

As spring approaches, district testing accordingly rears its head. Though juniors have grown accustomed to taking the ACT test, a recent decision was made to transition to the SAT.

The bill originally surfaced in 2015, when new legislation was introduced to Colorado. ACT and SAT put in bids to be the standard test for Colorado; SAT ended up being less expensive and generally did a better job measuring what students know/need to know for college, according to Dr. Katy Anthes, Colorado Commissioner of Education, who spoke to students about testing at a press conference at the State Capitol on Monday, February 27.

When the transition was originally proposed, it was going to take place in the middle of the year, which would inevitably be quite a shock for the current juniors. They had been preparing for the ACT and a random test change would be a major inconvenience. A transition process was then put in place that would make the new test easier on students.   

As part of the transition, Khan Academy partnered with College Board. They now offer seven full-length online practice tests for students, along with a personalized learning plan. 

“It’s very important to have free practice materials available for students,” Will Morton, Assessment Specialist with the State Department of Education, said.

Additionally, the transition will not have any affect on school funds, as they are based on school population rather than test scores.

A negative effect of the switch is that any underclassmen who were already preparing for the ACT will have to instead take a different test. Luckily, both tests have to follow Colorado’s set of standards.

The test transition may have at first produced quite the shock among students and teachers, but soon the SAT will be just as commonplace as the ACT was.