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The New York Times reports today that Connecticut has decided to drop the Smarter Balanced Assessment for 11th graders and require all students to take the SAT instead.
Although it is not clear in the article, it appears that students in other grades will still take the Smarter Balanced tests.
Since David Coleman was “architect” of the Common Core and is now President of the College Board, the SAT will be aligned with the Common Core.
This is, of course, a tremendous financial coup for the College Board, which charges for every student who takes the SAT.
But it will also benefit Connecticut students, because the cut score (passing mark) on the SBA is set so high that most students are certain to fail and would not be eligible to graduate from high school. Connecticut has now finessed that problem.
The federal government requires that states assess students in both reading and math once during high school. Because so many Connecticut public school students take the SAT anyway, replacing the existing high school test, given in 11th grade, with the SAT would leave young people with one exam fewer on their roster.
State officials said that while scores had not yet been set on what would count as meeting or exceeding “achievement level,” a particular score on the SAT would not be required to graduate from high school or to rise to the 12th grade. Instead, the test will be used as one of several measures, including grades and attendance, to decide if a student has met the requirements necessary to move on.
Dorie Nolt, a spokeswoman for the federal Education Department, said that several states, including Kentucky, South Carolina and Wisconsin, already use the ACT college admissions exam to fulfill their high school testing requirement.