The NY Times posted a story about the SAT (owned by The College Board) and ACT and how they are changing in the next few years.
Big changes are coming to the nation’s two competing admissions tests.
Mr. Coleman, who became president last October, is intent on rethinking the SAT to make it an instrument that meshes with what students are learning in their classrooms. Meanwhile, the ACT, which has always been more curriculum-based, is the first of the two to move into the digital age. In adapting its test for the computer, ACT Inc. is tiptoeing past the fill-in-the-bubble Scantron sheets toward more creative, hands-on questions.
In their own ways, both organizations are striving to produce something beyond a college admissions test. ACT plans to start yearly testing as early as third grade to help guide students to college readiness. One of Mr. Coleman’s goals is for the College Board to help low-income students see broader college possibilities.
“The Common Core State Standards Initiative is led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, in partnership with ACT, the College Board, and Achieve.”
1. Chester Finn of the Fordham Foundation speculated that Smarter Balanced and PARCC Assessment Consortia may not be around forever.
“I expect that PARCC and Smarter Balanced (the two federally subsidized consortia of states that are developing new assessments meant to be aligned with Common Core standards) will fade away, eclipsed and supplanted by long-established yet fleet-footed testing firms that already possess the infrastructure, relationships, and durability that give them huge advantages in the competition for state and district business.”
Because education is a long-term process, a continuous process, we need to look at assessment as being in the service of education, by looking at it as a coherent system, not as just a point in time, but across time, within the whole educational process,”
A good system of assessment, Schmeiser said, would be used “earlier, to inform the educational process.”
If SAT truly were a competitor to ACT, they would need an “early” assessment system. Education Week asked Schmeiser, “Would the College Board seek to build a comprehensive system of tests, like the two federally funded state consortia [SBA and PARCC] are doing? (And like the ACT teamed up with Pearson to build?)
Schmeiser said only that the two consortia are doing “critically important work” that the College Board would “continue to support.”
“With the new redesign, the SAT seems likely to inch even closer in content to the ACT, which focuses more on grammar, usage and mechanics than on vocabulary.