After over an hour in closed session, the board of education members stepped out, ready to tackled the tasks of the evening.
First order of business, is always the beloved pledge of allegiance led by students from different grades and schools in the district. This Thursday, little preschool students had the honor of leading the pledge, and quite energetically.
After some light-hearted conversation with the little ones, it was finally time to discuss updates on State assessments by Dr. Schlichter. According to Schlichter, there are some incorrect rumors going around about the testing. She confirmed that the SAT had the winning bid for the college readiness assessment.
“The State awarded a contract to SAT. However, the State has not appropriated funds to pay for that contract,” said Schlichter.
Last year the ACT was funded by the State, it was not mandatory, but most districts took it because it was free. This year, to erase any uncertainty, the district will for sure be administering the ACT to its students in April.
Until State funding is finalized, it is uncertain if the SAT will be funded for and whether or not it will be mandatory.
“At this time we really are waiting to see whether the State is going to have students take the SAT or not,” said Schlichter. “If it’s going to be either of those it will be the SAT, but we’re not sure it’s going to happen based on State funding.”
According to Schlichter, both the SAT and ACT are good tests, and can get you into college. Especially now since the SAT has changed to become more similar to the ACT. So, it will not necessarily make that much of a difference from test to test. What matters is, how it affects the way scores are collected and interpreted, and how students are prepared for their tests.
“The SAT is a good test. It’s just going to be a matter I think for our students, teachers, administrators, parents, and certainly our systems to say what does that mean for us,” said Schlichter. “To get kids ready to make sure we’re all prepared but also to say what does that mean for our longitudinal data tracking [scores from other schools]. If we get to a point if we no longer can have district reporting on ACT, then that means we’re all together gonna have to revamp some of our targets and the way we look at our longitudinal data.”
For now, it is just a matter of State funding, and the final decision. Until then, nothing can really be decided for sure, except for the fact that the ACT will be administered this April.
“We will keep you apprised of what we know to make sure that our parents and kids have the right information and not just wondering what’s happening out there,” said Schlichter.