I am puzzled on the mandate of the ACT/SAT in certain states. Basically, these tests are now being used to assess secondary competence. However, they weren’t designed for that purpose; they were designed for measuring college readiness. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the ACT and SAT were probably purposely simplified irrationally to make their product more accessible to everyone, increasing market share. A more logical approach is to use the GED/HiSET/TASC to measure secondary competence. They were designed for that purpose. Doing this will raise our college readiness benchmark, a benchmark currently too low for practicality. Though, one could say that the “cutoff” score for secondary proficiency is lower than many “college cutoffs”. But that doesn’t cut it for me. A passing GED score equates to “you’re ready to graduate!”. Isn’t that what states want?
Some use tests other than SAT or ACT. Many turned to the ACT starting about 2001, when the no child left behind laws began, because (a) the ACT was thought to be a test that measures not just college readiness but what students actually learn in high school, and (b) ACT offerred low bulk or cut rates per test, and © states accomplished both compliance with laws and providing their students with a free college entrance test and thus encourage many who might otherwise not go to college to consider doing so. Until recently, there were only three states that mandated the SAT and SAT’s failure to get more states was due to its perception as only a college readiness test and the price College Board offerred was higher than ACT. However, that has changed rapidly in the last year with the introduction of the new SAT which is being marketed to states like the ACT as one that tests for both college readiness and what is learned in high school. and most important, it is being offerred to states for rates that are significantly less than the ACT has been charging, with the result that even key states that used the ACT – Illinois, Michigan, and Colorado-- are switching to the SAT. In other words, the main factor driving the use of the tests today is amount of money being charged for sates to accomplish the dual role of meeting the no child left behind laws and getting more high school students to take the test and possibly apply to college.
CB could have developed a wholly separate test to meet the demand for a state test to measure student achievement. They should not have changed the core product of the SAT, though. They probably lowered the standards for the redesigned SAT to make it more accessible for everyone, thereby compromising the authenticity of it being a “college-readiness” test.
In NYC, SAT administrations will be free and will take place during in-school hours. However, New York City already has a statewide achievement testing scheme.
College Board changed the SAT test because ACT had become the test taken by most graduating seniors, ACT was continuously gaining new states that used the test to comply with no child left behind laws, and SAT realized that if did not change make a major change and proceed as it is now marketing the new test and offering it for a cut rate, the SAT could have been out of business in ten years. In other words, it changed because the competition was kicking its butt and it decided on its current course of action, including having a new test and undercutting ACT’s price to states to use it for no child left behind law compliance, to defeat that competition.