We recently learned the Illinois State Board of Education approved the SAT to replace the ACT. Some school districts have chosen to remain another year with the ACT. What is School District 308 planning to do?
Beginning last spring, the ISBE accepted proposals for a college entrance exam to be administered to all 11th graders since the contract for the ACT was expiring. This past December, the ISBE approved the state-funded college entrance exam to be The College Board’s SAT.
School District 308 reviewed several resources, including surveys of other school districts and feedback from our own high school and district administrators. We considered many factors and determined it would be in the best interest of our students to immediately shift to the SAT.
The primary reason for our decision focused on the SAT’s alignment to the new Illinois State Common Core Standards. Because of our district’s curriculum alignment commitment to the Illinois Common Core Standards, students taking a college entrance exam that aligns with the actual curriculum approved by our Board of Education and the ISBE made the most sense.
Currently, most institutions of higher learning accept both the ACT and SAT as application for admission. Because the SAT is aligned to Common Core Standards, it is anticipated that our students will earn a higher score and gain a competitive edge on acceptance to the college or university of their choice. In addition, a higher score could potentially allow our students to earn more scholarships.
Time utilized preparing students for the ACT will not be a loss. Test preparation for the ACT provides students with a better idea of time limitations, types of questions, and how students should respond to questions to obtain the best possible score. Studied content, in addition to the above noted areas, should reflect well on any entrance exam. In the future, SAT test preparation activities will be made available for our students.
The cost of taking the ACT is higher than the SAT. Because of the uncertain Illinois state budget, we recognized that exam expenses could impact our local budget.
We believe the decision made by the ISBE is a good decision that is in the best interest of Illinois students. By shifting to a college entrance exam that is both widely accepted and aligned with approved standards, we are providing our students a better opportunity to obtain a better score.
It is important that all of our 11th graders have the ability to take a college entrance exam during the school day. Our mission is to prepare students to be college and career ready. Therefore, taking a college entrance exam as part of their high school experience seems to be a good decision. School District 308 is planning to administer the SAT to all 11th grade students during a school day in April. More information, including a letter to high school parents, will be completed within the next two weeks. Starting next week, additional SAT information for parents and students will be available on the district’s website.
As Illinois and SD 308 completes this change, thank you for your patience and support. Please contact your child’s school if you have questions.