For those of you who haven’t been following the College Board’s recent exploits, the company is in the process of staging a massive, national attempt to recapture market share from the ACT. Traditionally, a number of states, primarily in the Midwest and South, have required the ACT for graduation. Over the past several months, however, several states known for their longstanding relationships with the ACT have abruptly – and unexpectedly – announced that they will be dropping the ACT and mandating the redesigned SAT. The following commentary was sent to me by a West Coast educator who has been closely following these developments.
For What It’s Worth
On December 4, 2015 a 15-member evaluation committee met in Denver, Colorado to begin the process of awarding a 5-year state testing contract to either the ACT, Inc. or the College Board. After meeting three more times (December 10, 11, and 18th) the evaluation committee awarded the Colorado contract to the College Board on December 21, 2015. The committee’s meetings were not open to the public and the names of the committee members were not known until about two weeks later.
Once the committee’s decision became public, parents complained that it placed an unfair burden on juniors who had been preparing for the ACT. Over 150 school officials responded by sending a protest letter to Interim Education Commissioner Elliott Asp. The letter emphasized the problem faced by juniors and also noted that Colorado would be abandoning a test for which they had 15 years of data for a new test with no data. (more…)