District 127’s annual District Assessment Day will take place next Wednesday, October 19, 2016. This year, we will be switching from ACT’s EPAS assessment system to College Board’s SAT assessment suite. We have made the switch due to The Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) announcement that it will no longer offer the ACT for all Juniors, but will provide the College Board’s SAT exam, including a writing component, at no cost to all public high school juniors during the 2016-17 school year. The SAT will replace the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment as the high school accountability exam in Illinois.
SAT’s assessments focus on the knowledge and skills required for college and career readiness. The transition to this new assessment structure is beneficial for our students as it measures the learning standards to which our District 127 curriculum is aligned, provides data to inform which Advanced Placement (AP) courses students have the potential to do well in; and provides students with a robust online preparation from Khan Academy that includes practice questions and essays free of charge.
On October 19th, our Juniors and Sophomores will be taking the PSAT/NMSQT. The results from this assessment can be used to help students and their families make decisions about what test preparation and coursework could help students achieve their desired score on the SAT assessment to be taken Spring of Junior Year. This is also the only way for Juniors to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship competition. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition among high school students for recognition and college scholarships. To prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT, our freshmen and incoming 8th graders will be taking a PSAT 8/9. This sequential suite of assessments will be able to provide our students, families and school with longitudinal growth during high school.
We are excited for this positive change in assessment options for our students! If you have any questions during this transition, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time!
Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction