Dramatic changes made among standardized tests


By Hannah Metzger, Reporter and Alivia Lee, Co-editor in Chief

For the past four days since school has been back in session, there has been one topic on the minds of many students: the change from the ACT to the SAT. Students all over the state of Colorado have been in outrage after hearing of the Colorado Department of Education’s decision to remove the required ACT test and instead force students, including current Juniors, to take the SAT.

The Colorado Board of Education’s decision has drawn so much criticism that they have already proposed to allow this year’s Juniors to take the ACT; however, their proposal has yet to be finalized.

Although, it is not only the test that made people so angry — but the timing. Junior Alexis Andrew explained that she has been preparing to take the ACT for years and this change is very disappointing.

“I think that it screws all of us over because we’ve been studying for the ACT for a long time and we’re programmed to take the ACT,” expressed Andrew.

From the beginning of a student’s freshman year, RHS teachers work with them quite extensively to be sure that all students are prepared and able to do well on the ACT. With the sudden change in tests, all of the time consumed and frustrations caused by this extensive practice now seem wasteful, students claim.  

“I feel like they should’ve given us a heads up at the beginning of the year for all of the students who have been taking ACT test prep classes and who have been working so hard towards their ACT score,” agreed Junior Sarah Bates.

Mr. Petry instructs his ACT prep class (Vincent Tran).

It is not only the students who feel that they have been blind sided. Rangeview English teacher, Mr. Fenimore, stated that this change was a “surprise to all of us.”

“The timing could’ve been better. I think that for the Juniors who are preparing for the ACT it would be a shame if they were not given the opportunity to have a free ACT,” said Fenimore. “With that being said [students] can still take the ACT and colleges will still accept the ACT so it hasn’t necessarily been a waste of time or preparation.”

However, even the most prepared students are still upset about this drastic change. Junior Kevin Marshall, who is currently ranked first in his class, expressed his discontent with the sudden change even though he feels confident about both tests.
“I think that it’s stupid to have this change three months before the actual test,” explained Marshall.

As a teacher and a parent to a current Junior, Mrs. Walsh understands much of the frustration and weighed in on the issue of this dramatic change.

“I did not even know that [the Department of Education] were thinking about changing it,” said Walsh. “That score is getting you into college, that is a test that if it’s going to be changed we need a lot of notice, it affects kids lives’ immensely. As soon as I heard it I thought of my son, he took the ACT in December, every school that is looking at him for baseball requests the ACT.”

Rangeview Social Studies teacher Mr. Melendez believes that this drastic change is an example of how disconnected the state education board is with the schools.

“How are you so out of touch?” Melendez asked regarding the Colorado Department of Education. “Nobody at the table said that schools are going to give this test in two months? The logistics of putting a test together — people need time, not just students but teachers as well, people need time to do these things…. Who’s making these decisions?”

While the Colorado Department of Education is still planning to adopt the SAT, the amount of criticism received may help to delay the change until next year.

In a letter to district superintendents Elliott Asp, Interim Commissioner of Education, wrote, “CDE is working with the vendors on a transition proposal that would allow 11th grade students to take the ACT this year only, instead of the new SAT. This would not change the requirement for this year’s 10th graders to take the PSAT 10 in preparation for Colorado’s full transition to the SAT in spring 2017.”