Opinion: Switches in standardized tests causes uproar


By Alivia Lee, Columnist, Co-editor in Chief

As we begin the new year with high hopes to grow and achieve as students and individuals, anxiety and stress already started to fill the hallways. The big news that broke shortly after winter break began was that the SAT would be used as the statewide college readiness test, rather than the ACT. While it is looking like current juniors will continue to take the ACT as planned and this switch over to the SAT will begin next year, this change caused quite the uproar. Obviously, the people making these decisions have no idea what is going on in classrooms and are completely out of touch with how much work goes into preparing for the ACT.

The ACT is administered every April, meaning that, if the SAT was given at the same time,  students would have a little under four months to study for the test. Students spend so much time studying for the ACT and teachers do their part in preparing students the best they can to take that test,so to abandon the ACT and adopt the SAT this year, is absolutely ridiculous. These tests aren’t just some small meaningless exams — the ACT and SAT both greatly affect student lives and futures and to give students four months to prepare for a test that a small population of juniors are familiar with, is unjustified.

Sure, even if juniors are forced to take the SAT, they will still have the opportunity to take the ACT on their on time with their own money, but doing this obviously is a disadvantage to poor students, like many here at Rangeview, who already have too disadvantages when it comes to going to college.   

The Colorado Department of Education has still not made it 100% clear if current juniors will be taking the ACT or the SAT, and the SAT is given in two short months. We only have months to study and prepare for whatever test we are taking, so if someone could please make it clear as to what test juniors are taking, that would be great. This decision to make a switch in standardized tests without any warning and with a limited amount of time until testing begins was an extremely poor decision of the Colorado Department of Education.

Who is making these decisions? Why are they being made? What are the details of the contract SAT made with the state to make them switch from the ACT?

It was foolish to even think that switching from the ACT just weeks before juniors have to take the test was a good idea. The switch has caused enough of an uproar that as of now it seems like the current juniors will be taking the ACT, but nothing has been confirmed. If the Colorado Department of Education could get their act (no pun intended) together to figure out if juniors will take the ACT, so much stress and anxiety will be relieved. A decision needs to be made — it needs to be made, now.

Of course everything always comes down to the dollar; it is rumored that compared to the ACT, the SAT offered a cheaper contract to Colorado so it could save money on testing. It would be nice if the future of thousands of students was more valuable than a little money — but the Colorado Department of Education proves me wrong. The state wasted a ridiculous amount of money on the unsuccessful CMAS and PARCC exams last year, maybe a reason why they are doing anything to try and save money– no matter how unreasonable.