Connecticut standardized testing reduced; SAT free for students

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s Governor announced Thursday that the 11th grade Smarter Balance Assessment, or SBAC exam, is being replaced with the SAT. Plus, the SAT will now be free for all Connecticut students.

“About 17-percent of kids don’t take the SAT,” said Governor Dannel Malloy. “With the approval of this waiver, the state will now pay for the SAT for all students, and that will help level the playing field for those who would be excluded because of prohibited cost.”

“This is an important step for our grade 11 students, and for our families and all the kids we serve that we set our sights on college and career readiness,” said State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell. “We are using the appropriate measures to get there.”

Connecticut’s leaders say this change will eliminate duplicative testing, reduce over-testing, reduce student stress, and address parental concerns.

“At Wilbur Cross, what we’re really trying to do is break the large school down to small pieces to make sure every child has the opportunity to be successful whether they choose to work or go to college, so I think this will help prepare them for that,” said Edith Johnson, Principal of Wilbur Cross High School.

“Letting us focus on what really matters, ensuring the students are ready by having a test like this and giving us the time to do the work, to do the learning, as opposed to the testing,” said Garth Harris, Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools.

Currently, 48 school districts are using grant money to analyze all of their tests to make sure they reflect district priorities, remain aligned to new state standards, are not redundant, and provide maximum value. The ultimate goal is to reduce testing time wherever possible.

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