School Board calls for using SAT instead of M-STEP for testing 11th graders

The AAPS Board of Education standingBy Andrew Cluley- AAPS Communications Specialist

To reduce testing redundancy and provide a nationally relevant test the School Board is calling for Michigan to switch tests the state uses for assessing 11th grade students. The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution calling for the SAT to replace the M-STEP exam for 11th graders.

The resolution comes as the Michigan Department of Education is looking at making changes to standardized assessments after making the switch to the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress in 2015. School Board Vice-President Christine Stead says with the conversation in Lansing and comments made by State Superintendent Brian Whitson the board felt it needed to act quickly before a decision is made in Lansing.

Stead says the proposed switch to the SAT doesn’t address all issues around state testing but is a good place to start the discussion. “Our 11th graders are in a unique position, everyone of them at least in our schools takes the SAT, which is a nationally relevant test. The MSTEP is not,” says Stead. “So our 11th graders are taking a test anyway that assesses college readiness and probably one of the better tests in terms of what is available nationally.”

All 11th graders in AAPS take the SAT, and having more students across the state take this college readiness test could give more students the confidence to go to college. The results could also have more value since students will see more relevance in doing well on a test colleges use for admission decisions.

A final plan for changing the testing system could go before the state school board later this year or early next year.

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