Colloquium Recap: Assessment Team Presents an Update on Redesigning the SAT to a Packed House
Colloquium Recap: Assessment Team Presents an Update on Redesigning the SAT to a Packed HouseHeather Tsonopoulos, Senior Director of AP and Instruction Communications, College Board
Curiosity drew a standing-room-only crowd of school counselors and administrators at 8:00am on Tuesday to hear from College Board’s Chief of Assessment Cyndie Schmeiser, Senior Vice President of Research Jack Buckley, and Vice President of SAT & PSAT/NMSQT Stacy Caldwell discuss the redesigned SAT. The panelists kicked off the Forum Colloquium with a review of the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark results: 42.6% of SAT takers in the class of 2014 met it. This percentage represents those students who are likely to be ready to take college-entry, credit-bearing courses and not need remediation and has remained virtually unchanged over time.
The redesign effort hopes to change these results by connecting the SAT suite of assessments more closely to what is happening in the classroom. “We will be connecting assessment to instruction. So teachers will see the questions and say ‘You bet. That’s what I’m teaching in my classroom.’” explained Cyndie Schmeiser.
The team then unveiled the suite of assessments and discussed the flexibility schools will have to implement them with fall and spring administrations:
- PSAT 8/9 (rollout fall 2015)
- PSAT 10 (rollout spring 2016)
- PSAT/NMSQT (rollout fall 2015)
- SAT (rollout spring 2016)
All of these assessments will focus exclusively on what matters most for college and career readiness as appropriate at each grade level. This represents what is already happening in challenging classrooms. The key changes and examples of old and new exam questions were shared as well.
Jack Buckley, SVP of Research, took the stage to dive into the multiple ways his team is ensuring that the redesigned SAT is just as predictive, or more so, of college success than the current version. Specifically he described the importance of creating concordance tables to link one test to the other to compare scores, and the challenges associated with this.
The theme of connecting assessment to instruction came up again when discussing content validity studies and the national curriculum survey that was conducted to examine to what extent the key knowledge and skills needed for first year college success are being taught in high schools.
One of the most exciting elements Jack covered was the proposed vertical scale for the system to align the scores. For example, while the score range for the PSAT 8/9 may be 120-720 and the range for the SAT is 200-800, the results for both can be compared directly. “We will do a lot of work on the backend to make sure results are simple to use, simple to understand.” explained Jack.
The session wrapped up with an exciting high-level overview of how students’ results from the PSAT/NMSQT can be used in conjunction with Khan Academy modules and practice exams to build Personalized Learning Roadmaps to support students throughout the preparation process.