Why More Oklahoma Educators are Choosing the SAT for Their Students
Why More Oklahoma Educators are Choosing the SAT for Their StudentsJaslee Carayol, Associate Director, Media Relations
In January, Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced that Oklahoma public school districts would have the opportunity to choose to administer the SAT to their 11th graders for free during the school year. This is the first time the state has given districts the option to administer the SAT to students, and educators have responded enthusiastically.
Ten districts, including some of the largest in the state, will administer the SAT this year: Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Broken Arrow, Norman, Union, Mid-Del, Yukon, Muskogee, Wilson, and Chisholm. Urban, suburban, and rural districts are all participating in SAT School Day this spring.
In choosing the SAT, district leaders identified a number of benefits for students and educators. The SAT is aligned to state standards and reflects what is being taught in the classroom; it comes with free, personalized practice on Khan Academy; and it is accepted at all Oklahoma colleges.
“One of the primary reasons that we chose the SAT is because the partnership between College Board and Khan Academy allows students to have access to a personalized SAT preparation program for free,” Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora said. “This type of access to support resources levels the playing field for our students in a way we haven’t experienced before. Our students and families are excited about these resources and we look forward to seeing long-term improvements in our SAT scores.”
“Research shows that the SAT assesses the critical thinking skills that our students need for academic success in college and beyond,” Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said in a press release. “Our instructional team decided to transition from offering the free ACT to the SAT because the SAT was recently redesigned to reflect state and district standards. This will allow our students to showcase their best work by mastering the skills they are learning in the classroom.”
“Giving the SAT will allow us to give all our sophomores the PSAT for free,” Mid-Del Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cobb said in a video update. “The PSAT is a good predictor of future success in Advanced Placement courses and is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship contest. College Board administers the SAT, the PSAT, and the Advanced Placement programs. With all those being under the same umbrella, our teachers will have the opportunity for professional development that improves our instruction. All of this ties together to make SAT the better decision for our students.”
"We knew we had to offer a test for accountability for the state, but we wanted to focus on which one would provide us with the resources to do what is best for our students," Desarae Witmer, director of curriculum and instruction at Yukon Public Schools, said to The Oklahoman. "For us, that was the SAT. We provide AP government but we don't provide AP world history," Witmer said. "But we have a group of students, based on the (pre-) SAT, who showed potential for AP world history, and we are using those reports and that data to create a master schedule in the school that helps us maximize potential for our kids."
As Melany Franklin, K-12 director for the College Board Southwest Region, explained in an Oklahoman op-ed earlier this month, the new SAT makes it easier for students to show their best work. When Oklahoma students take the SAT, they will take a test that focuses on the few things that evidence shows matter most for college and career readiness. Data show that Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is linked to a 115-point average score gain from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average score gain of students who don’t use Khan Academy. By connecting students to free, personalized Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy; eliminating the guessing penalty and “SAT” words; and giving students 43% more time per question than on the ACT; the new SAT is leveling the playing field.