Assembly Education Committee Votes to Change Testing Policy in Attempt to Increase College Attendance

A bill that would allow 11th grade students in the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to take the SAT instead of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is expected to be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee after it passed unanimously yesterday by the Assembly Education Committee.

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Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell authored legislation to allow the LBUSD to administer the SAT instead of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The Assembly Education Committee passed the bill with a 7-0 vote.

AB 1602 establishes a five-year pilot project that will allow participating school districts to administer an alternative assessment, such as the SAT, to 11th grade students to meet state and federal testing requirements. Participating schools, who were selected by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, include those within the LBUSD and four other districts.

High school students, staff and parents have expressed their dissatisfaction with unnecessary, redundant testing, according to Christ Steinhauser, superintendent of the LBUSD.

“Administering the SAT and PSAT allows all of our students to take advantage of free, aligned and customized support in the form of online tutorial services through Khan Academy in eighth grade,” Steinhauser said in a statement. “No such support is available with SBAC.”

O’Donnell hopes that this project will reduce student testing and increase college attendance. Since the SAT is the main test affecting college admission, it is more relevant to students and parents.

“Long Beach Unified is seen as a leader in improving student achievement,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “I am proud to partner with my school district to further the goals of increasing student college attendance rates while ensuring that student testing is meaningful.”



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