Juniors in public schools across Delaware will take the SAT on Wednesday as part of an initiative to improve college and career readiness that is funded by the state’s $119 million Race to the Top plan.
When Delaware applied for the competitive federal Race to the Top grant program, the state committed to administering a college readiness exam to all 11th graders. About 97 percent have registered for Wednesday’s test. Last year, 36 percent of 11th graders (3,174 students) took the SAT. Delaware is the only state delivering the test in this way.
The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) awarded College Board a four-year contract totaling up to $1.8 million to administer the SAT annually to all 11th graders attending Delaware public high schools through the 2013-2014 school year – that comes out to a cost of about $47 per student.
Providing the SAT to all public school 11th graders is part of Delaware’s larger strategy to improve college and career readiness among all Delaware students. The state also expects that enabling students to take the exam during a regular school day at their own high school will increase the number of students who are likely to apply to college because it eliminates a number of barriers to traditional testing, including the cost of registration, lack of transportation to the test center, unfamiliarity with the test and how to prepare, and conflicts with job or family responsibilities.
“The school-day administration also creates a college-going-culture in our schools and minimizes test-day stress because students are in a familiar location with familiar staff,” Secretary of Education Lillian M. Lowery said.
The state expects in light of a significant increase in the number of students taking the test, some of whom are not preparing for college at this time, that average SAT scores likely will decline.
The SAT® is a curriculum-based, high-stakes test that will provide DDOE with an important measure of academic achievement as students prepare for post-secondary college and career opportunities. Participation in the SAT® also gives students valuable skills feedback, connects them with scholarship opportunities, and helps them select the best fit for college. SAT® diagnostic information will enable educators to identify and compare college and career readiness of the students, schools, and districts using an objective scale and benchmark. The SAT® is also used by colleges and universities as part of their undergraduate admission process.
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.
Additional contact: Kathleen Steinberg, College Board’s Sr. Director of Strategic Communications at (212) 713-8052 or KSteinberg@collegeboard.org
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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