W.Va. chooses SAT as 11th-grade assessment

CHARLESTON — All West Virginia high school juniors will begin taking the SAT as the statewide summative assessment in spring 2018, according to the West Virginia Department of Education.

The College Board was selected Wednesday as the successful bidder following a competitive review process for the high school assessment.

The shift in the West Virginia’s statewide assessment was a result of House Bill 2711 which was passed last April. The bill required the Department of Education to identify a college entrance exam to be used as the statewide high school assessment.

“The College Board’s SAT test is a widely respected assessment used across the country,” Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Lou Maynus said in a press release Wednesday. “College Board proved through the bid process that its product was the better assessment for West Virginia students by providing valuable resources at a lower cost than the other bidder.”

The SAT assessment will be administered in a paper format in year one with an option to move online in year two and subsequent years.

The assessment will be the same as a typical Saturday SAT assessment, but given to students during the regular school day.

Students can send their scores to up to four colleges or universities at no cost.

“I am thrilled that our students will be able take a globally-recognized college admission test at no cost,” said West Virginia Associate Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch. “The SAT will add value and influence the effort index among our high school students because it is tied to concrete outcomes and benefits.”

“We’ve been anticipating that it would be either SAT or ACT. Now we know which one has been selected,” said Christie Willis, director of curriculum for Wood County Schools. “I expect we will be getting more infomation and guidance from the state following this announcement.”

Willis said the fact that the test also can be used by students as a college admissions exam at no cost to the student is a welcome feature.

“I do think that is really good,” she said.