High school juniors across Colorado won’t take a different college entrance exam this spring after all.
The Colorado Department of Education on Monday confirmed that students this year will take the ACT exam, as they have since 2001.
“It’s a relief for the families who have prepared their children for the ACT,” said Dan Snowberger, superintendent of Durango School District 9-R, who was one of many superintendents in the state surprised by the original announcement that the state was changing to the SAT, and its timing, two days before Christmas during the winter break and midway in the school year.
The state awarded the College Board a five-year contract to administer the Practice SAT and SAT to Colorado’s 10th- and 11th-grade students, but more than 100 school district superintendents complained the state didn’t follow procedures, and December’s announcement was not enough notice for students taking spring tests.
Under the agreement announced Monday, this year’s 10th-graders will take the Practice SAT in preparation for Colorado’s full transition to the SAT in spring 2017, the CDE said on its website.
“The PSAT and scores from that will definitely help our sophomores prepare for taking the SAT next year,” Snowberger said.
The change from the ACT came after a vote in May when the Colorado General Assembly required the state Education Department to take competitive bids for both a college-entrance exam and a new 10th-grade exam. The state agency received bids from two companies, ACT and the College Board.
“We’re very thankful that the testing vendors were willing to work with us to create a transition year for our 11th-grade students,” said Interim Education Commissioner Elliott Asp. “Our high school juniors can take the assessment they’ve been preparing for, and we will work with districts, educators and the College Board to create a smooth transition to the SAT in 2017.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.