Public colleges and universities in Washington state have announced that they will use the college-readiness determination from the 11th grade test of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium in course-placement decisions.
The announcement puts teeth into a central claim of the Common Core State Standards initiative: A “college ready” score on consortium tests means a student is prepared to do well in entry-level, credit-bearing work.
Until recently, that claim lived in the land of abstraction. The decision by Washington state’s public universities and its community and technical colleges is one of the first steps out of the abstract into the concrete. Public colleges and universities in West Virginia, too, have committed to using the Smarter Balanced 11th grade test for course placement in 2015.
A version of this article appeared in the October 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Colleges Agree to Honor SBAC Tests for Placement