Bills will determine what’s done with SAT scores

This year’s SAT will most likely not be influenced by potential Illinois bill

Claudia Levens

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Multiple bills are currently circulating Illinois’ congress to decide what to do with the free state administered SAT scores.

In the old Prairie State ACT system, the scores that students received from the state-sponsored test didn’t mean anything and though the scores were required to go onto their transcripts there was no indication of when it had to be, so it could be included on the transcript after a student had already been accepted into college.

Now that Illinois has changed to the SAT, the fate of the test scores- including those from Apr. 5- is in contention. The transcript requirement to provided an incentive to take the test seriously and help districts ensure they met their 95% federal testing threshold.

James P. Conroy, Post-High School Counseling department chair, suspects that processing the bills will take a long time and won’t effect this year’s scores.

One bill sponsored by Sen. Julie Morrison would allow parents the choice to remove the test score from their child’s transcript so that students who take the test again on their own can send newer, improved scores to the college of their choice.

State Rep. Scott Drury proposed another bill that removes the transcript requirement while leaving it on the permanent record, which colleges do not see. The bill, proposed on Feb 3, unanimously passed the Illinois House of Representatives March 29 and arrived in the State Senate April 4 for consideration.

In the event that the law does not change and the status quo remains, New Trier will put the score on the transcript after graduation.

“Most students will already know which college they are attending by this time, so the score won’t really matter so much,” said Kailey Dreyfus an academic and test prep tutor in Highland Park. “However,” noted Dreyfus, “ if you get deferred, waitlisted, or end up transferring schools, the score may be important.”

And despite this, there’s no escaping the paranoia of organized suburban parents when it comes to their children’s chances of getting into college. A lot of the support for these bills comes from these parents who believe that the status quo prohibits students from having the opportunity to show themselves in the best light by only sending in their best scores.

Seniors Sophie Way and Liz Wei said that students should be able to choose what scores colleges see on transcripts.

Jennifer Wallace, an independent college coach and counselor in Evanston, contends the current transcript requirement doesn’t really hurt students applying for college and that the topic is merely a lightning rod for parents’ anxiety rather than it’s own issue.

The Illinois State Board of Education has not taken a formal stance on any of the bills, but said keeping the state score on transcripts could benefit students who can’t afford to retake the test multiple times outside of school.

Conroy noted that SAT waivers are available to students for whom this might be the case, but according to the SAT website, this waiver only covers two tests per person and includes multiple restrictions.

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