FairTest on College Board's New "READISTEP" Test

      for further information, contact


Jesse Mermell (857) 350-8207                                               
Robert Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
cell (239) 699-0468


for immediate release Wednesday, October 22, 2008

LAUNCH OF PRE-, PRE-SAT LABELED “CYNICAL MARKETING PLOY;”

“READISTEP” WILL ACCELERATE ADMISSIONS TESTING ARMS RACE

WITHOUT IMPROVING COLLEGE ACCESS OR EQUITY

       The country’s leading assessment reform organization says a new test, unveiled today by the College Board, the owner of the SAT exam, is “a cynical marketing ploy designed to enhance test-maker revenues, not improve access to higher education.” Jesse Mermell, Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) continued, “The ‘ReadiStep’ is designed to lock eighth-graders into the SAT series of exams before they can consider the increasingly popular alternatives of the ACT or test-optional admissions.”

       FairTest Public Education Director Robert Schaeffer asked, “Who needs yet another pre-college standardized exam when there is already a pre-SAT and the SAT test itself? In addition, students are tested every year in third through eighth grade due to federal “No Child Left Behind” mandates. The new exam will only accelerate the college admissions ‘arms race’ and push it down onto ever younger children.”

     The percentage of students taking the SAT has declined since a longer, more expensive version of the test was introduced in 2005. During the same period, registrations for the rival ACT have soared. Nearly as many 2008 high school graduates took the ACT as the SAT.

     More than 775 accredited, bachelor degree granting colleges and universities now admit all or many first year students without regard to either ACT or SAT scores. A list of test-optional schools is available at http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional.

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