BY: Citizens Count
On Wednesday, July 15 Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signed HB 323, a bill that allows high schools to replace a mandated statewide assessment with the SAT or ACT.
Prior to this bill, state and federal law required high school juniors to take the Smarter Balanced assessment based on Common Core curriculum. Federal regulators still need to approve the change in HB 323, which is set to take effect in September.
Supporters of HB 323 argue the bill will help more students get to college by creating free access to college preparatory exams. Common Core opponents are also happy to remove one of the assessments associated with the curriculum.
On the other hand, the SAT also has many critics. Students from higher socioeconomic statuses tend to score higher on the SAT, in part because they can afford expensive preparatory classes. The state of Maine replaced the junior year assessment with the SAT years ago, but is choosing to return to the Smarter Balanced assessment in 2016.