Colleges in 6 States Will Now Use Smarter Balanced Scores as Part of Placement

High school students who take the Smarter Balanced exam in six states can now use their scores as evidence that they are ready for entry-level, credit-bearing college courses and do not need to take remedial courses. Almost 200 colleges and universities in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington have agreed to accept Smarter Balanced scores.

According to Tony Alpert, executive director of Smarter Balanced, “In the past, most state tests had no linkage to higher ed. Smarter Balanced has worked with states and higher education to give meaning to high school exams. Now students who take Smarter Balanced assessments and attend 197 institutions will get assurances they are ready to begin college-level classes.”

Alpert added, “Reducing students’ need for remediation can go a long way toward meeting state and national goals for increased degree attainment, as research has consistently shown that students who enter college without need for remediation are far more likely to complete a degree.” 

Smarter Balanced scores also will be used in several states to identify students who are ready for accelerated options such as dual enrollment.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell concluded that, with today's announcement, “Delaware’s colleges and universities are not only sending our high school juniors a clear signal that the Smarter Balanced Assessments are a valuable tool. They are also showing a commitment to preventing students from taking unnecessary remedial courses, which too often put students off track before they even start their college education.”

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is the former editor-in-chief of THE Journal.

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