The state of Ohio is late to the party but they’re joining in on the fun anyway along with all the elite universities across America that transitioned to “test-optional” because of the pandemic. For years, the state of Ohio has required its eleventh graders to take either the SAT or ACT. But soon this mandate might well be a relic of a bygone era as lawmakers in The Buckeye State are pushing to make these college entrance exams optional. After all, many students in the state have no intentions of going to college so why should they have to take unnecessary exams? If they intend to go to trade school or join the job market out of high school, what is the benefit of taking the SAT or ACT?
As Laura Hancock reports for Cleveland.com in a piece entitled “Ohio lawmakers pushing to make 11th grade ACT, SAT tests optional,” “Tucked into the state’s two-year budget bill passed last week by the Ohio House is a provision that allows 11th-grade students and their parents to decide whether to take college entrance exams, which for years have been mandatory in public schools. House Bill 110, which is now being considered in the Senate, would let parents or guardians choose to opt out of the SAT or ACT test. This would apply to students beginning the next school year. Rep. Jon Cross, a Hardin County Republican, pushed for the provision to be added to the budget bill. Earlier this year, he introduced a bill with a similar change. The tests cost the state $2 million a year to administer to all high school juniors, Cross said.”
We support this move by some Ohio lawmakers. The SAT and ACT should not be required of all eleventh graders in the state. It’s a waste of time for many of these students. It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. And, in our experience, high schools situated in states that require students to take the SAT or ACT often unknowingly violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (a.k.a. FERPA) by publishing their students’ SAT or ACT scores — which they took under state mandate — on their high school transcripts. High schools, of course, have no right to report scores on exams from private agencies like The College Board or ACT, Inc. without authorization from families but let’s just say that not all high schools play by the rules or even, well, know the rules.
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