Early childhood education experts are urging parents to take the ACT or SAT instead of the Common Core math and reading tests.
The Wall Street Review reports that the Common Council says the SAT has “no academic value” and is a “pre-school-only test.”
The SAT, which is designed for middle and high school students, uses tests taken in grade school.
The ACT has “a high level of consistency” and students are “underweight and underserved,” according to a study published in the Journal of School Psychology.
“The ACT does not provide a realistic assessment of students’ ability to use literacy and numeracy skills,” the report says.
It also says that ACT scores are not representative of students who have difficulty with math and English language arts.
“This assessment method is also not appropriate for children who are learning new vocabulary, and may lead to students failing to learn math and language arts skills,” a Common Council spokeswoman said in a statement.
“We believe that the ACT is an appropriate tool for addressing learning challenges faced by children with learning disabilities.”
The Common Council also says the ACT’s test has been shown to be “significantly less accurate” than the Common Assessment Test, which has been taken by students since the 1960s.
But Common Council spokesperson Amy M. Paltrow says the assessment test has also been shown “to be significantly more accurate and valid than the SAT” in terms of student test scores.
The Common Core, which was launched in 2010 and is the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s plan to create a national curriculum for students, requires schools to use assessments to measure student learning.
Many states have opted out of the SAT or Common Core tests, citing concerns about student privacy, academic rigor and fairness.
But the Common Alliance says its ACT test is “a good starting point for parents and teachers to ensure their children are receiving the right amount of instruction.”
“Parents, educators, and parents’ advocates can now begin working together to improve standards for early childhood education,” the group said in an email.
Paltrow told The Wall St. Review that parents should also be careful about taking the SAT for their children.
“Parents should be careful of whether their child has a disability,” she said.
Parents should also remember that the SAT and ACT are not standardized tests, but rather are used by many states as benchmarks of student learning and progress.
A recent national survey found that students in grades K through 12 scored higher on the SAT than students in other grades.
The Common Council estimates that the tests are only valid for students who are “at or above the proficient level in math and science, and have a high level or proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics.”
“Students who have disabilities should have a variety of tools at their disposal to assist them in learning,” Paltrows statement said.