As you are planning for how to manage the new state mandate to provide students with an opportunity to take the PSAT or SAT this fall, MASSP has received some clarifications from the College Board with regard to testing dates (among other things) that Principals will want to know. In particular, if you tuned into MASSP's Leader2Leader webinar with the College Board back in August, you need to know that MDE has weighed in since that webinar with some limitations on the testing dates available to schools.
These changes were covered in more recent webinars with Wayne RESA and Michigan Virtual, so if you tuned into those webinars, you may already have this information. If not, here are the key takeaways that you will want to know:
- MDE has said that they will only cover the cost of PSAT 8/9 testing for 9th graders through October 29. During the earlier webinar with MASSP, College Board had said that they could offer testing dates to schools as late as December, but weren't sure whether MDE would impose a limit. MDE did. It's October 29.
- MDE has said they will only cover a Saturday administration of the PSAT/NMSQT (grades 10 and 11) if the school also offers a school day administration of the test. In other words, districts MUST offer a school day administration of the PSAT/NMSQT. You can offer a Saturday test as an additional option and the state will pay students to take the test on Saturday, but it cannot be your only test date.
- When ordering tests for this year, it will be important for Principals to have an accurate count of test takers, as MDE likely will not be covering unused test fees.
- Schools need to inform parents and students that they have the option to opt-in to Student Search. In order to assist you in distributing this information, the College Board has created two flyers, one for parents and one for students, that cover this. The flyers are linked below. MDE has also provided a parental consent form that schools can use, also linked below.
Here is a quick chart from MDE that summarizes testing date information all in one place:
The deadline to order tests for the fall is September 15, 2021. As always, MASSP will update you if any other changes arise.