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Santa Barbara School District Eliminates PSAT Funding

But the board votes to continue to provide the ACT test for all sophomores

The Santa Barbara School District voted Tuesday night not to pay for universal PSAT testing next year.

The district spent $60,000 to administer the ACT college readiness test to all sophomores and the PSAT test to all juniors at the three high schools. In reality, not all students were tested, though the intent was to make both tests mandatory for the first time.

The ACT provides an earlier, more comprehensive way to evaluate students, according to administrators from San Marcos and Dos Pueblos high schools.

With the board’s vote, the ACT will continue to be given to all 10th-graders at cost of $15,000. Mandating the pre-SAT test was a first for the district, since it’s typically taken by high-performing students and evaluates Advanced Placement class potential.

Davis Hayden, the district’s director of research, evaluation and technology, said female students outperformed male students in every area of the tests.

Board president Annette Cordero voted against the motion and pushed the board to keep both tests regardless of the financial burdens facing the district.

Member Monique Limon also voted against the rest, saying undergraduate admissions staff may not prefer one test to the other, but the PSAT (and subsequent SAT) is more widely used in California. ACT scores are typically converted to SAT scores on applications, she said, adding that the tests are intended to prepare students for college admission.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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