UPDATE: The CPS administered ACT will be offered on Tuesday, May 3, according to WBEZ Education. This date coincides with AP testing.
In a breaking decision from CPS central office, all CPS juniors will be guaranteed an in-school, free ACT sitting. The news is a welcomed relief for juniors and their parents, who, until today, were not guaranteed a mandated and free test.
The Illinois State Board of Education is still in contract negotiations with the ACT and SAT over which testing giant will partner with Illinois to administer the state-required exam. As the days creep closer to peak testing season, the confusion and ambiguity has left current juniors floundering over testing logistics. Some have not started test prep, for fear they would study for the “wrong” exam, depending on state level agreements. On 1034 North Wells, the school-sponsored ACT prep course with Academic Approach is set to begin on February 16 and end on April 7, leading up to a national sitting of the ACT.
For juniors, the recent decision brings welcomed peace of mind. Nicole Culver ’17, said it’s “less stressful” for her and her family now that a decision has been made. Simone Wallk ’17 said that she is “thrilled” by the news, because “that was my expectation since the beginning of the year. Many juniors, including myself, are reshaping our test plans as a result of the recent uncertainty.”
The stress isn’t solely logistical. Culver added that paying for the test out of pocket can “be a financial stressor for a lot of people as well,” — a worry that many families no longer have.
While Payton will offer the ACT regardless of state action, the Illinois Board State of Education has not publicly announced which test, the ACT or SAT, will be offered by the state. It is possible that current juniors will sit for both the ACT (administered by CPS) and the SAT (administered by the state), depending on future decisions.