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30,000 Juniors Poised to Take College-Admission Test As Los Angeles Unified Launches SAT School Day (03-04-19)

Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766

30,000 Juniors Poised to Take College-Admission Test As Los Angeles Unified Launches SAT School Day

For the first time, Los Angeles Unified will be administering free SAT college-admissions exams to its nearly 30,000 high school juniors, allowing them to take an important first step on the path to a college career.

The rigorous reading, writing, math and essay tests will be administered beginning Wednesday, March 6, to juniors at their own high school, during the regular school day. Low-income students will also be given fee waivers so they can retake the SAT a second time for free if they want to try and raise their scores.

SAT School Day is the result of a resolution sponsored last year by Board Member Kelly Gonez, Board Vice President Nick Melvoin and Board President Móncia García. It affirms Los Angeles Unifed’s commitment to ensuring that students are prepared for college and the workforce when they graduate. Most four-year universities accept the SAT as part of a student’s application packet to help gauge their readiness to tackle college-level material.

By paying all the SAT fees and allowing juniors to take the exams during the school day at their regular school, Los Angeles Unified is helping to eliminate barriers that have traditionally made it difficult for some students to take the test. The number of juniors who will be taking the SAT in the upcoming weeks is more than double the 14,015 juniors who took it at least once in 2017-18.

Juniors at high schools in Local Districts West and Northeast will take the SAT on March 6. The tests will be administered on March 27 at schools in Local Districts South and Northwest; and on April 9 at schools in Local Districts East and Central.

Local District South piloted SAT School Day last year, when more than 4,300 juniors took the college-readiness test. That experience helped Los Angeles Unified expand the program to all schools, and more than 200 high school SAT coordinators were trained in how to help students prepare for and take the test.

Los Angeles Unified will continue to offer the PSAT – a practice test for the SAT assessment – to all high school sophomores at no cost.

“We want to prepare all students for college,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner. “This effort eliminates financial hardships and other obstacles that may prevent students from reaching that goal.”

“This commitment is a true example of equity in action, to ensure that all Los Angeles Unified scholars have more boundless opportunities,” said Chief Academic Officer Dr. Frances Gipson. “These types of initiatives reflect not only our commitment to 100 percent graduation but to the long-term success of our students.”

"I am so proud of the direction that L.A. Unified is taking to ensure that ‘all means all,’” said Board President García. “Thank you to the team of people who worked to accelerate this process since we sponsored the resolution last year to ensure that this great program is implemented to 100 percent of our juniors. I am sending all of the positive energy and peace of mind to the juniors taking the SATs in the coming weeks. ¡Sí, se puede, Class of 2020!"

“I am thrilled to have co-sponsored this resolution to ensure that every student takes the SAT, a critical step toward removing barriers to college and career success,” said Board Vice President Melvoin. “This initiative will allow every student to see the possibility of college more clearly, and we hope to see reductions in college-going and persistence-rate gaps.”

“I encourage all students to take the PSAT and the SAT as frequently as possible,” said Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III. “Early exposure to the exam’s content and format can only help to benefit students.”

“I salute this effort to encourage our students to take advantage of all opportunities to ready themselves for college, university and other post-high school experiences,” said Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson. “When I was principal at Cochran Middle School, we encouraged our students to take the PSAT, free of charge. How wonderful to offer the SAT to our 11th-graders, free of charge, and at their own school! All of our Los Angeles Unified students should be empowered to follow through on all educational opportunities and to set their goals to be the best that they can be. We must make sure that parents are aware of these great opportunities so they may be part of their children’s educational journey.”

“At Los Angeles Unified, we are preparing our graduates for success in college and careers,” said Board Member Gonez. “This year, for the first time, students across our high schools are taking the SAT for free during the school day so they can fulfill their college application requirements. I’m proud to have authored the resolution that brought this change. It's yet another way we are opening doors to higher education and lifelong success for our students.”

“The costs associated with college entrance exams should never be an impediment to success,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. “Our most disadvantaged students should be focused on studying for exams that can help better their lives, not paying for them.”