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Changes to ACT not well communicated

Writing portion not part of state-offered test

At its regular meeting Monday evening, the Morris Dist. 101 board discussed the writing portion of the ACT test.

Specifically, the observation that many students and parents are surprised to learn they will have to go out of their way to take the optional section.

According to Principal Kelly Hussey, fewer than 10 percent of colleges in the Midwest require the writing test. As a result, the state cut the portion from the exam distributed to high schools in 2012.

And since the test is administered to entire schools either with the writing section or without it, students interested in taking it have to take the test again.

“These are all things we have to find ways to make people more aware of,” Hussey said.

Board member Karen Meucci, who lost her seat in Tuesday’s election, said at the meeting that she has encountered many parents who were unaware of the change. Parents who put kids through high school when the section was still included were especially surprised, Meucci said.

“We need to find a way to get this information to parents earlier,” she said.

The test, which is targeted for spring of junior year, can be taken more than once. The best composite score and that test’s sections are used in college admissions.

Meucci said parents have requested information earlier.

“The pace has picked up so much,” she said.

Board member John Maddox, who also lost his seat in Tuesday’s election, said he was only recently made aware that the writing section was not included. He agreed with Meucci.

“Sophomores should be more notified of the change,” he said.

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