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Starting in the fall of 2014, the state of Ohio will pay for all high school sophomores to take the PSAT.
The price tag for the state will be $1.5 million a year, or about $10 per student.
Nine other states already give the PSAT to all sophomores, according to the College Board. And nationally, some school districts already pay for sophomores to take the PSAT.
Ohio officials say having all students take the PSAT will make sure students get an early indicator of whether they’re on track to be ready for college and jobs that require higher-level skills. State data shows about 40 percent of Ohio high school graduates who enroll in public colleges are not ready for college-level work.
Here’s State Superintendent Richard Ross’s statement on the change:
“Too many students move through high school and graduate without ever knowing if they are really prepared for what comes next. By taking the PSAT, sophomores will get feedback on their strengths and weaknesses while there is still time to make changes if needed.”
The PSAT will be given during the school day, Ohio Department of Education spokesperson John Charlton said. The scores will not count for schools’ state report cards or for students grades.
The statewide PSAT program stems from a provision in the 2009 state budget requiring the development of new tests for high school students, including tests that evaluate whether students are ready for college or skilled jobs.
State officials said they were choosing between using the ACT Plan or the PSAT to serve as that readiness test. They settled this summer on the PSAT, which is administered by the College Board and Educational Testing Service.