Newark Public Schools Partners with the College Board to Expand Student Access to SAT® Testing and AP® Course Work

Newark students will have access to additional college readiness assessments, and increased opportunities to participate in college-level work in high school

[Newark, NJ – June 28, 2016] – Newark Public Schools (NPS) today announced an expansive partnership with the College Board to further the district’s goal of increasing the number of students who graduate from high school and pursue a college education. Through this partnership, NPS will work with the College Board to provide expanded access to the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) and the SAT®, as well as a higher quality and quantity of Advanced Placement® (AP®) course work, an important consideration in college applications.

“Our partnership with the College Board is critically important to the future long-term academic success of our young men and women. It is time that we offer students in Newark the same opportunities that students across New Jersey have been afforded for a number of years,” said NPS Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf. “The College Board is partnering with us to ensure that students recognize and make the most of the opportunities available to them and realize their tremendous potential.”

District leadership worked with school leaders and educators across the district to gather feedback on the decision and to identify the programs, resources, and assessments that would provide students with the most value. Our partnership with the College Board is designed to increase access to valuable assessments and courses that play a key role in the college admission and success process:

  • Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)
    Beginning this fall, NPS will provide the PSAT/NMSQT to all of the district’s 10th- and 11th-grade students. The PSAT/NMSQT measures the same skills and knowledge as the SAT, so students and educators will be able to monitor progress and identify areas in need of improvement. In addition, PSAT/NMSQT results are the best predictor of a student’s likelihood to succeed in certain AP courses. And, students who take the PSAT/NMSQT can access more than $180 million in expanded scholarship opportunities.
  • SAT School Day
    NPS will participate in SAT School Day in April, providing the test to all 11th-graders at individual schools across the district. SAT School Day helps foster a college-going culture and increases access to college, especially among first-generation college-bound students. SAT School Day is especially beneficial for those students who may otherwise face barriers to standard Saturday administrations and would miss out on this important step in the college-going process.
  • Official SAT Practice Through Khan Academy®
    All students have access to free, personalized practice through Khan Academy, a leader in online education. Official SAT Practice on is helping to level the playing field for all students who are interested in taking the SAT and preparing for college. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT benefit from these tools, which help reinforce what students are learning in classrooms and focus on the content tested, not just test-taking strategies.

“The PSAT/NMSQT and SAT are assessments that provide opportunities for students to qualify for financial scholarships, as well as improve their college readiness,” said Superintendent Cerf. “We will stop administering unnecessary tests, and instead focus on providing assessments that offer valuable information to help advance our students’ educational opportunities.”

NPS and the College Board will also work together to increase the quality and quantity of the Advanced Placement courses offered across the district. The district will begin by offering NPS teachers access to AP Mentoring, a teacher-to-teacher professional development program, to ensure educators are successful in leading AP course work. Research shows that students who succeed in challenging course work, such as Advanced Placement, are more likely to graduate college on time, and have the potential to save time and money through placement and credit-granting policies.

“We are excited to partner with Newark Public Schools and the entire community of Newark,” said College Board President and CEO David Coleman. “Assessment without opportunity is a thing of the past. We are committed to partnering with the Newark Public Schools to ensure that every student has access to tests that can deliver powerful benefits, including scholarships, college admission, and course credit.”

The College Board will expand its acclaimed Access to Opportunity™ program to more Newark students. The College Board will provide high school course work information, college application fee waivers, and critical financial aid guidance to Newark students. Additionally, the College Board will work with community-based organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club, to train them on the use of Khan Academy practice tools so students can continue their academic preparation after the normal school day.