CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s getting tougher to find a test; we’re not talking COVID-19, but standardized tests for high schoolers. The desperation has parents driving hours to find an ACT site.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves has more on the growing frustrations.
Joanne Porto has been getting the frustrating run around.
Three ACT sites slated for her son to take the test, all closed.
“The first location was a local high school, and that cancelled,” she said. “And now, he’s rescheduled for something in Iowa City.”
That’s a 3-hour drive from their home in Kildeer, Illinois. Will they take a chance and drive?
“No, probably not. Wisconsin was pushing the envelope,” Porto said.
Sheryl Myre also has been scrambling to find an ACT testing site for her daughter.
“The only locations I could find were in Wisconsin. So we just kept waiting,” she said.
Waiting as the deadline is getting close. The next test date is Dec. 12.
Right now, Illinois has more than 60 testing sites closed. Seven sites are closed in Indiana.
The trend is being felt across the country due to COVID-19 capacity limits, leaving high school juniors and seniors scrambling.
“Those students are, for the most part, just resigning themselves to the fact that they will need to take advantage of the those ‘test optional’ policies that most universities and colleges across the country have put into place,” said college admissions expert Laura George.
But for parents of high school juniors, there’s the worry that policy might change for their students.
“It’s pretty important to get her at least one or two tests, just in case she needs it,” Myre said.
ACT says it has added more test dates. In areas where there are a lot of cancellations, pop-up sites are forming; ones people say are also closing.
George said parents of high school juniors should be patient.
“They have four or five more opportunities to take it over the course of 2021, and still have plenty of time for their applications,” she said.
ACT also says it’s working on a remote way to proctor the exam so students can take it at home. It’s unclear exactly how that would work, but officials said that option is “on the horizon.”
We’re still waiting to hear from ACT about why parents are having calls put on hold for hours.
You can see a list of closed testing sites on the ACT website.
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