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March 24, 2014

"The SAT Upgrade Is a Big Mistake"

Peter Wood convinces me:

But alas, as the Common Core Standards emerged, it became apparent that they set a ceiling on the academic preparation of most students.  Students who go through schools that follow the Common Core Standards will be ill-prepared for the rigors of college.  That is, unless something can be done on the other end to ensure that colleges lower their standards.  Then everything will be well. . . . 

The life-preserver that the College Board is throwing to the Common Core is a redefinition of what it means to be "college ready." The SAT after all is a test aimed at determining who is ready for college. An SAT refurbished to match what the Common Core actually teaches instead of what colleges expect freshmen to know will go far to quiet worries that the Common Core is selling students short.  If the SAT says a student is "college ready," who is to say that he is not?  

The new changes in the SAT are meant first to skate around the looming problem that students educated within the framework of the Common Core would almost certainly see their performance on the old SAT plummet compared to students educated in pre-Common Core curricula. 

 

Comments

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Jack Olson

"College ready" now means "can qualify for a student loan."

JKB

Well, the "test of lower order thinking for the lower orders" should be modified when the lower order thinking inculcated into students is reduced further.

The first clue about the SAT is that it is apparently possible to take classes to improve the aptitude, i.e., natural ability, tested. If it doesn't really test aptitude, is there really a problem about testing for scholastic? Everyone seems to put emphasis on the test, part. Just as the schools put emphasis on the memorization part rather than "the discipline of the intellect, the establishment of the principles, and the regulation of the heart." But we are in the centennial of such emphasis on low order thinking because it is so useful in collating.

"In 1914, a professor in Kansas invented the multiple-choice test. Yes, it’s less than a hundred years old.

There was an emergency on. World War I was ramping up, hundreds of thousands of new immigrants needed to be processed and educated, and factories were hungry for workers. The government had just made two years of high school mandatory, and we needed a temporary, high-efficiency way to sort students and quickly assign them to appropriate slots.

In the words of Professor Kelly, “This is a test of lower order thinking for the lower orders.”

A few years later, as President of the University of Idaho, Kelly disowned the idea, pointing out that it was an appropriate method to test only a tiny portion of what is actually taught and should be abandoned. The industrialists and the mass
educators revolted and he was fired.

The SAT, the single most important filtering device used to measure the effect of school on each individual, is based (almost without change) on Kelly’s lower-order thinking test. Still.

The reason is simple. Not because it works. No, we do it because it’s the easy and efficient way to keep the mass production of students moving forward." -- Seth Godin

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