Saturday November 7, 2015
It's that day of the year many High School students take their SATs - hopefully after taking practice tests and preparation courses. The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in 1926, and its name and scoring have changed several times, being originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, then the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now simply the SAT.
Do you remember taking your SAT's? I do. Didn't score at the top but did well enough to go to college at 16 and receive my Masters Degree at 21. Some people hate tests - and others like myself - love them, almost like they're a game. Like everything else in this reality tests should evolve - or not exist at all - along with unnecessary homework. So why do they have the same tests today? It's an antiquated tradition that has seen its day. Ah ... but change is coming ...
- On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced its plan to redesign the SAT in order to link the exam more closely to the work high school students encounter in the classroom. The new exam will be administered for the first time in spring 2016. Some of the major changes are: an emphasis on the use of evidence to support answers, a shift away from obscure vocabulary, to words that students are more likely to encounter in college and career, a math section that is focused on fewer areas, a return to the 1600-point score scale, an optional essay, and the removal of penalty for wrong answers (rights-only scoring). To combat the perceived advantage of costly test preparation courses, the College Board announced a new partnership with Khan Academy to offer free online practice problems and instructional videos.
What I've learned through the years is your ability to score high on tests - and do well in school - has to do with the amount of photographic memory you have - which is genetic even if one's parents didn't have the opportunity to achieve to their fullest.
Today's children are programmed differently than the generations before them. They can memorize easily and see things from a different level of awareness than us old folks (over 30 to them). Children with Aspergers and Autism are showing us what the mind can do.
With my grandson Michael now applying for top colleges - and my other grandchildren not that far behind - I am once again following standardized testing and the reactions of parents, teachers and students. Michael also took the ACTs and scored 34 out of 36.
SAT losing favor as more Mass. colleges end requirement Boston Globe - November 7, 2015
With a backlash against high-stakes standardized tests growing, more colleges and universities are discarding the SAT as a requirement, as they question its ability to accurately predict college success. Hundreds of schools have eliminated the test requirement, including some two dozen this year alone. Most are small, private colleges, but this fall, two area public universities - the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Salem State University - joined the trend.
Free SATs: An excellent idea from NYC mayor Bill de Blasio NY Post - November 6, 2015
That seems to be the reaction of education experts to Mayor de Blasio's announcement last week that New York City would be offering all public-school students the opportunity to take the SATs for free. It might mark the first time de Blasio has united education watchers on both sides of the aisle in support of one of his administration's ideas. And they're right.