Tag Archives: access

No one who knows me or my work would be surprised by my unequivocal endorsement of the value of properly designed and administered standardized tests. Nor would a single soul be shocked by my convictions about the value of the right tests in academic admissions decisions. My support for testing doesn’t spring from my profession as an educator. In fact, the opposite is true. Testing acumen opened access to the kind of high quality high school education most Bronx kids just don’t get. Tests scores also secured special scholarships that made a SUNY degree at least somewhat affordable. My experience is, by no means, unique, but neither is it the narrative we’ve heard about testing over the last several years. The SAT was explicitly introduced to open doors to higher education that were previously closed to certain cultural, religious, and ethnic groups. The SAT and ACT still fulfill that mission,…

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The current paradigm of SAT and ACT testing in the state of New York generally sees high schoolers testing at high schools, with the vast majority of students engaged in Saturday testing. Students in many other states benefit from free school day administrations, but the SAT and/or ACT take the place of traditional state assessment tests in those states. While NYC has piloted the use of standardized admissions tests for assessment purposes, we do not seem to be anywhere close to replacing the Regents. This does not, however, eliminate the opportunity for a high school to administer the SAT or ACT in its own classrooms during the school day. In fact, both College Board and ACT have created paths that allow schools to serve as school day test centers for their own students. The question, of course, is, “Why bother?” Who exactly benefits from SAT and ACT school day testing?…

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The college admissions is abuzz with news of a new data point College Board has been testing for student score reports. No, the SAT won’t feature any new question types, content areas, or sections anytime soon. In fact, this metric not only resists conventional forms of test preparation but also sets a standard that would have most families chasing the lowest scores possible. Meet the College Board’s new adversity score. Officially called the Environmental Context Dashboard, the adversity score is meant to quantify the challenges students face at home, in school, and in their neighborhoods. The current tool takes 15 factors into account, ranging from neighborhood poverty level and crime rates to high school class size and family stability. The full range of factors and how they are weighted and calculated are currently unknown. These scores, scaled from 1-100 with higher values signaling greater hardship, will only be available to…

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