Thursday, April 16, 2009

SAT at War with self


"In a speech here Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Atkinson said that while the changes had resulted in "significant" improvements, he was decidedly unimpressed with the results. He said that the essential criticism he made in 2001 -- that colleges need measures of achievement and knowledge, not some sense of students' aptitude -- was still valid. "


Anonymous said...

This article is very good - the speech was an indirect criticism of California's decision to discard the SAT II results from the student's application to enroll in a CSU. Atkinson was applauding the removal of the analogies portion of the test and its replacement with the essay portion.

That was reason for the contradiction - "significant improvement, but unimpressive results." California's reason for removal of the SAT II was that educators felt it would encourage more minorities to enroll in college.

As for me, I was raised with analogies - I can't stand writing essays. I asked my son about it (he has to write, not me)

His writing prompt was to write about a person. He chose to write about himself. His friend wrote about my son. My son got the higher score. What does it prove? Write about what you know best? I'll stick with analogies.

My belief is that once minorities were able to show they could learn analogies, as well as whites. Colleges changed the requirements for enrolling. Learning how to take an analogies test might seem like a circus act, but isn't that what most of learning is anyway. You train and you perform.

Anonymous said...

The trend is your friend until the end. Long periods of calm and tranquility are necessarily followed by larger events that adjust to the mean. On Black Tuesday only 19 million shares traded, that is measured now in minutes on the NYSE or the NASDAQ.

It is more than odd coincidence that a sharp drop in our economy is being accompanied by a substantial drop in student achievement.

Until school improves, any improvement shown by the economy is a bear rally. We simply don't have the human capital to sustain an economy this size.

Only a third of the houses affected by foreclosures are actually on the market and prices has dropped by more than half (where I live). What will happen in four months is going to make today look pretty good.