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Thu Sep 3, 2015, 11:25 PM

Latest SAT Scores Raise New Alarms Over 'Test-and-Punish' Education


New statistics show that average SAT scores countrywide have dropped to their lowest level since the college admissions exam was redesigned in 2005, continuing a 10-year trend that education advocates say illustrates the failures of test-driven schooling.

According to the College Board, which reported the statistics on Thursday, the average SAT score for the class of 2015 was 1490 out of a possible 2400, with points declining on all three sections of the test—reading, math, and writing.

That raises an alarm for the The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), an education advocacy group, which said the latest SAT numbers highlight the failings of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and other standards-based scholastic achievement measures.

Bob Schaeffer, FairTest public education director, said in response to the latest statistics, "Test-and-punish policies, such as 'No Child Left Behind' have clearly failed to improve college readiness or narrow racial gaps, as measured by the SAT," adding that other standardized admissions exams like the ACT and the National Assessment for Education Progress show similar trends.

As education reform activists have long warned, while the standardized testing takeover in education affects students and teachers across the board, it has hit low-income and students of color the hardest. In an op-ed published Thursday, journalist Michelle Chen writes on the unforgiving methods of standards-based curricula and the growing 'opt-out' rebellion against such systems:

[T]he impacts of the testing obsession arguably hit children of color the hardest. And families of color in struggling schools have more at stake in both taking the exam and rejecting it en masse. Anti-testing activists have emphasized the connection between test-and-punish school reform measures, school closures in communities of color, and the disciplinary policies driving the so-called “school to prison pipeline.”

[....] [The tests] don’t assess skills or teacher “effectiveness” so much as they measure conformity and the establishment’s power. Students, families, and educators are learning fast that whatever they put on the answer sheet, it all adds up to zero.

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Reply Latest SAT Scores Raise New Alarms Over 'Test-and-Punish' Education (Original post)
eridani Sep 2015 OP
padfun Sep 2015 #1
Igel Sep 2015 #3
Mass Sep 2015 #2

Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Sep 4, 2015, 02:01 AM

1. How much of this is due to

incorrect information in text books like they are pushing in Texas. If some of this is from the new "charter" schools and/or voucher schools who are teaching bullshit history and science to todays students, then I would expect lower scores such as these.

I know this wasn't tested, but if you take home schooled kids who were taught that the world is 6000 years old, then they are going to fail the science and archeology sections. And I would also think they fail in biology and chemistry. They will not be college ready.

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Response to padfun (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 4, 2015, 04:33 PM

3. A vanishingly small number.

The same thing happened in the '80s. The average declined. But the scores of the usual cohort that took the test continued to increase.

The average SAT score is an average.

The percentage of AfAm and Latino takers has increased. They score lower than white and Asian test takers on average. The change in mix has been ongoing and accounts pretty much for the downdrift in test scores.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Fri Sep 4, 2015, 07:48 AM

2. I am confused. Fairtest thinks that standardized testing is not a good tool to assess and uses

standardized testing to make its point. I agree with the major point about standardized testing being a bad to to assess skills and leading to teaching to the test, but using a drop in the SAT to make that point is weird.


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