College Board Focus on Small Annual Score Variations Deflects Attention from Exam's Fundamental Flaws
"The College Board's annual promotion of meaningless changes in SAT scores is a 'red herring,' which diverts focus from the exam's fundamental flaws and the growing number of schools which have stopped requiring the test," according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).
"One or two point, year-to-year shifts are far less important to the country's educational health than the fact that the SAT remains a poor predictor of academic performance, systematically misasseses the capabilities of many applicants, and is becoming increasingly susceptible to high-priced test preparation courses," explained FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer. "The so-called 'new' SAT, to be introduced next year, fails to address any of these problems. That is a major reason more-and-more colleges are dropping the SAT as an admissions requirement."
Technical literature published by the College Board, the exam's sponsor, and the Educational Testing Service, the SAT's manufacturer, admit that the exam underpredicts for young women, older applicants, and students whose home language is not English. Independent studies demonstrate that good coaching programs raise SAT scores by an average of more than 100 points; such courses often cost close to $1,000. An updated FairTest tabulation lists more than 700 accredited, bachelor degree granting institutions which do not require substantial numbers of applicants to submit scores from the SAT or rival ACT before admissions offers are made.
Schaeffer has been monitoring annual SAT scores for two decades, since civil rights and educational leaders created FairTest in 1984. The organization, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, advocates for assessments based on students' actual performances, not one-shot, high-stakes exams.
Fact sheets documenting problems with the SAT and the failure of the "new" SAT to
address the exam's fundamental flaws, as well as a list of more than 700 "test score optional" four-year colleges, are available here.
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