FairTest Reacts to the 2010 SAT Scores

for further information:                                                                 

Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

cell  (239) 699-0468

for use with annual SAT scores release – 11:00am, Monday, September 13, 2010

STAGNANT SAT & ACT RESULTS, GROWING COLLEGE PREP. SCORE GAPS DOCUMENT FAILURE OF TEST-AND-PUNISH “SCHOOL REFORM"

SAT college admissions scores released today show that “Test-and-punish school ‘reform’ policies are leaving more children further behind, even when measured by other standardized exams,” according to Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing. Schaeffer noted, “The data contradict the claim that more high-takes testing improves educational quality and equity.”

A chart prepared by FairTest shows overall SAT averages declined since the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) federal testing mandates went into effect. At the same time, gaps between Whites and Asians, on the one hand, and historically disadvantaged minority groups, particularly African-Americans and Hispanics, grew larger. ACT scores, made public last month, demonstrated comparable patterns. Scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) also indicate that educational progress has slowed in the NCLB era. Under NCLB, every public school student must be tested annually in grades three through eight and at least once in high school in both reading and math.

“Proponents of NCLB and similar state-level testing programs promised that overall achievement would improve while score gaps would narrow,” Schaeffer continued. “Precisely the opposite has taken place. Policymakers need to embrace very different policies if they are committed to real education reform.”

Schaeffer added, “Fortunately, more and more colleges have recognized the folly of fixating on the narrow, often biased, information provided by standardized tests and moved toward test-optional admissions.” According to a free web database maintained by FairTest (http:www.fairtest.org/university/optional), more than 840 accredited, bachelor-degree granting institutions will make admissions decisions about all or many applicants without regard to SAT or ACT scores.

 

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2010 COLLEGE BOUND SENIORS AVERAGE SAT SCORES

with score changes from 2006*                                    

  READING MATH WRITING TOTAL
ALL TEST-TAKERS   501 (- 2)  516 (- 2)  492 (-  5)  1509 (-  9)
 Asian, Asian Amer. or Pac. Islander  519 (+9)  591 (+13)  526 (+14)  1623 (+36)
 White  528 (+1)  536 (    0)  516 ( -  3)  1580 (-   2)
 African American or Black  429 (- 5)  428 (-   1)  420 (-   8)  1277 (- 14)
 Amer. Indian or Alaskan Native  485 (- 2)  492 (-   2)  467 (-   7)  1444 (- 11)
 Mexican or Mexican American  454 (  0)  467 ( + 2)  448 (-   4)  1369 (-   2)
 Puerto Rican  454 (- 5)  452 (-   4)  443 (-   5)  1349 (- 14)
 Other Hispanic or Latino  454 (- 4)  462 (-   1)  447 ( -  3)  1363 (-   8)
         

 

* The “No Child Left Behind” requirement to test every child annually in
grades three through eight and at least once in high school went into
effect in the 2005-2006 academic year. High school graduates in the
class of 2006 were the first to take the SAT “Writing” Test. 

calculated by FairTest from: College Board, College-Bound Seniors 2010: Total Group Profile Report and College-Bound Seniors 2006: Total Group Profile Report