SAT Repackaging Fails to Address Fundamental Flaws, May Incrase Exam's Bias and Coachability

for further information: Bob Schaeffer (941) 395-6773
June 27 & 28 (212) 265-7400
or Christina Perez (857) 350-8207

 

 

for use after 2:30pm Thursday, June 27, Empire Hotel NYC News Briefing

 

Revisions to the SAT announced today are "a desperate attempt by the College Board to preserve the market for its much criticized admissions test," according to the nation's leading critics of standardized exam misuse.

Speaking at a news briefing following the College Board announcement, Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), charged, "None of these minor changes address the SAT's fundamental flaws such as the test's inaccuracy, bias and susceptibility to coaching. Nor has the College Board acted to crack down on widespread misuses of the SAT, such as requiring minimum scores for admissions or scholarships. This cosmetic repackaging is simply designed to sell more of their flagship product!"

Addition of a brief essay section -- part of a "Writing Test" consisting largely of multiple-choice, copy-editing questions -- may increase the SAT's bias against students whose first language is not English, explained the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund (PRLDF). In a written statement, PRLDF staff attorney Sandra Del Valle said, "Drafting several short paragraphs in a few minutes in a testing center is not a fair measure of how well someone can compose a thoughtful, coherent essay in college. The time pressure will make this a particularly unfair test for students who need to translate from their mother tongue to English."

"The only certain result from the 'new SAT' is increased profits for the test-coaching industry, including the College Board," added Bill Wetzel, founder of Students Against Testing. "These SAT revisions might be a great marketing strategy, but the test is still a terrible educational tool."

"The failure of the College Board to deal with the SAT's real problems should encourage more schools to drop test score requirements for admissions," FairTest's Schaeffer concluded. Nearly four hundred four-year colleges already do not require many of their applicants to submit test scores prior to admissions, according to FairTest.

- additional information about the "new SAT" is available at http://www.fairtest.org

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- the FairTest letter to College Board Trustees and other background material is available on request