Minimal Changes in SAT and ACT Admissions Scores Show High School Graduation Testing Has Not Improved

for further information:
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
cell: (239) 699-0468
Dr. Monty Neill (857) 350-8207

for release with SAT College Bound Seniors scores, Tuesday, August 30, 2005
“Minor score changes on the SAT and ACT exams by this year’s high school graduates again demonstrate the failure of the test-and-punish approach to meaningfully improve the quality of our public schools,” according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).

“These generally flat results indicate that soaring high school exit exam passing percentages reported by many states, such as Texas, Florida and Virginia, reflect ‘teaching to the test,’ not better preparation for college,” explained FairTest Public Education Director Robert Schaeffer. “More than half the states now require passage of a test before awarding a high school diploma. Proponents claimed this additional hurdle would ‘raise the bar’ for educational quality. But SAT and ACT scores show that college readiness skills, as measured by these indicators, have not improved significantly.”

FairTest Co-executive Director Dr. Monty Neill added, “Recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data confirm this pattern. NAEP scores for 17-year-olds declined overall and in most racial groups were flat, even though many students are from states with mandatory graduation tests. NAEP, SAT and ACT results also show that race and income gaps are not being appreciably narrowed by the fixation on high-stakes tests.”

“The evidence is clear,” Dr. Neill concluded, “The nation cannot test its way to better schools. Quality must be built in through comprehensive educational reform.” FairTest is one of more than 50 national education and civil rights groups that has called for a comprehensive overhaul of “No Child Left Behind” to focus on lasting school reform.

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