The Misguided War on the SAT

Discussion in 'Education' started by Lil Mike, Jan 8, 2024.

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  1. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    This was originally in The New York Times, so that's the establishment doing a walk back of their previous craziness.

    The Misguided War on the SAT

    After the COVID pandemic made it difficult for high school students to take the SAT and ACT, dozens of selective colleges dropped their requirement that applicants do so. Colleges described the move as temporary, but nearly all have since stuck to a test-optional policy. It reflects a backlash against standardized tests that began long before the pandemic, and many people have hailed the change as a victory for equity in higher education.

    Now, though, a growing number of experts and university administrators wonder whether the switch has been a mistake. Research has increasingly shown that standardized test scores contain real information, helping to predict college grades, chances of graduation and post-college success. Test scores are more reliable than high school grades, partly because of grade inflation in recent years.

    Without test scores, admissions officers sometimes have a hard time distinguishing between applicants who are likely to do well at elite colleges and those who are likely to struggle.


    Exactly.

    This made me think of this recent thread..

    Racism in standardized testing

    ...which was based on the absurd idea that Black people don't know what saucers are so therefore a test that has the word saucer in it is racist or some such.
     
    roorooroo likes this.
  2. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    An interesting post about standardized testing.

    Bias in Admissions and Hiring

    This was based on on Dartmouth's:

    Report From Working Group on the Role of Standardized Test Scores in Undergraduate Admissions

    Our overall conclusion is that the use of SAT and ACT scores is an essential method by which Admissions can identify applicants who will succeed at Dartmouth. Importantly, these test scores better position Admissions to identify high-achieving less-advantaged applicants and high-achieving applicants who attend high schools for which Dartmouth has less information to interpret the transcripts. The data suggest that, under an SAT/ACT optional (hereafter “test-optional”) policy, many high-achieving less-advantaged applicants choose not to submit scores even when doing so would allow Admissions to identify them as students likely to succeed at Dartmouth and in turn benefit their application.

    In other words, standardized testing works and is an invaluable tool for determining who is going to succeed in college.
     
  3. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    With various Ivy League schools returning to the SAT, I thought common sense was creeping back.

    I was wrong.

    The College Board is dumbing down its SAT test again — doing no one any favors

    A high schooler could have predicted this: On Feb. 5, Dartmouth College conceded that, after four years of admitting students in the dark, it needs mandatory standardized testing after all.

    Weeks later Yale and, on Tuesday, Brown followed the lead of their smaller Ivy League sibling.

    Other top-ranked universities — MIT, Georgetown, University of Florida, Georgia Tech, Purdue University, the US Air Force Academy, West Point, etc. — are already test-mandatory.

    It’s good to hear about the flip-backs, but there’s troubling news, too: The testing itself is being dumbed down, even as a new digital-only version becomes mandatory on Saturday.

    ...the test will become online-only and “adaptive”: Depending how a student performs in the first half, different questions will be presented in the second half.

    By estimating each student’s ability early, the test can subsequently skip questions that are too difficult or too easy, with corresponding adjustment in scoring, thereby becoming, it is claimed, more efficient.

    The alarming problem is its assurance that in developing digital adaptive testing, “we remove items that show significant DIF (Differential Item Functioning) by race/ethnicity, gender, or English as first language in alignment with industry best standards.”

    In other words, the board aims to dumb down the test to reduce outcome differences by race and gender.
     

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