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SAT scores are flat, and that’s worse than it sounds.

So, this year’s SAT scores are out, and they’re disappointing. Only 43% of students who took the test got scores indicating readiness for college.

Really, SAT scores have been flat, or even slowly falling, for a while. Some of that slow decline can be attributed to more people taking the SAT. Maybe all of it can. But scores clearly aren’t getting better. And that’s really disturbing.

Why, you ask? Because at this point the kids taking the SAT have spent more or less their entire school career in an education system governed by No Child Left Behind, which puts an insane emphasis on standardized tests. Kids must be better at taking tests after all that practice. So if they’re not scoring any better, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that everything except test taking has gone downhill.

Why are we sticking with No Child Left Behind, again?

1 comment to SAT scores are flat, and that’s worse than it sounds.

  • SpecialKinNJ

    There are problems inherent in defining “college readiness” as attainment of a specified score-level on any test, including the SAT. Any index so defined lends itself to an absolute, dichotomous interpretation. In the present instance, asserting that only 3 students were “college ready” implies that all the other students were not.

    Although it is true, on the average, that students scoring 1550 or higher are likely to perform better than those scoring below 1550, there are numerous exceptions to the “readiness rule”. Performance data for a large national sample studied by the College Board (SAT® 2013 Report on College & Career Readiness) are illustrative. : http://media.collegeboard.com/homeOrg/content/pdf/sat-report-college-career-readiness-2013.pdf

    For example, of students who scored 1550 or higher, 78% actually earned B- or higher, but so did 51% of those below 1550. And while 77% of the higher-scoring subgroup graduated in six years, so did 53% of those scoring below 1550.

    Such evidence calls attention to the limitations in conceptualizing and giving widely disseminated embodiment to a single-score benchmark for college readiness– especially when the test is one on which the national sample Reading average was slightly above 500 in 1987 and slightly below 500 in 2011.

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