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'In Defense of the SAT', a Newsweek article

A Newsweek article written on 9/18/09

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SAT is a reliable predictor of graduation

  • Sep 19, 2009
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+4
In every state, the federal government requires some test to determine whether seniors are ready to graduate. In Maine, the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is used as that test. This decision has been controversial, to say the least, but has been used for the last couple of years. Good for Maine.
The test is used because it kills two birds with one stone -- all students now have an SAT score, for free, which can be used for college applications, and the state has a test that the federal government accepts for its No Students Left Behind requirements (the feds have added a couple of math and science parts which are not in the original SAT, recently, just to show their power).
Along the way, educators and others have said that the test is not a reliable way to determine whether students will succeed in some post-secondary school. The socioeconomic and racial bias is one argument that is frequently used. All of us can think of many students whose SATs are very low, but their motivation is very high. Many colleges are now making the SAT an option.
New research, cited by this article, says that the SAT is about 67% accurate in determining whether students will succeed. Although many other factors are in play when students go off to college, like family support, financial worries and peers, any test that can predict with 67% accuracy whether the student will stay in school seems like a test colleges should keep.

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September 23, 2009
I think it's true today, as it was for many years, that if you get a high score on the SAT, you'll get into better schools. The "smartest" folks get the highest scores -- almost always. The problem is that those students who are hard, diligent workers (no matter what their color) and get high grades don't necessarily earn high scores on the SAT. Folks don't think that's fair. I think post-secondary schools see the difference between the students who apply and between the scores the students earn. The SAT is good at what it purports to be.
 
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About the reviewer
Joyce Turrell ()
Ranked #268
I'm a literacy specialist at a large high school. I vegetable and flower garden, have grown kids and two grandchildren. I love to read mysteries. I like seeing what's new on Lunch.
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This is a Newsweek magazine blog which explains that the SAT is more reliable than people think, proven by a new study.

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Education, College, Articles, Newsweek, Sat Test, Newsweek Articles
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