Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Feature: To SAT or Not to SAT?

This picture is from an excellent editorial in the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Last year around this time, Millersville University announced that it wouldn't require local residents (those who live in Lancaster County, PA, where Millersville is located) to submit SAT scores as part of their application for acceptance to the school. The first of Pennsylvania's fourteen state schools to do so, Millersville also left the door open to removing the requirement for other applicants in the future.

Last month, George Washington University in Washington, DC dropped its SAT and ACT requirement as well.

And these two schools are not alone. A number of schools, some of them quite competitive, have made the submission of SAT scores optional for their applicants, choosing instead to focus on other factors, such as GPA. And, since all GPAs are not created equal, many colleges "strip" the high school GPA, then build it back up again, making sure the same standard is applied across the board to all applicants, effectively leveling the playing field.

It seems that colleges are beginning to believe that one test score on one day might not be the best way to judge an applicant's qualifications. Those of us who've long believed that's the case, particularly when it comes to young children and high stakes testing, can only hope that this little zephyr is the harbinger of a hurricane -- one that topples the house of cards that is the standardized testing industry.

One can only hope. But in the mean time, kudos to the schools who want to look at kids, not scores.

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