Pilant's Business Ethics

Business Ethics Blog

Tag: SAT

The Ethics Sage Discusses the SAT Changes

The Ethics Sage

The Ethics Sage

The Ethics Sage Discusses the SAT Changes

Steven Mintz, better known as the Ethics Sage has some criticism of the changes in the SAT’s. Please read his work and go to his web site and become a follower!

James Pilant

Do Changes to the SAT Better Reflect the Skills Needed in Today’s World? – Ethics Sage

One of my concerns is the common core standards may lead to “teaching to the test” rather than engaging students in a way that challenges their analytical reasoning skills. Also, making the essay optional sends the wrong signal at a time professors like myself and recruiters bemoan the loss of writing skills in today’s college students. Even a simple memo can be a challenge too great for some graduates.

via Do Changes to the SAT Better Reflect the Skills Needed in Today’s World? – Ethics Sage.

Mintz, S. (2014, March 25). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.ethicssage.com/2014/03/do-changes-t-the-sat-better-reflect-the-skills-needed-in-todays-world.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: EthicsSage (Ethics Sage)

From around the web.

From the web site, Gas Station Without Pumps.


Although the College Board says that this overhaul is not prompted by their shrinking market share (ACT now sells more tests than SAT), I’m sure that is the primary driving factor.  If the College Board behaved more like a non-profit than like a corporate monopoly (smaller executive salaries, pricing for distributing scores to college that was close to actual costs rather than the price gouging that they currently engage it), I’d be more inclined to believe that this was not just a “market share” phenomenon.  Since all the changes make them look more like the ACT, it seems to be entirely profit-driven, not based on a desire to more accurately predict the success of college applicants.

Eliminating the essay should make the SAT much cheaper to grade, but I’ve not heard any announcements about them reducing the price of the exams.

Gas Station Without Pumps. (2014, March 5). Sat is changing in 2016 . Retrieved from http://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/sat-is-changing-in-2016/


The Ethics Sage Confronts Falling Test Scores

Mean SAT Score for reading and math tests, by year

Image via Wikipedia

Steven Mintz, whose Internet alter ego is the Ethics Sage, today discusses test scores and accountability. These are his opening paragraphs

Steven Mintz, the Ethics Sage

In my last blog I pointed out that the mean SAT reading scores of U.S. high schoolers have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly 40 years, dropping four points in the last four years to 497. Furthermore, only 43 percent of test takers achieved a total score indicating they are likely to succeed in college. The testing company claims this decrease is due to greater participation by a more diverse group of students, and cushions the news with information that our top-achieving students are doing even better. I suggested that the results may be a reflection that the gap between the haves and have-nots, or those in the know and those who know not, is widening

The results also indicate that while white students’ overall scores decreased by a mere three points since 2006, black students’ scores decreased by 19 points, Puerto Ricans’ decreased by 17 points, Mexican-Americans’ decreased by nine points, and “other Hispanics’ ” decreased by 14 points. For Asians, the trend is reversed: from 2006 to 2011, Asians’ scores increased by 40 points. These results led me to question the value of the No Child Left Behind program that was put into place during the administration of George W. Bush

I want you to go to the larger article and see how Professor Mintz develops the topic. He is a provocative author with strong opinions based on hard moralism I find most appealing.

In my view, the American educational system is poorly designed to produce high-test scores. If you look at the curriculum, you will see a recipe for building Americans. This system is based on a curriculum developed during the early decades of the Twentieth Century to incorporate waves of European immigrants into the nation. It is an excellent system for taking individuals and homogenizing them into a predictable group that society can count on to do certain things, in particular, manufacturing work and consumerism.

My perception is that high test scores as a educational purpose is an undebated concept more or less established as an ad hoc value on top of educational system designed for another job. As a teacher, I have a proportion of high test score students in each class. If I were hiring students to do work for me in one function or another, would I hire those students? No, they wouldn’t be my first choices. Why? Because the factors that make someone good at a job have little to do with high test scores.

Now, I like my high achieving students. I like all my students. But the kind of obsessive compulsive behavior, that generates the high scores doesn’t work well for all purposes.

I think test scores are only partially useful.

We need a discussion of what we want public schools to do and how we would like to measure it, and that would include the possibility that most of what makes a good human being is not measurable.

James Pilant

Enhanced by Zemanta

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén