Thursday, March 6, 2014

Do we need the SAT?

Sent to USA Today, March 6, 2014

Not mentioned in the discussion of changes in the SAT ("Sharpen those pencils: The SAT test is getting harder," March 6) is the question of whether we need SAT-type examinations.

In two different studies, researchers from UC Berkeley, Harvard and Princeton reported that high school grades were a good predictor of college success, and that adding SAT scores did not improve the predictive power of grades alone.

These results suggest that teacher evaluation does a better job of evaluating student potential than standardized testing does: The repeated judgments of professionals who are with students every day appears to be more valid that a test created by distant strangers.

Stephen Krashen

Bowen, W., Chingos, M., and McPherson, M. 2009. Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Universities. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Geiser, S. and Santelices, M.V., 2007. Validity of high-school grades in predicting student success beyond the freshman year: High-school record vs. standardized tests as indicators of four-year college outcomes. Research and Occasional Papers Series: CSHE 6.07, University of California, Berkeley.

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