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KJB

Unfair advantage on SAT?

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KJB, you do need to have a certain level of scores to test through Johns Hopkins for the SAT (or other talent searches). It used to be the 95th percentile on some other test, but state tests using "advanced" complicate things. Still, my point is that the "invitation" is really more of an entrance criteria than a special invite. ANY kid can test on the SAT at any age, without going through a talent search, but if there scores are not already high, these are not the kids JHU is hoping to offer their programs (not practice).

 

JHU/CTY's goal is NOT to groom for the test...it's to discern amongst many top scorers, to find kids that are already exceptionally bright, and offer them (albeit expensive) programs. Not all kids that test at the 95th percentile on grade level measures are at the level JHU is trying to find.

 

If this has the side advantage of giving smart kids "practice", so be it. This is NOT JHU's goal.

 

As I wrote above,

 

"The students are being groomed to be future members of Big Name U through this special "invitation."

 

And Big Name U wants the best students and their $$.

 

I think these students are being encouraged to test and participate in expensive camps to eventually become part of the student body or at the very least to pay for expensive camps creating revenues enjoyed by the university.

 

If not this, then what do you think JHU and comparable school's goals are for creating these programs? Do you think they're altruistic? Just trying to help bright students? I don't doubt that there is some of this involved in the creation of these programs, I'm just not sure this is the sole motivation.

 

My take is that primarily they have a strong financial incentive to create ties with bright students which as I keep saying begins by this special invitation which encourages early testing.

 

Forgetting about the Talent Search angle completely for a minute, however, I am pondering why kids are allowed to test over and over again until they get a score they can live with. It seems to take the fairness out of it for other students who aren't encouraged or able to test repeatedly.

 

As I've mentioned other places in this thread, the advantage of repeat testing is one that can be controlled by the college board unlike race, culture, economics, religion, hang nail on test day, etc. It is my belief that the college board should control for all factors that create unfairness that they *can* control since there are so many variables they have no control over.

 

Anyway, I now will remove my dog from the discussion. (0:

 

I've made my point, I think.

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Yes---I totally believe it is unfair! In fact, my personal opinion now that I found out that 7th graders start being 'groomed' for these tests (NOT in our town) leads me to think that the SAT and ACT are now ridiculous farces whose necessity should be retired. These tests are unfair, biased and a ridiculous gauge for college admission or 'education'! At the very least, the kids who have been prepped and groomed for years on end or whose parents could afford to spend hundreds on elite prep classes should have to include disclaimers on the test scores themselves to help even the playing field for people who don't have access to this type of stuff. If the scores are still low for these prepped kids, then at the very least it would show that perhaps the classes etc. aren't as necessary?

 

I agree testing isn't really a good thing and that there is unfairness associated with testing. A lot of people would say that homeschoolers have an unfair advantage educationally. In fact, I think there are people that say all kids should be put on a level playing field, and that, therefore, they should all be in public school. However, that then results in the argument that not all public schools are created equal, which is, of course, a valid argument. And finally, I think that there are times where no matter how stinky your scores, if you belong to the right family, you're in. And if you can pay, then perhaps you're in, too.

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:iagree:

 

The SAT is certainly not the only area where wealth and education help one's child. It is probably one of the smallest factors.

 

Any child can practice for the SAT (there are fee waivers for need and you can get test prep books at the library.) It takes, like so many other factors of success, an involved parent (or other adult.) I am not convinced that taking it repeatedly is the best practice, so dc will take the SAT and ACT once through MATS in 7th-8th grade and then we will do little test prep until they take it once (or twice) as high school students. I took each twice, and I raised my SAT score slightly, but not my ACT score. I never studied in any way, though, and I made National Merit Scholar and a 34 on the ACT. Practice and prep are not necessary. A solid education is. :001_smile: (And though those scores helped me get in the door at scholarship interviews, it was the 500+ volunteer hours at a local hospital and long record of leadership in school and community activities that secured my scholarship, so those hours were better spent than in test prep.)

:iagree:

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Check out this website on standardized test scores.

 

It explains why minority students are given scholarships, albeit indirectly, for lower test score results. It is because the test themselves are culturally biased and result in minority children (from public schools, I believe, which is the predominating method of education in this country) with lower test results.

 

I believe that schools realize this and give scholarships to minority students for lower test results because of the bias within the tests themselves.

 

Many people aren't aware of this and think there children are being treated unfairly, when in fact if all of the children were treated fairly through the test this wouldn't happen.

 

Another study, which I don't have access to and can't remember who it was by, about homeschooling families show that these biases are removed when children are home educated. Black children and white children perform on par with one another when they are home schooled. But black children in public schools perform far lower than there white counterparts. It's a shame that it is true and it is unfair.

 

Kimberly

(another minority)

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KJB, it's too late for your daughter....she already has the unfair advantage, since she's already taken the test. If JHU offers her a free ride because of her scores, you should absolutely turn it down.

 

I'm not saying that JHU (and college board) aren't looking to pad their pockets. But I don't see how any of that is MY concern (or that of others taking advantage of the opportunity), because I allow my children to test early for the sole purpose of pursuing more appropriate education for them, based on their advanced abilities. We are not testing for "practice".

 

Life it not always "fair".

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KJB, it's too late for your daughter....she already has the unfair advantage, since she's already taken the test. If JHU offers her a free ride because of her scores, you should absolutely turn it down.

 

I'm not saying that JHU (and college board) aren't looking to pad their pockets. But I don't see how any of that is MY concern (or that of others taking advantage of the opportunity), because I allow my children to test early for the sole purpose of pursuing more appropriate education for them, based on their advanced abilities. We are not testing for "practice".

 

Life it not always "fair".

 

My dog can't stay away. :D

 

You miss the point entirely.

 

Of course YOU should do everything you possibly can for YOUR child, including taking advantage of "unfair" opportunities.

 

However, the COLLEGE BOARD who purports to offer a fair gauge of academic talent and intelligence should make every effort to provide fair opportunity for all test takers.

 

Ummm....shouldn't they?

 

You doing things for your family or taking advantage of God given advantages is totally appropriate. You'd be derelict if you didn't.

 

It's not the same thing at all.

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I think I lost track of your lament KJB....is it against College Board itself? Or Johns Hopkins? John Hopkins utlitizes the test that College Board already offers.

 

You should probably be more irrate with the senior student I work with. She's taken the SAT at least 3 times in the past year, and has plans to take it again this spring. She's had a private tutor for months and myself working one-on-one with her this past year, yet her math score really hasn't budged. Well, then again...what's to be mad about there?

 

Don't get me wrong...I have my own issues with College Board. But being in "cohoots" with JHU to encourage even more testing $$$'s is not one of them. The benefits to bright kids outweigh any cons in my book.

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Check out this website on standardized test scores.

 

It explains why minority students are given scholarships, albeit indirectly, for lower test score results. It is because the test themselves are culturally biased and result in minority children (from public schools, I believe, which is the predominating method of education in this country) with lower test results.

 

That article does not show that the tests themselves are culturally biased. There are no examples or studies of culturally biased questions in that article at all. There is nothing in the article to prove that the cultural bias is in the test and not in the students prior education.

 

On the contrary, it shows that when test subjects are controlled for academic credentials, there is no racial or cultural bias.

 

The fact is that affirmative action has stratified the bar by race and ability. Black lawyers lag behind their white colleagues in measured ability by about 1.1 SD. Affirmative action creates a racial gap at law-school entry that never goes away. When entrance credentials are controlled, racial differences mostly vanish.

Notably, when Dawson's study looked at entering students with similar academic credentials, the pass rates on the NBME exam were independent of race, pointing an accusing finger directly at affirmative action.

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Forgetting about the Talent Search angle completely for a minute, however, I am pondering why kids are allowed to test over and over again until they get a score they can live with. It seems to take the fairness out of it for other students who aren't encouraged or able to test repeatedly.

 

As I've mentioned other places in this thread, the advantage of repeat testing is one that can be controlled by the college board unlike race, culture, economics, religion, hang nail on test day, etc. It is my belief that the college board should control for all factors that create unfairness that they *can* control since there are so many variables they have no control over.

 

Anyway, I now will remove my dog from the discussion. (0:

 

I've made my point, I think.

:iagree: 100%.

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I think I lost track of your lament KJB....is it against College Board itself? Or Johns Hopkins? John Hopkins utlitizes the test that College Board already offers.

 

You should probably be more irrate with the senior student I work with. She's taken the SAT at least 3 times in the past year, and has plans to take it again this spring. She's had a private tutor for months and myself working one-on-one with her this past year, yet her math score really hasn't budged. Well, then again...what's to be mad about there?

 

Don't get me wrong...I have my own issues with College Board. But being in "cohoots" with JHU to encourage even more testing $$$'s is not one of them. The benefits to bright kids outweigh any cons in my book.

 

From the op:

 

"So, it really leads me to question how fair it is to allow multiple testing experiences. Doesn't this give already bright students an unfair advantage? And what about low income students or students with less savvy or less educated parents; how are they supposed to compete when some little Johnnys are super prepped and testing for the fourth time in as many years?"

 

I am hardly mad or irate. I do admit to lamenting the fact that the College Board allows multiple opportunities to take the SAT. :D

 

I would never be mad at a student trying to better herself or an institution like JHU taking advantage of a business opportunity.

 

I do question rather or not it is fair to allow students to start testing young and continue to test until they feel like stopping.

 

As I've said repeatedly (and unemotionally, I might add) multiple testing strikes me as unfair.

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Ooops, I wasn't clear, and it's too late to edit. Sorry! Let me reword the above though...

 

"The benefits to bright kids (that have nothing to do with higher test scores from repeat testing) outweigh any cons in my book."

 

I don't know...but if you take away the multiple testing option, I'm pretty sure the ones that will be the most distraught will be the ones that aren't scoring well to begin with. The bright ones will just find other ways to test their early abilities, and will continue to have that "unfair" advantage that comes with being smarter. I don't think we can regulate the bell curve.

 

FWIW, I'm not responding to the affirmative action aspect of this thread, but am reading with great interest. My student is learning AP government at the moment, and we are right now in a chapter the deals with affirmative action, and I'm fascinated by all that brings to mind. I have no answers though.

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Let's ignore the statistics for a minute and asks the questions that really matter.

 

Why are minority students performing lower on these tests? Is it because they are less intelligent? Or maybe they just don't learn as well as the majority students? But, obviously, neither of these are the true because homeschooled children of different races and gender perform equally academically.

 

So either the problem is within the tests themselves or it is within the education that these children are receiving. If it is within the tests, then the tests is biased. If it is in within the educational system, then these kids are not being prepared adequately for the test. In that case, the test is still unfair, in my opinion, because they only accurately test those students that have been prepared for them.

 

As for my posts, I have company and I made the leap that statistical results such as these are probably the reason that students receive scholarships for lower test results. And at this point, I don't know how colleges would make allowances for a problem as systemic as racism.

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Ooops, I wasn't clear, and it's too late to edit. Sorry! Let me reword the above though...

 

"The benefits to bright kids (that have nothing to do with higher test scores from repeat testing) outweigh any cons in my book."

 

I don't know...but if you take away the multiple testing option, I'm pretty sure the ones that will be the most distraught will be the ones that aren't scoring well to begin with. The bright ones will just find other ways to test their early abilities, and will continue to have that "unfair" advantage that comes with being smarter. I don't think we can regulate the bell curve.

 

FWIW, I'm not responding to the affirmative action aspect of this thread, but am reading with great interest. My student is learning AP government at the moment, and we are right now in a chapter the deals with affirmative action, and I'm fascinated by all that brings to mind. I have no answers though.

 

Well, if you take away multiple testing, bright kids could still be offered enrichment opportunities using some other entrance standard. Taking the SAT more than once isn't pivotal to enrichment.

 

And, fwiw and imo, being born smart isn't an "unfair" advantage.

 

In some cases, it's not even an advantage at all.

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P.S...just to be sure, you do know that each SAT is different, right? And that that hundreds...perhaps thousands of practice versions out there are all extremely similar to the actual test layout? I guess I'm still not really seeing the unfairness of it all.

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I actually think it is the attitude of the parents. If the parents don't care about academics, the school can do little or nothing. The child can try to do it themselves if the parents don't care and they will find a way. But usually lack of parents caring leads to lack of children caring.

 

I am not minority, but my family (from a long way back) is very poor and mostly do not care about education. When I talk about family experiences they are the drug/ drink/ crime lifestyles. But both my mom and dad put quite a bit of emphasis on education. To them it was a way out. I went to college and struggled to make it through (cost, not grades). My children, on the other hand, are doing great academically and getting scholarships! I did not do well on the SAT and got little help from scholarship -- more need based.

 

On the other hand, my cousins, whose parents did not care academically, are still in the same lifestyle.

 

I'm not sure iit is so much minority as what the parents emphasize, which is why I think homeschooled kids do well, minority or not. The parents care.

 

Linda

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P.S...just to be sure, you do know that each SAT is different, right? And that that hundreds...perhaps thousands of practice versions out there are all extremely similar to the actual test layout? I guess I'm still not really seeing the unfairness of it all.

 

 

Not only are they different, but they will send you the solutions to the test you just took along with your answers.

 

As I've written above, nothing compares to actually taking the test. As I said before, a musician that can play a piece beautifully at home, can still freeze up on stage. The more recitals in which you play, the easier it is to get back up on stage for most people.

 

Ftr, and something I've noticed in this thread people getting defensive about, I'm not saying gifted/bright/talented students shouldn't be accommodated, accelerated, given special opportunities, etc.

 

I'm just saying *everyone* should test the same number of times in order to make the scores meaningful and comparable.

 

And now, as promised many posts ago, my dog and I are leaving the discussion.

 

It's not important that we agree. The discussion is fruitful regardless.

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Let's ignore the statistics for a minute and asks the questions that really matter.

 

Why are minority students performing lower on these tests? Is it because they are less intelligent? Or maybe they just don't learn as well as the majority students? But, obviously, neither of these are the true because homeschooled children of different races and gender perform equally academically.

 

So either the problem is within the tests themselves or it is within the education that these children are receiving. If it is within the tests, then the tests is biased. If it is in within the educational system, then these kids are not being prepared adequately for the test. In that case, the test is still unfair, in my opinion, because they only accurately test those students that have been prepared for them.

 

As for my posts, I have company and I made the leap that statistical results such as these are probably the reason that students receive scholarships for lower test results. And at this point, I don't know how colleges would make allowances for a problem as systemic as racism.

 

 

Well---how about we add in that Asian minorities do very well academically and on the tests. Why? Because their culture requires hard work and academic success for the most part. I have a feeling that culture more than tests written for white 'majority' students has most to do with why certain minorities from certain geographical regions don't do well in school or on tests. Like a pp said, if a family (rich/poor, brown/white) does not care about schooling or academics and makes things like pop culture, video games and alcohol, drugs and gang culture priority----then why would the kids do well in school? There are many, many exceptions to this-----kids that decided at an early age that they wanted more and pulled themselves up out of the culture. But for the most part----it will take a community wide change in attitude. Change the entitlement attitude, change that 'poor me' and 'the world owes me' attitude. Obviously, there are certain minority groups that don't have any excuses to fall back on to explain 'why'----so they expect much from their kids and work really hard.

 

Sorry---I know this got pretty much off topic from the unfairness of the whole SAT/ACT test issue. The whole race issue with the tests just seems kind of another excuse for bad schools, bad family and lazy students IMO. Even though it can take monumental efforts to work your way out of extreme poverty/ghetto whatever---it IS possible in this country with hard work and determination.

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Not only are they different, but they will send you the solutions to the test you just took along with your answers.

 

As I've written above, nothing compares to actually taking the test. As I said before, a musician that can play a piece beautifully at home, can still freeze up on stage. The more recitals in which you play, the easier it is to get back up on stage for most people.

 

Ftr, and something I've noticed in this thread people getting defensive about, I'm not saying gifted/bright/talented students shouldn't be accommodated, accelerated, given special opportunities, etc.

 

I'm just saying *everyone* should test the same number of times in order to make the scores meaningful and comparable.

 

And now, as promised many posts ago, my dog and I are leaving the discussion.

 

It's not important that we agree. The discussion is fruitful regardless.

 

Except that in order to run anything similar, you need a far out-of-level, nationally normed test which is proctored and administered across the country. The out-of-level is really necessary in order to distinguish the kids who really need the extra enrichment versus those who are merely doing very, very well at their grade level.

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Sorry---I know this got pretty much off topic from the unfairness of the whole SAT/ACT test issue. The whole race issue with the tests just seems kind of another excuse for bad schools, bad family and lazy students IMO. Even though it can take monumental efforts to work your way out of extreme poverty/ghetto whatever---it IS possible in this country with hard work and determination.

 

I'm pretty shocked at thoughts like this, especially when I get the sense that behind the statement is that as a whole an entire race of students perform lower on standardized tests simply because the culture is lazier than the mainstream culture and/or they don't value education.

 

This floors me (not in angry way, but floors me). What others call laziness is much more involved and complex than that.

 

The most dangerous racist thoughts that pervade a person are those from within. And that is what most black children deal with--the thoughts that I can't do, or be, like the white kids.

 

I want to argue against the idea that it is really laziness that results in lower test scores, but really how can I? How can I argue on the behalf of young black kids whose parents and grandparents have been sidelined due to institutionalized racism that has for the longest time been legal in this country. Young kids who are raised and nurtured by parents and grandparents who believe that their kids are defeated before they even start school, simply because of the color of their skin. And how would these grandparents and parents know any different other than their own experiences, and these experiences are the ones they pass onto their children.

 

I wish I could argue against this line of thinking, but I can't. All I can say is that if public school teachers believe this about the black students sitting in their classrooms everyday, they'll probably treat those children differently than they treat those whom they know are really there to learn and make something of themselves.

 

And if that is true, then I'm glad I homeschool my children. This is the only group of black kids that perform on par with white kids and Asian kids. Even if I can't do everything that I want with my kids, I can at least give my kids a chance to be viewed by a teacher that thinks they care about learning and knows that they're more than capable to learn.

 

When I taught high school co-op students, the students that cared were the ones I gave a little extra help and encouragement to. I mean I tried to do that with kids that didn't care, but why would I go out of my why if they really didn't care about education? Can you begin to imagine the obstacle that a child must face when the teacher isn't vested in him, because obviously he isn't really vested in himself?

 

And if the reasoning behind those test results really and truly is cultural acceptance of lower work standards, then teachers know which ones care when they walk in the classroom. They're obviously not going to be the black ones. I didn't have this advantage when I taught co-op kids because all of my students were white; I had to determine their willingness to work based on their behavior and actual work performance.

 

Btw, I'm not angry at all about this conversation, because I have no reason to be. And I hope I don't come off as angry. If I knew you in real life, we'd probably be good friends. It's just that ideas like this make me a little sad.

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I'm pretty shocked at thoughts like this, especially when I get the sense that behind the statement is that as a whole an entire race of students perform lower on standardized tests simply because the culture is lazier than the mainstream culture and/or they don't value education.

 

This floors me (not in angry way, but floors me). What others call laziness is much more involved and complex than that.

 

The most dangerous racist thoughts that pervade a person are those from within. And that is what most black children deal with--the thoughts that I can't do, or be, like the white kids.

 

I want to argue against the idea that it is really laziness that results in lower test scores, but really how can I? How can I argue on the behalf of young black kids whose parents and grandparents have been sidelined due to institutionalized racism that has for the longest time been legal in this country. Young kids who are raised and nurtured by parents and grandparents who believe that their kids are defeated before they even start school, simply because of the color of their skin. And how would these grandparents and parents know any different other than their own experiences, and these experiences are the ones they pass onto their children.

 

I wish I could argue against this line of thinking, but I can't. All I can say is that if public school teachers believe this about the black students sitting in their classrooms everyday, they'll probably treat those children differently than they treat those whom they know are really there to learn and make something of themselves.

 

And if that is true, then I'm glad I homeschool my children. This is the only group of black kids that perform on par with white kids and Asian kids. Even if I can't do everything that I want with my kids, I can at least give my kids a chance to be viewed by a teacher that thinks they care about learning and knows that they're more than capable to learn.

 

When I taught high school co-op students, the students that cared were the ones I gave a little extra help and encouragement to. I mean I tried to do that with kids that didn't care, but why would I go out of my why if they really didn't care about education? Can you begin to imagine the obstacle that a child must face when the teacher isn't vested in him, because obviously he isn't really vested in himself?

 

And if the reasoning behind those test results really and truly is cultural acceptance of lower work standards, then teachers know which ones care when they walk in the classroom. They're obviously not going to be the black ones. I didn't have this advantage when I taught co-op kids because all of my students were white; I had to determine their willingness to work based on their behavior and actual work performance.

 

Btw, I'm not angry at all about this conversation, because I have no reason to be. And I hope I don't come off as angry. If I knew you in real life, we'd probably be good friends. It's just that ideas like this make me a little sad.

 

But Kimber, my whole point is NOT simply laziness! Really---I couldn't agree with you more! I homeschool for the reason that 'I' was the type ignored by teachers because I was shy and not popular----and what wasted potential that is when teachers ignore ANY student. If black homeschool kids are the 'only' ones who can compete on par with white or Asian (which I don't believe) GREAT!!! Then I really wish more and more black people would homeschool---its time to show this country that we all really are equal!! It's obvious as humans we all have the same abilities----but those abilities need to be nurtured. And the general public school environment doesn't nurture kids individually----add in schools in really bad neighborhoods and you have the disparities we see today, especially when the whole "Can't because I'm __________" attitude is continually drilled home or always blaming anyone and anything but yourself. It makes me livid and sick...really. The fact that a lot of these neighborhoods might have more minorities--even worse in making me mad. What I guess I am really trying to say is that in that cycle of poverty----you have generations of uneducated people who really don't care about school. Or don't get that 'anyone' can really try hard and do well and rise up from bad economics. It can be really, really hard. But it is possible. I was just trying to say that there are a combination of things----including lazy students AND culture----that contribute. I in no way was saying the laziness had anything to do with skin color or anything----because we all know that laziness is also a general human condition :001_smile:

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Whew! I'm glad we agree. I guess the thing that really gets me (and I guess that I'm opening a whole 'nother can of worms) is when people complain about affirmative action--a sword which cuts both ways.

 

Truthfully, I don't like affirmative action, but until the system is fixed what other choices are there? And when counselors tell parents, as I read in the other post, if only your child was a minority, he'd have a full-ride scholarship, I can't help but think that the counselor forgot to add: but he'd probably have an additional host of problems to deal with in addition to that scholarship. Like, people assuming he's a theif or cops interrogating him to push his buttons when he's driving a car alone which happened to my high school age nephew last year. He'd, thankfully, been taught by his parents to respond very calmly with nothing but Yes, sir and No, sir. The cop called him boy, which he was at 18, but still was probably racially motivated and when my nephew didn't overeact, he told him to get. (happened in Louisiana)

 

If that child really was a minority in the public school system, more than likely his test scores would have been lower, and that just like women in this country, he'd probably face a glass ceiling in this country when he found professional employment.

 

It's actually very sad, and I don't have a solution. But if most black kids could choose between affirmative action scholarships and living without racism, they would pick the living without racism.

 

I have company that I'm neglecting, so I have to go, but I plan to read further when I can.

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Except that in order to run anything similar, you need a far out-of-level, nationally normed test which is proctored and administered across the country. The out-of-level is really necessary in order to distinguish the kids who really need the extra enrichment versus those who are merely doing very, very well at their grade level.

 

http://store.iblp.org/products/ITK12/

 

http://nswagtc.org.au/info/identification/WISC3.html

 

Besides the fact that there are other available tests, there are also other ways to measure giftedness such as achievement.

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Whew! I'm glad we agree. I guess the thing that really gets me (and I guess that I'm opening a whole 'nother can of worms) is when people complain about affirmative action--a sword which cuts both ways.

 

Truthfully, I don't like affirmative action, but until the system is fixed what other choices are there? And when counselors tell parents, as I read in the other post, if only your child was a minority, he'd have a full-ride scholarship, I can't help but think that the counselor forgot to add: but he'd probably have an additional host of problems to deal with in addition to that scholarship. Like, people assuming he's a theif or cops interrogating him to push his buttons when he's driving a car alone which happened to my high school age nephew last year. He'd, thankfully, been taught by his parents to respond very calmly with nothing but Yes, sir and No, sir. The cop called him boy, which he was at 18, but still was probably racially motivated and when my nephew didn't overeact, he told him to get. (happened in Louisiana)

 

If that child really was a minority in the public school system, more than likely his test scores would have been lower, and that just like women in this country, he'd probably face a glass ceiling in this country when he found professional employment.

 

It's actually very sad, and I don't have a solution. But if most black kids could choose between affirmative action scholarships and living without racism, they would pick the living without racism.

 

I have company that I'm neglecting, so I have to go, but I plan to read further when I can.

 

You're right---its a double edged sword. And that boils my blood that that kind of stuff happens today still---grrr! Sometimes its really hard to swallow that even though slavery was abolished in the 1860's---the full flush of racism still hasn't worn itself out in this country. My cousin is half black, and in a lot of ways he had more opportunities for higher education and more support that my brothers and I did as white kids. But then again, his single mom (my aunt) pushed education and never taught him to feel sorry for himself because of his face or circumstances. His lesson is one 'my' family can learn from, because we live in a very small, rural town with very little opportunities (especially for homeschoolers) and if my kids want to compete one of these days with the kids in this country who do have more---they just have to work extra hard. This town is a perfect example of a community that doesn't really value education----its all about Sports here! Or trying to be some sort of Idol superstar..........I definitely have to catch myself a lot so i don't give in to the 'poor us' and 'can't' mentality :001_huh:

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http://store.iblp.org/products/ITK12/

 

http://nswagtc.org.au/info/identification/WISC3.html

 

Besides the fact that there are other available tests, there are also other ways to measure giftedness such as achievement.

 

But again, the reason to use the SAT is because it is both nationally normed and externally proctored and administered in many, many locations, and anyone can sign up to take it. It does not require a special testing session to be set up for the student or a professional to be hired to administer it, which would raise the cost prohibitively for the students which they are targetting. I may be wrong, but I don't think we have 12th grade ITBS or WISC3 being administered in group sessions, where the fee can be waived for those of low income.

 

Achievement is actually not a very good way to measure giftedness. Achievement will measure what a student has learned with the curricula they were given. A gifted student with a poor work ethic will score poorly on achivement, and a student with an exemplary work ethic may score far higher despite a far more moderate level of giftedness.

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Not to mention that they (JHU/CTY) are specifically looking for kids that are beyond a 12th grade ITBS. They are looking for kids who are achieving well into the gifted range, not just "gifted kids" (in fact, the WISC test will fulfill the criteria that allows a child to be "invited"). Many kids who hit 130 on the WISC will not make it into their programs. And discerning beyond 130 on a WISC is difficult as well. And yes...the SAT is there, ready and waiting. Personally I see nothing wrong with taking advantage of its availability, especially since so many other students are utilizing the multiple testing option.

 

Another reason the SAT is is the ideal option is that most schools speak that language. My son's early SAT results spoke louder than anything I had brought to the table prior to that time, and opened doors for him to take a more appropriate math class. The ITBS would not have impressed them nearly as much, and they already had IQ/etc.

 

It's good to see the baby growing there KJB, she sure is a cutie!

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But again, the reason to use the SAT is because it is both nationally normed and externally proctored and administered in many, many locations, and anyone can sign up to take it. It does not require a special testing session to be set up for the student or a professional to be hired to administer it, which would raise the cost prohibitively for the students which they are targetting. I may be wrong, but I don't think we have 12th grade ITBS or WISC3 being administered in group sessions, where the fee can be waived for those of low income.

 

Achievement is actually not a very good way to measure giftedness. Achievement will measure what a student has learned with the curricula they were given. A gifted student with a poor work ethic will score poorly on achivement, and a student with an exemplary work ethic may score far higher despite a far more moderate level of giftedness.

 

I bet if the College Board restricted testing to once or twice, talent search programs would figure something else out to use as their tool for admittance.

 

Also, achievement is an excellent way to measure giftedness. Truly gifted people are not limited by the "curricula they were given". Achievement shouldn't be defined as to how well Johnny did on this spelling test or that science unit.

 

Gifted people achieve, even if it isn't in an area constructed by other people as appropriate or measurable/definable by traditional tools. Sometimes their achievements are only recognizable by other gifted people. One would think their achievement would be apparent to those who would offer them special services.

 

Gifted and lazy don't really coexist. Gifted and forced to participate which creates resentment and lack of participation in a given activity might exist, but that doesn't mean the gifted person isn't productive and achieving in an area of their own choosing.

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http://store.iblp.org/products/ITK12/

 

http://nswagtc.org.au/info/identification/WISC3.html

 

Besides the fact that there are other available tests, there are also other ways to measure giftedness such as achievement.

 

Neither of these is currently administered across the country in a way that they are accessible to individual students. The cost to do so would be prohibitive to parents.

 

And, as PP said, the 12th grade ITBS grade test isn't high enough.

 

I can tell why we use the MATS program. It is one of the few ways to get good feedback for our dc. Grade level tests or tests a few grades up don't help much. When we get our score report for MATS, they include suggestions based on what level their scores fell into. We have found this incredibly helpful, sometimes in giving us a push to let dc accelerate in a way we were scared to let them. You can visit the Accelerated Learner board and read many threads from parents who use these programs and see their reasons. I cannot recall EVER seeing practicing the SAT or ACT as a reason. It is about getting into programs that are appropriate for gifted students and getting information on how to educate them.

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Neither of these is currently administered across the country in a way that they are accessible to individual students. The cost to do so would be prohibitive to parents.

 

And, as PP said, the 12th grade ITBS grade test isn't high enough.

 

I can tell why we use the MATS program. It is one of the few ways to get good feedback for our dc. Grade level tests or tests a few grades up don't help much. When we get our score report for MATS, they include suggestions based on what level their scores fell into. We have found this incredibly helpful, sometimes in giving us a push to let dc accelerate in a way we were scared to let them. You can visit the Accelerated Learner board and read many threads from parents who use these programs and see their reasons. I cannot recall EVER seeing practicing the SAT or ACT as a reason. It is about getting into programs that are appropriate for gifted students and getting information on how to educate them.

 

Well, my original point is that taking the SAT multiple times results in a skewed comparison favoring students who are encouraged and can afford to take and retake until the acquire a result they are happy with. This includes, but is hardly limited to, talent search testing participants.

 

I strongly disagree that allowing your middle schooler to test isn't connected to giving them a testing experience that will buoy them up for future testing. It's an obvious advantage. Sure there are other reasons to test too, but familiarity for future benefit is a big one.

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I bet if the College Board restricted testing to once or twice, talent search programs would figure something else out to use as their tool for admittance.

 

Also, achievement is an excellent way to measure giftedness. Truly gifted people are not limited by the "curricula they were given". Achievement shouldn't be defined as to how well Johnny did on this spelling test or that science unit.

 

Gifted people achieve, even if it isn't in an area constructed by other people as appropriate or measurable/definable by traditional tools. Sometimes their achievements are only recognizable by other gifted people. One would think their achievement would be apparent to those who would offer them special services.

 

Gifted and lazy don't really coexist. Gifted and forced to participate which creates resentment and lack of participation in a given activity might exist, but that doesn't mean the gifted person isn't productive and achieving in an area of their own choosing.

 

1) They probably would, but that doesn't mean that in and of itself it's a good idea. Another reason not to restrict testing is that I, personally, know of people who bombed their first test due to extenuating circumstances. One of them skipped a question and forgot to skip the corresponding answer, causing her score to drop precipitously. Another one became violently ill, possibly due to nerves. In neither case was it a fair nor accurate assessment of their ability to succeed in college, and preventing a retest which accurately reflected their abilities would have been unfair to them, imho. I also believe that test anxiety would be exacerbated by knowing that this is your one and only chance to impress the college people with your test score, and that if you fail, you will never, never have another chance. In short, I believe that restricting testing is a dreadful idea, for more reasons than simply for gifted children.

 

2-3) In which way are you planning on measuring achievement other than by tests? If Johnny built a working nuclear reactor in his garage, I guess that's achievement, but is that a real selection criterion? Again, you're moving away from 'takes a test, does well, get in' to something which would be both more expensive, requiring individual assessment, and also more subjective, which is often discriminatory in other ways.

 

4) Gifted and lazy don't really coexist ... I'm sorry, I think you and they are working off different definitions of giftedness. They're defining 'gifted' as 'capable of more advanced work than average, by a long-shot', not 'currently doing more advanced work'. As a matter of fact, those who are *not* currently doing more advanced work, due to whatever reasons, which could include attempting to fit in socially at school to being completely demotivated and interested only in video games due to the stultifying curriculum presented, are the very ones that it is most important that they reach, to attempt to get them to tune in and discover that learning is fun again before they drop out completely.

 

Added: Also, many gifted children become so used to everything being easy that they become quite intellectually lazy -- when they run into a problem which actually requires thought, they swiftly decide that it's impossible or in a subject area that they "can't do", rather than simply needing to work a bit harder.

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Well, my original point is that taking the SAT multiple times results in a skewed comparison favoring students who are encouraged and can afford to take and retake until the acquire a result they are happy with. This includes, but is hardly limited to, talent search testing participants.

 

Does it, though?

 

I have seen mixed research. What I have read has said that very, very few students take it more than two or three times, and that average scores level off after two or three tries (at a certain point, you either know the material and have the ability or you don't.) I have read that scores can be lifted some by retesting, but it is hard to prove that it is because of practice, though I would think that would be one factor. You also have to consider: that many students who retake do so because they had a bad experience the first time ("I was sick that weekend, so I better try again,") that students retaking are now older and have had more education than they did the first time they tested, and that they may have realized the need for test prep and utilized it. You will have a hard time proving which variable accounts for which part of the score increase. Until you can prove it with research, you can't support a change to the way the test is administered based on a 'feeling' that it is unfair.

 

I contend that any disadvantaged student can retake it multiple times. Even if a homeschooler has to jump though a hoop to take the test for free, we aren't talking about homeschoolers here, I don't think, when we talk about disadvantaged students.

 

I think every student should get to take it two or three times if they want to, and indeed they can (and apparently more than do than not.) This would eliminate score differences based on having a bad day, lack of understanding of how the test works, etc. It would give a more accurate comparison of students' achievement.

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Of course kids from middle- to upper-class backgrounds with educated parents focused on giving their child every bit of help they can have an advantage over kids from poorer backgrounds with uninterested parents. This is pervasive in every bit of life, not just these tests.

 

It is also a reason why people who have "done well" in life might think twice before assuming that others can "pull themselves up by their bootstraps just like I did." Some kids don't even have "boots. "

 

Does a lower-income child even know that there are practice test books at the library? Does it matter that my home has well over 1,000 books in it and the homes of the low-income kids I tutor might have 10, few of which are age-appropriate? Of course.

 

It's naive, but I'm sure not poorly intentioned, to suggest that a local library would even the odds. As other posters have shared, though the best libraries *may* be "in the hood" they are driving their kids there, escorting them past the drug dealers, etc. outside. If you lived "in the hood" in the same conditions and worked during library hours, would you let your kid walk? I wouldn't.

 

I guess my point is that it isn't fair, there is no way it's going to be fair, and those of us who have more privileged should be grateful, willing to extend help when we can, and willing to acknowledge that we aren't as 'self-made" as we might be inclined to think. (On the other side of things, my mother grew up in ghettos, getting kicked out of low-income housing for not paying rent, abusive babysitters, an alcoholic step-father who was a mean drunk, but caring and loving grandparents. She was a resilient kid and has much more claim to "self-made" than I do. However, without her grandparents, I don't know where she would have ended up. )

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Does it, though?

 

I have seen mixed research. What I have read has said that very, very few students take it more than two or three times, and that average scores level off after two or three tries (at a certain point, you either know the material and have the ability or you don't.) I have read that scores can be lifted some by retesting, but it is hard to prove that it is because of practice, though I would think that would be one factor. You also have to consider: that many students who retake do so because they had a bad experience the first time ("I was sick that weekend, so I better try again,") that students retaking are now older and have had more education than they did the first time they tested, and that they may have realized the need for test prep and utilized it. You will have a hard time proving which variable accounts for which part of the score increase. Until you can prove it with research, you can't support a change to the way the test is administered based on a 'feeling' that it is unfair.

 

I contend that any disadvantaged student can retake it multiple times. Even if a homeschooler has to jump though a hoop to take the test for free, we aren't talking about homeschoolers here, I don't think, when we talk about disadvantaged students.

 

I think every student should get to take it two or three times if they want to, and indeed they can (and apparently more than do than not.) This would eliminate score differences based on having a bad day, lack of understanding of how the test works, etc. It would give a more accurate comparison of students' achievement.

 

My feelings aside,

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...040904051.html

 

And in particular, this quote:

 

"We don't want young people to game the system," said Richard Shaw, dean of admissions at Stanford University. "What we want them to be is open and honest and transparent."

 

And Shaw said he worried that wealthy students who can afford test-preparation classes would get an unfair advantage. "If you start practicing and working with a consultant in the 10th grade, eventually you might get scores that are off the charts, but that's not something that low-income students will have access to," he said.

 

He's also referring to repeat testing and the new score reporting standard.

 

The point is the College Board has an ethical duty to make the test as fair to all test takers as possible. They have an *ethical duty* because they are the test that determines the future education of almost all students in the US.

 

Sure, they could have an appeals process for special circumstances like illness, but they have a *duty* to provide comparable results.

 

And students can take the test again now. All students *can* retest, but not all students know they can test young, or can afford to retest. Limiting the number of times they test solves this problem.

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My feelings aside,

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...040904051.html

 

And in particular, this quote:

 

"We don't want young people to game the system," said Richard Shaw, dean of admissions at Stanford University. "What we want them to be is open and honest and transparent."

 

And Shaw said he worried that wealthy students who can afford test-preparation classes would get an unfair advantage. "If you start practicing and working with a consultant in the 10th grade, eventually you might get scores that are off the charts, but that's not something that low-income students will have access to," he said.

 

He's also referring to repeat testing and the new score reporting standard.

 

The point is the College Board has an ethical duty to make the test as fair to all test takers as possible. They have an *ethical duty* because they are the test that determines the future education of almost all students in the US.

 

Sure, they could have an appeals process for special circumstances like illness, but they have a *duty* to provide comparable results.

 

And students can take the test again now. All students *can* retest, but not all students know they can test young, or can afford to retest. Limiting the number of times they test solves this problem.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

I've voiced this in the past, but I'll say it again. I totally agree that there should be a limit to the number of times students test. But, SAT/ACT would lose a lot of money;).

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:iagree::iagree::iagree:

I've voiced this in the past, but I'll say it again. I totally agree that there should be a limit to the number of times students test. But, SAT/ACT would lose a lot of money;).

 

I love you SusanAR. It's about time reinforcements showed up.:D:lol:

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My feelings aside,

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...040904051.html

 

And in particular, this quote:

 

"We don't want young people to game the system," said Richard Shaw, dean of admissions at Stanford University. "What we want them to be is open and honest and transparent."

 

And Shaw said he worried that wealthy students who can afford test-preparation classes would get an unfair advantage. "If you start practicing and working with a consultant in the 10th grade, eventually you might get scores that are off the charts, but that's not something that low-income students will have access to," he said.

 

He worries about it, but does he provide any data to support his concerns? He also says you 'might' get scores that are off the charts. Does he have any research to suport that? He's also talking about working with a consultant; does he want to legislate that as well, or is that just a red herring?

 

My dh taught in the inner city and now runs a school for severely disabled and autistic young people. I plan to finish my degree so that I can teach in the inner city after the kiddos are gone. I run an afterschool religious program in an inner city school right now. My argument has nothing to do with a lack of concern for disadvantaged students or a denial of the problems they face.

 

I do have problems with poorly researched or supported arguments (as I've said before, once you start teaching logic, it all starts to pop out at you.) Honestly, this article is just sloppy journalism. (For example, most colleges do not average the scores currently; they use the highest.) Using a lot of quotes about how this "may happen" or that "could happen" and not doing any homework to see if there is any basis in reality for those assertions is sloppy.

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We live in a free country and I like that. My kids won't take tests over and over again because I feel that is torture and not a good thing. My oldest took the ACT once, and a type of SAT three times. He took the SAT once in 6th grade, once in 11th and once in 12th. I don't think the SAT in 6th grade helped him at all.

 

My next will never take the SAT. She will definitely do the ACT twice because some schools want the writing and some schools don't. She may end up taking one of the forms a second time.

 

My third will take the ACT this year for a talent search. THen later she may take ACT for her yearly testing. Depending on where we live, we have to turn in tests to the school district.

 

I don't see any reason to be trying to even the playing field. Homeschooling is an advantage, having smart parents is double advantage, having a good memory is an advantage, being well-off is an advantage, being smart and testing well in a rural area is an advantage, being a minority, being smart and testing well in a rural area probably just about guarantees a fully funded very good college education.

 

My dh and I were both from low income parents. My mom was a widow not making very much. My dh's father was a milk truck driver and school bus driver- again not much money. We both managed to get our act together, sign up for SATs and study for them, and we both got into a top ten school. Our parents helped us no more than writing the check for the test. We worked hard and rose from low income to comfortable income. Why shouldn't we do what we can for our kids?

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He worries about it, but does he provide any data to support his concerns? He also says you 'might' get scores that are off the charts. Does he have any research to suport that? He's also talking about working with a consultant; does he want to legislate that as well, or is that just a red herring?

 

My dh taught in the inner city and now runs a school for severely disabled and autistic young people. I plan to finish my degree so that I can teach in the inner city after the kiddos are gone. I run an afterschool religious program in an inner city school right now. My argument has nothing to do with a lack of concern for disadvantaged students or a denial of the problems they face.

 

I do have problems with poorly researched or supported arguments (as I've said before, once you start teaching logic, it all starts to pop out at you.) Honestly, this article is just sloppy journalism. (For example, most colleges do not average the scores currently; they use the highest.) Using a lot of quotes about how this "may happen" or that "could happen" and not doing any homework to see if there is any basis in reality for those assertions is sloppy.

 

 

If you want to rely upon logic, then it is common sense and quite logical that the more times you test the better prepared you will be. Hence the adage "practice makes perfect".

 

There is no leap there; it's pretty straightforward. I think I can safely claim that the more you practice anything the better you are at it without committing any logical fallacies and without any in-depth research.

 

And if you don't see the obvious cause (practice) effect (better score) relationship for yourself, you can rely upon the opinion of Richard Shaw. He is the Dean of admissions at Stanford University. He is an expert in his field. His opinion carries weight based upon his expertise, his position, and his experience.

 

If there is no advantage to repeat testing, then why would anyone ever bother to test more than once?

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Of course kids from middle- to upper-class backgrounds with educated parents focused on giving their child every bit of help they can have an advantage over kids from poorer backgrounds with uninterested parents. This is pervasive in every bit of life, not just these tests.

 

It is also a reason why people who have "done well" in life might think twice before assuming that others can "pull themselves up by their bootstraps just like I did." Some kids don't even have "boots. "

 

Does a lower-income child even know that there are practice test books at the library? Does it matter that my home has well over 1,000 books in it and the homes of the low-income kids I tutor might have 10, few of which are age-appropriate? Of course.

 

It's naive, but I'm sure not poorly intentioned, to suggest that a local library would even the odds. As other posters have shared, though the best libraries *may* be "in the hood" they are driving their kids there, escorting them past the drug dealers, etc. outside. If you lived "in the hood" in the same conditions and worked during library hours, would you let your kid walk? I wouldn't.

 

I guess my point is that it isn't fair, there is no way it's going to be fair, and those of us who have more privileged should be grateful, willing to extend help when we can, and willing to acknowledge that we aren't as 'self-made" as we might be inclined to think. (On the other side of things, my mother grew up in ghettos, getting kicked out of low-income housing for not paying rent, abusive babysitters, an alcoholic step-father who was a mean drunk, but caring and loving grandparents. She was a resilient kid and has much more claim to "self-made" than I do. However, without her grandparents, I don't know where she would have ended up. )

 

This is a wonderful post. The only thing I'd add is that poorer kids can have "interested" parents and still be at a disadvantage, because the opportunities and choices and resources aren't there. Poor does not equal unconcerned parents, just as higher income parents doesn't automatically mean they're involved.

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My fil did well in school, so his father was going to send him to the votech, thinking that this son was worth the money to train! The guidance counciler told him not to, to leave him in the high school and then send him to college to be an engineer instead. As I helped my older children apply to college, it was obvious how much knowledge I had of how the system worked. Yes, the information is available and it is possible to apply and go without anybody in the family having prior experience, but it takes SO much energy, and intitiative, and confidence to ask all the questions and figure out what needs to be done. That was very obvious to us when we helped a cousin go to college. He is the first in his family to go and we had to help with everything from you-need-an-assignment-book, to keep-and-read-your-syllabus, to how-do-I-get-my-textbooks, to you-need-a-parking-sticker, to colleges-don't-supply-bedding. The list went on and on. I took so many things for granted. I vaguely remember my parents guiding me through all that and their parents probably did the same for them. Just because there are a few especially enterprising young people out there who manage to navigate through the process all by themselves does not mean that the rest of the bright-but-disadvantaged students are going to be able to manage it, or that we don't need to work to try to find ways to help get them the information they need about their options. This thread has gone down some rather ironic bunny trails.

-Nan

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The only thing I'd add is that poorer kids can have "interested" parents and still be at a disadvantage, because the opportunities and choices and resources aren't there. Poor does not equal unconcerned parents, just as higher income parents doesn't automatically mean they're involved.

 

:iagree:

To me, the reason standardized testing is biased is not directly due to the number of times wealthier children have the opportunity to test, or even the fact that talent programs scout out gifted children and these children are “groomed for the tests." These are merely byproducts of a failed system that allows more affluent children to attend schools that offer advantages and opportunities that public inner-city schools or schools in low income areas just do not offer.

A study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office had the following results:

At the schools GAO visited, inner city schools generally had higher percentages of first-year teachers, higher enrollments, fewer library resources, and less in-school parental involvement--characteristics that research has shown are related to school achievement.

Unfortunately, most inner city public schools are the only education option for high percentages of minorities and lower income individuals. These students are at a disadvantage from the very beginning of their education journey.

I feel that it is doing minority/lower income families a disservice to say that the parents are uninvolved and unconcerned about education. These families are unable to escape a failing public education system. Many of them are forced to work long hours to make ends meet, or have not had the education themselves to be able to lend any real assistance.

Private schools are not an option, financially. How, then, can these lower-income students compete with students attending schools that are inundated with public and private funding, tenured experienced teachers, lower student-teacher ratios, etc.

Yes, there are those few that are able to somehow claw their way out of what seems an impossible situation. But those are few, indeed. So, yes, standardized testing is biased. Until our system of education is wholly reformed and inner city schools are brought on par with suburban schools for the more affluent, I don’t see how that will ever change.

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If you want to rely upon logic, then it is common sense and quite logical that the more times you test the better prepared you will be. Hence the adage "practice makes perfect".

 

There is no leap there; it's pretty straightforward. I think I can safely claim that the more you practice anything the better you are at it without committing any logical fallacies and without any in-depth research.

 

And if you don't see the obvious cause (practice) effect (better score) relationship for yourself, you can rely upon the opinion of Richard Shaw. He is the Dean of admissions at Stanford University. He is an expert in his field. His opinion carries weight based upon his expertise, his position, and his experience.

 

If there is no advantage to repeat testing, then why would anyone ever bother to test more than once?

 

That would be absolutely true (straightforward, common sense) if the SAT tested only how well you take the SAT. However, it primarily tests the knowledge that you have accumulated in 12 years of education. At a certain point, you are limited by the education you have (and that is what we need to address for disadvantaged students.) It is not always true that the more you practice something, the better you will be. There is a limit. You can practice running every minute of the day, for example, but at a certain point you are limited by your body's abilities, and you cannot go any faster. Likewise, you can practice the SAT all you want, but at a certain point you are limited by what you have learned.

 

There is benefit to testing a second and maybe a third time. I already said that, and I think everyone should have the opportunity to do so if they desire (and they do have that ability.) More than half of students already do that, and not just affluent students.

 

There is little benefit to testing more than two or three times, and that is probably why only a few students do it. Certainly sometimes people do something that actually has no benefit.

 

I worked as an assistant in an office of admissions. I don't consider Richard Shaw an expert in SAT test research and statistics. That would not be his field of expertise. His expertise is admissions. He is flat out wrong that any student with enough money can get scores off the charts by taking the test enough times.

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This is a wonderful post. The only thing I'd add is that poorer kids can have "interested" parents and still be at a disadvantage, because the opportunities and choices and resources aren't there. Poor does not equal unconcerned parents, just as higher income parents doesn't automatically mean they're involved.

 

I totally agree. (Putting in all the options seemed a bit awkward! But leaving them out does read as stereotyping.)

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It grew in time to include the components you refer to.

 

Stanley is described in Wikipedia but if you google him and SET (Study of Exceptional Talent) you'll find out more. Every year, there are a handful of seventh graders nationwide who get perfect score SATs in seventh grade. These were the kids he first set out to follow, to determine their paths. Sadly, a fairly high percentage of these unusually bright students did very poorly in school, dropped out, or did not find educational or career fulfillment. Part of his goal in starting CTY was to reach very bright student before they gave up on "school". It has been very successful.

 

Here in Baltimore, home of CTY, I've seen first hand some kids from poor families find peers, and an identity as bright students, through CTY. It's a valuable program IMO, despite the fact that standardized tests are so vulnerable to "gaming the system".

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SET is for students who score 700 or greater in either verbal or math (not perfect 800's) prior to age 13. A score of 700 for math at least corresponds to about 7 wrong out of 54 math questions. You can still be admitted into SET past 13, for an additional 10 points per month. A perfect score (800) would be required for 13 years, 10 months (again, only needed in one subject), and then after that it's too late.

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Since my daughter has just taken the SAT as a 7th grader, I have been pondering the fairness of the process.

 

In many schools throughout the US, middle school students with high enough test scores from other standardized tests are "invited" through "Talent Search" programs to take the SAT or ACT in middle school.

 

In reality, although I don't think most people are aware of this, any student can register through the college board to take the SAT without any special "invitation".

 

I found this Washington Post article interesting:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/09/AR2009040904051.html

 

And in particular, this quote:

 

"We don't want young people to game the system," said Richard Shaw, dean of admissions at Stanford University. "What we want them to be is open and honest and transparent."

 

And Shaw said he worried that wealthy students who can afford test-preparation classes would get an unfair advantage. "If you start practicing and working with a consultant in the 10th grade, eventually you might get scores that are off the charts, but that's not something that low-income students will have access to," he said.

 

I have had this same thought over and over again. Many students take the SAT cold. They have no fancy preparation and no repeated testing experiences since middle school. These students are being compared with other students who have savvy parents guiding them to experiences and preparations that will pay off in their scores.

 

So, it really leads me to question how fair it is to allow multiple testing experiences. Doesn't this give already bright students an unfair advantage? And what about low income students or students with less savvy or less educated parents; how are they supposed to compete when some little Johnnys are super prepped and testing for the fourth time in as many years?

 

I think that low-income students are disadvantaged in that paying for the test multiple times would be obviously more of a financial stretch. That said, there are many free resources, including books from Kaplan and Princeton Review, which can be checked out for free from the library. Also, many schools offer financial assistance. The multiple testing issue, if eliminated, wouldn't solve the problem, I think -- the rich kids would still be prepped by pros. However, I think that low-income students aren't entirely without free help.

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JHU/CTY's goal is NOT to groom for the test...it's to discern amongst many top scorers, to find kids that are already exceptionally bright, and offer them (albeit expensive) programs. Not all kids that test at the 95th percentile on grade level measures are at the level JHU is trying to find.

 

If this has the side advantage of giving smart kids "practice", so be it. This is NOT JHU's goal.

 

As I was one of those seventh graders who took the SAT, I can assure you that there was no grooming involved. I believe I was invited, but I don't know by whom. My parents agreed and I took the test. I had to go take it at the high school with high school students. I highly doubt that this one experience of taking the SAT in 7th grade was such a huge advantage or gave me practice for a test I was going to retake 4 years later! Yes, I did well. I went to JHU for an awards ceremony, and I should have gone to an awards ceremony for my state but chose to go to my friend's bar mitzvah instead. My parents were proud. If you want to know, I scored 590 verbal and 480 math. And the reason why? I read a lot and I test well. CTY then sent me info for the next four years about extremely expensive camps that I could attend. That's it. Wow, I got a lot out of taking that SAT early.

 

If you want to rely upon logic, then it is common sense and quite logical that the more times you test the better prepared you will be. Hence the adage "practice makes perfect".

 

There is no leap there; it's pretty straightforward. I think I can safely claim that the more you practice anything the better you are at it without committing any logical fallacies and without any in-depth research.

 

And if you don't see the obvious cause (practice) effect (better score) relationship for yourself, you can rely upon the opinion of Richard Shaw. He is the Dean of admissions at Stanford University. He is an expert in his field. His opinion carries weight based upon his expertise, his position, and his experience.

 

If there is no advantage to repeat testing, then why would anyone ever bother to test more than once?

 

Because that's what their school expected them to do? I took the SAT, as I said, in 7th grade. Then I took the PSAT in 10th grade and 11th grade, and the SAT again in 11th. By some fluke, I got my highest score on the PSAT in 11th, which is the one that counts for the National Merit Scholarships. I ended up being a finalist, and I got LOTS of mail from colleges. But I don't really remember choosing to take these tests, I was just expected to. My prep consisted of doing the practice test the night before.

:iagree:

To me, the reason standardized testing is biased is not directly due to the number of times wealthier children have the opportunity to test, or even the fact that talent programs scout out gifted children and these children are “groomed for the tests." These are merely byproducts of a failed system that allows more affluent children to attend schools that offer advantages and opportunities that public inner-city schools or schools in low income areas just do not offer.

.

 

Again, no grooming involved. Well, I probably brushed my hair before going to the test. :D

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My complaint about multiple testing is not so much about "grooming". I question the test's validity when one student has taken it 5 times to achieve a score of 32 and another scores 32 on the first attempt.

Most of the ps kids that I know in our town have taken the tests numerous times to improve their score. The school offers prep courses in the summer and students begin taking them early.

Again, I ask, "Why, then, can't students take the end of course exams, clep tests, Ap exams, and even ITBS exams multiple times to improve their score?

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Again, I ask, "Why, then, can't students take the end of course exams, clep tests, Ap exams, and even ITBS exams multiple times to improve their score?

 

CLEP exams may be retaken after six months.

http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/clep/about/retest-policy

 

I also personally know people who have retaken an AP test -- they were allowed to cancel their old score and completely erase and retake the exam. However, since the exams only come once a year it's a bit out of the question for seniors.

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CLEP exams may be retaken after six months.

http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/clep/about/retest-policy

 

I also personally know people who have retaken an AP test -- they were allowed to cancel their old score and completely erase and retake the exam. However, since the exams only come once a year it's a bit out of the question for seniors.

 

Yes, this is true. I should have said "unlimited" times

I understand that this is the way things are, and as I have stated before, my dc will test more than once. I fell that it has reached the point of becoming ridiculous.

I don't remember anyone taking the tests more than once in my high school class, and there was no "prep". but then again, that was when dinosaurs roamed the earth:001_smile:

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Unfair? Perhaps. But as Renee in FL stated it probably has more to do with parental encouragement and involvement in the child's education more than anything else.

 

My eldest took the SCAT (the Johns Hopkins admissions test) last year at age 10 and passed the verbal but not the math. She took the summer program and loved it. This year she wanted to get in for math/science so she buckled down and put up with her pushy, demanding parents that gave her additional "homework" and study sessions. It worked like a charm, and she passed with flying colors. By the way, she is taking the SAT next year.

 

Culture also has a lot to do with it...my hubby is East Asian, I am black and British. I can tell you that the pressure to excel in Asian families is EXTREMELY high, so I don't necessarily buy the "poor" argument, because I've seen some not so well off Asians with highly educated children because they impress upon their children the importance of education and hard work.

 

I've digressed quite a bit. But back to the argument... is multiple testing an advantage? Probably, but again, if a child has motivated, dedicated parents supporting their education it probably isn't as much of an issue.

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