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19 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Exams connected to specific curriculum is not a solution which is what they'd produce vs generic knowledge which is what subject tests offered.

So...genuinely curious: what would you test?  Or are we not okay with a test at all? AP last I checked doesn’t have proscribed curriculum, there are any number of texts that would do. Pretty sure you don’t need a text, a great courses along with the pdf would do too.I mean European history is what it is and I guess math is math? How far afield can one go? Because even schools that have righteously and publicly scorned the APs, well their students take the test, and the school administer them. 
It didn’t stop me from assigning a few things for AP euro which I’m pretty sure have never been assigned before or will be since. We both survived. 

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No.  CB is trying to normalize achievement by bringing down access to AP to every student and thereby controlling content.  All it can possibly do is lead to a reduction of content bc the vast majorit

I don’t regularly post much anymore and tend to hang out on the college board.  I plan to cross-post this article there as well.  Pertinent information for those looking at college admissions in the f

I agree @Dmmetler Access is now unequal.  All students, whether private, ps, or homeschool, are at the mercy of a school not only offering but also granting access for an AP vs being able to independe

2 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Bc states have a vested interest in presenting their students well. If federal, I suspect it would be a power grab to control a federal curriculum.

As much as I dislike CB, I dislike any trending toward controlled curriculum. Complicated admissions scenarios would be the least of my concerns at that pt. I wont relinquish control of content. My homeschool. My standards. Superior in every way to anything politicians and modern educators profess to embrace.

Yes, I get that, but what seems to be happening now is it’s CB’s content. And with rapidly disappearing SATs and the popularity of test optional/blind admissions, homeschool students are left with fewer and fewer ways to show competence. I would like the alternatives to APs from other private companies (like ACT) or even public ones. I simply see few options for CA homeschoolers  for example who can no longer even show SAT scores. Now either you have to do AP content or go CC route, which isn’t always an economical solution (distance) or quality (this varies from class to class and from CC to CC). 
I would hate to see homeschooling become either a mimicry of PS with ton of APs or early college through CC. Or maybe I see things this way since we live in CA and here the entire state establishment is so anti anything that isn’t public school. 

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I agree with @Roadrunner.  Not to mention that AP exams are not easily accessible.  Schools don't have to grant access.  WHat if the subject you want the exam in isn't offered?  AP exams are more expensive.  They have limited testing date options.  There are far from offering equability of access and will be more of a hardship for many families.

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43 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Welcome to college admissions. It isnt new. My first high school grad graduated in 2007.  

I know but just because something has been done for so long doesn’t mean we can’t change it. It is a frustrating and exhausting thing that doesn’t really do much for filtering- varsity blues comes to mind. 

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22 minutes ago, Lilaclady said:

I know but just because something has been done for so long doesn’t mean we can’t change it. It is a frustrating and exhausting thing that doesn’t really do much for filtering- varsity blues comes to mind. 

I don't think we can project what admissions will look like over the next 3-5 yrs.  With covid, fewer activities, virtual education, lack of testing dates, canceling of subject tests.....it is going to take a few yrs for college admissions to figure it out.

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3 hours ago, GoodGrief3 said:

Yikes, that is quite the requirement. Not sure I have heard of that level of required validation anywhere before.

@Roadrunner Yes, I live in Florida and that is what the state flagship used to require. DD fulfilled those requirements and was accepted there. I still have their PDF of the old requirements for homeschoolers. Now their preference is for homeschoolers to take regionally accredited classes and submit the transcript for those with their app. They no longer require validations of core courses, Admissions told me. I asked about CLEP and similar tests and from the response we can submit those and they'll be added to the app file, but they prefer regionally accredited classes. It definitely seems strange, almost to discourage regular homeschoolers.

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1 hour ago, Lilaclady said:

In all honesty, I will really like some standardization in college applications but this is America and I doubt that it can happen. 

it is very frustrating when students and parents have to do much gymnastics trying to meet an ever shifting requirement for admission- this school wants subject tests- this one doesn’t but want to see rigor demonstrated through AP or DE- this one will give you 3 credits for this course but this other one will give you 9 credits for the same course- this one will accept Clep, this one won’t and on and on. It’s quite frustrating and confusing just a waste of energy and increase in anxiety and confusion for students ha!!!! 

I like options honestly. There are different kinds of schools. Each school can have a different focus. If a school requires something you don't want to provide perhaps that isn't your type of school. 

I am just now graduating my second child and I'm glad there are different options for her than get a nigh-perfect score on a fairly easy test in which you just have to work super fast and not make mistakes in the rush. She doesn't make a good robot but she is super creative. Sure it was the easiest way for my son to get his school paid for but everyone is different. That is what makes America so great is we have options and it makes life more interesting.

 

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

It doesn’t have to be though. 
why can’t they develop generic knowledge ones? If CB can do it, others could do it as well.

Germany has Abitur. France has bac

Yeah, good luck with those types of exam here.  You have to specialize in specific subjects for the last two years of school, and then those exams take around a week to take and are long essay form and have an oral component, all graded by humans, with the oral parts I believe having more than one evaluator present for each student individually.  They are not scantron bubble tests that take a few hours.

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For unaccredited  homeschoolers, my state flagship still requires validation of the 5 core areas- math, Lang arts, science, social science and foreign Lang but they will accept AP, DE or subject tests and even a couple cleps. My dd did not have foreign language but they accepted AP comp sci A as a foreign Lang- just strange and arbitrary rules no rhyme or reason. 

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3 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

She was surrounded by kids who were flunking in the honors classes.  I have no idea what is passing as great public educations, but obviously it doesn't translate well into the college classroom. 

I think three things are/were at work here: 

- Many students expect to be spoon-fed or can't learn on their own, and some professors weren't holding their hand enough (Covid made this more pronounced but it has always been a thing.)

- Some kids struggled with actually having to study for a class. Many honors kids at UAH have never had to work to get As. Others didn't put enough time in.

- Online class formats don't work for many kids. This was especially true for classes that did not have "class time." Some of these young adults do not know how to regulate their time effectively -- having had it so planned out for them previously.

Having to schedule themselves, teach themselves, and manage deadlines themselves was too much. Happens every year at every college. Happened way more this fall.

A math professor who sat at our table at an award luncheon was so excited with the prospect of teaching a student who knew how to regulate her time, set her own deadlines, and work independently.  I didn't have the heart to tell her then that my DD wasn't planning on attending her school. ;)

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1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

I don't think we can project what admissions will look like over the next 3-5 yrs.  With covid, fewer activities, virtual education, lack of testing dates, canceling of subject tests.....it is going to take a few yrs for college admissions to figure it out.

Agree.

And don't forget the post-pandemic economic hit that may mean colleges may not have the means to offer as much aid as before, which in turn may mean that college is simply out of reach for a lot of families...

Edited by Lori D.
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11 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

 

- Many students expect to be spoon-fed or can't learn on their own, and some professors weren't holding their hand enough (Covid made this more pronounced but it has always been a thing.)

My community college instructor for this quarter says that all his tests and exams would be open book and mainly problem solving and/or hands on since they are all online. Since it is online there is no point giving questions that test on memory and worry about kids cheating.  Might as well make the tests and exams open book.

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3 hours ago, madteaparty said:

It’s a private corporation, of course they do.
I find it funny that we are anti test, anti common core, anti-“big-government” and then begrudge a private entity for acting like one. 

I wasn’t begrudging them anything. I understand that private businesses care about $$$ (profit). 

I do think this forum should be a space where we as current and former home educators can freely share our unhappiness with CB discontinuing the product. Their decision affects homeschoolers more than B&M students.

It’s no different than complaining about any other company that discontinues a product. I’m still disappointed with Kraft for discontinuing the garlic cheese roll umpteen years ago.  Not everyone makes garlic cheese grits with a Kraft garlic cheese roll (just like not everyone homeschools), but for those of us that do, the decision to no longer provide the product affects us more. 

I don’t equate complaining with begrudging. 

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1 hour ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, good luck with those types of exam here.  You have to specialize in specific subjects for the last two years of school, and then those exams take around a week to take and are long essay form and have an oral component, all graded by humans, with the oral parts I believe having more than one evaluator present for each student individually.  They are not scantron bubble tests that take a few hours.

Why is that (asking rhetorically) that we as a society don’t want to strive for a deeper education? It seems to me that tendency is to get rid of all tests (too hard on kids), make grading easier, and lower the bar to upper education in the name of equity. Why not fight for equity in early grades and fight for higher standards in the upper ones. I would love that sort of examination system that lets kids study deeply subjects they are interested in and have that sort of foundation to build on in universities.  Who wins by mediocrity? 
 

Not directed at you. Just using your post as a starting point. 
 

I know that some sort of standardized measurement is needed if we are to discriminate in college acceptance as opposed to open the door for everybody. I wish we had more meaningful measurements. 

And also as many politicians ask for free education and point to Europe, maybe they should be educated that it’s only free once you meet the significant threshold. Sigh. 

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8 hours ago, cintinative said:

How do you answer this as a homeschooler? I am curious.

I wasn't thinking about homeschoolers so much when I made that comment. But the reason many take APs in the public school is to have the "most rigorous" courseload, compared to peers. The college credits in that situation is often a secondary consideration.

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3 hours ago, Hoggirl said:



It’s no different than complaining about any other company that discontinues a product. I’m still disappointed with Kraft for discontinuing the garlic cheese roll umpteen years ago. 

 

For me, it's the 1980s Carnation breakfast bar 😉

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3 hours ago, Hoggirl said:

I wasn’t begrudging them anything. I understand that private businesses care about $$$ (profit). 

I do think this forum should be a space where we as current and former home educators can freely share our unhappiness with CB discontinuing the product. Their decision affects homeschoolers more than B&M students.

It’s no different than complaining about any other company that discontinues a product. I’m still disappointed with Kraft for discontinuing the garlic cheese roll umpteen years ago.  Not everyone makes garlic cheese grits with a Kraft garlic cheese roll (just like not everyone homeschools), but for those of us that do, the decision to no longer provide the product affects us more. 

I don’t equate complaining with begrudging. 

Sorry I was not talking about your post specifically. My DS had sat2 registrations that were cancelled, I also want to complain away. I just get the feeling we can’t decide what we want, here. (And that, and the following, isn’t directed to you). I mean it’s a big country with a vast diversity of high school experiences. Unless we want colleges to lean on their feeder schools, which is what they seem  to be doing in larger extent than ever this year, we have to be okay with some manner of testing. 

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3 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

Why is that (asking rhetorically) that we as a society don’t want to strive for a deeper education? It seems to me that tendency is to get rid of all tests (too hard on kids), make grading easier, and lower the bar to upper education in the name of equity. Why not fight for equity in early grades and fight for higher standards in the upper ones. I would love that sort of examination system that lets kids study deeply subjects they are interested in and have that sort of foundation to build on in universities.  Who wins by mediocrity? 
 

Not directed at you. Just using your post as a starting point. 
 

I know that some sort of standardized measurement is needed if we are to discriminate in college acceptance as opposed to open the door for everybody. I wish we had more meaningful measurements. 

And also as many politicians ask for free education and point to Europe, maybe they should be educated that it’s only free once you meet the significant threshold. Sigh. 

Well in this very thread we are complaining about the discontinuation of a one hour, multiple choice test in favor of...gasp! Essay based exams. God-forbid. There’s prep books on every last Bac topic, by every last publishing company. No one is complaining about curriculum control, bc you know, Balzac every year 😉 

oh and if you’re hankering for  such an exam for French, have kiddo take the Delf. Oral exam and some bantering by not one but two examiners. 🤷‍♀️

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1 hour ago, madteaparty said:

Well in this very thread we are complaining about the discontinuation of a one hour, multiple choice test in favor of...gasp! Essay based exams. God-forbid. There’s prep books on every last Bac topic, by every last publishing company. No one is complaining about curriculum control, bc you know, Balzac every year 😉 

oh and if you’re hankering for  such an exam for French, have kiddo take the Delf. Oral exam and some bantering by not one but two examiners. 🤷‍♀️

Is that what the complaints we're about? I must have missed something. The feeling was there wasn't enough competition in testing and that there was a preference for more options. Preferably with testing sites not 1000 miles away. Often the AP tests were impossible to sign up for. 

The main mention of testing via essays, oral examination, or other harder to grade means was that it was unlikely to happen in America not that it wasn't wanted, but maybe I missed something.

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4 hours ago, frogger said:

The main mention of testing via essays, oral examination, or other harder to grade means was that it was unlikely to happen in America not that it wasn't wanted, but maybe I missed something.

The AP essays/FRQs are tested  by actual people. So it costs more $. So we could have a government exam that’s free, I suppose, but I take it we wouldn’t jump with both feet there either.

Access to test sites is a real issue. That is absolutely my complaint, too. 

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21 hours ago, BookwormTo2 said:

I also think this move of the College Board discontinuing SAT Subject tests is outrageous. It makes things so much harder for homeschoolers. I contacted our flagship university, which had until recently a reasonable requirement of homeschoolers -- 2 validations per core subject. For example, my DD now at university showed validations mainly with CLEP passing scores but some dual enrollment (total 40 college credits). Now, the Admissions office says they prefer to see regionally accredited courses from homeschoolers when they apply, over a CLEP transcript. So, one can still take & show CLEP test scores to show mastery of a subject, but that seems to now be considered second tier to regionally accredited courses at our flagship. This muddies the water for my youngest, now in 9th grade. My hunch is that if test scores are really good, and some dual enrollment successfully done, and CLEP tests successfully passed, and the essay is great, a homeschooler applying to the state flagship would be competitive to get in, but who knows.

I'm going to contact some other universities about this and see if they have updated their homeschool applicant requirements but not put them on their sites. I know when my daughter was applying to Univ. of Texas at Austin, they didn't have much information on their site about what homeschool applicants should do to apply if they had taken CLEP tests etc. I called and the admissions officer was very excited to hear that I could get DD's CLEP transcript sent along with dual enrollment transcripts from two universities. So, it doesn't hurt to do some homework and call if nothing is listed on the university's site about homeschool applicant requirements. And yes, she was accepted to UT Austin -- and disappointed when we told her the out of state cost was too much for her to attend.

Do you mind sharing which university is asking for 2 validations per subject area? I'm part of a group that is working on a list of extra requirements for homeschoolers that would be affected by the loss of the Subject Tests.

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39 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

The AP essays/FRQs are tested  by actual people. So it costs more $. So we could have a government exam that’s free, I suppose, but I take it we wouldn’t jump with both feet there either.

Access to test sites is a real issue. That is absolutely my complaint, too. 

Bc of the 10th amendment to the Constitution, I don't believe that a federal exam will ever exist.  The federal gov't's involvement in education is limited.  It can ensure equal access and rights and can withhold/grant $$ for following federal guidelines.  But, offering federalized exam standards, maybe I am wrong, but that seems to exceed its authority over the states'.  It is why any attempt to create a national curriculum is seen as overstepping the state/federal boundary.

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13 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

I don't think we can project what admissions will look like over the next 3-5 yrs.  With Covid, fewer activities, virtual education, lack of testing dates, canceling of subject tests.....it is going to take a few yrs for college admissions to figure it out.

I agree with this. There are a bunch of factors that are molding trends in college admissions.
Lack of test score availability

Murky indicators from grades in classes taught remotely or that swung frequently between in-person, remote, and hybrid

Letters of recommendation from teachers who had little face to face contact or classroom observation opportunities

Curtailed or cancelled activities, summer programs, internships, etc

Fewer opportunities for students and colleges to interact through campus tours, college fairs, and school visits. Virtual opportunities to interact aren't always well attended.

Huge changes in the number of applications colleges are receiving (Some are way, way up. Others are lower than normal.)

College finances took a huge hit as a result of Covid. Colleges that depend on tuition as the main part of annual revenue will have to be more need aware. At the same time, institutions are grappling with institutional histories that have them examining the effects of wealth on the factors usually used for admission. So they may want to increase first generation, low income representation on campus but struggle to do so. They may have a practice of tuition discounting that isn't sustainable in the long run.

This is not the year for a student to fall in love with one school, especially one that already had a low admissions rate. This is a year to consider widely and understand that student engagement is the key to a fruitful college experience.

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1 hour ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

Do you mind sharing which university is asking for 2 validations per subject area? I'm part of a group that is working on a list of extra requirements for homeschoolers that would be affected by the loss of the Subject Tests.

UC access will be one.

Is there an organization that advocates for homeschoolers outside of HSLDA? I know there are couple in CA but I wonder sometimes if they do more harm than good. 

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2 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

Bc of the 10th amendment to the Constitution, I don't believe that a federal exam will ever exist.  The federal gov't's involvement in education is limited.  It can ensure equal access and rights and can withhold/grant $$ for following federal guidelines.  But, offering federalized exam standards, maybe I am wrong, but that seems to exceed its authority over the states'.  It is why any attempt to create a national curriculum is seen as overstepping the state/federal boundary.

While I’m not a constitutional attorney, the federal government has ways to impose standards on states if there was a political will to do so.. You know, “voluntarily”, via federal funds/appropriations.  As it is, we depend on private entities such as colleges and college board to enforce some sort of standard. 

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8 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

While I’m not a constitutional attorney, the federal government has ways to impose standards on states if there was a political will to do so.. You know, “voluntarily”, via federal funds/appropriations.  As it is, we depend on private entities such as colleges and college board to enforce some sort of standard. 

It definitely isn't anything close to a simple remedy or solution, especially when things flucuate according to administrations. Suggesting it as a solution or that students can just take the AP exams in lieu of the subject tests are not valid suggestions for the way the country/states/public school districts in this country operate as of today.  Students currently homeschooling in need of specific validations just had a simple viable option removed.

 

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3 hours ago, madteaparty said:

The AP essays/FRQs are tested  by actual people. So it costs more $. So we could have a government exam that’s free, I suppose, but I take it we wouldn’t jump with both feet there either.

Access to test sites is a real issue. That is absolutely my complaint, too. 

Ahhhh, you were talking AP. I have never done a language one. Just science and they weren't all that exciting that I remember. I mean I do remember an essay but it has been a very long time. Maybe I took it after it had been dumbed down already. I got a 5 and the class wasn't particularly hard but it was a rural school with few options.

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14 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Agree.

And don't forget the post-pandemic economic hit that may mean colleges may not have the means to offer as much aid as before, which in turn may mean that college is simply out of reach for a lot of families...

I read recently that colleges were already anticipating a drop in enrollment from the class of 2025 due to the population statistics. Now with Covid, low enrollment from overseas and financial fallout- the college admission scene is going to change a lot in the next 5 years. 

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The current thinking is GPA is all is needed for college entrance. Every other measure just smells of privilege and inherent bias. If you disagree with this stance, you are demonized. I don’t know if this mentality is common across the country, but I think that’s the way things are going. Now how that shapes up for public school kids is completely irrelevant to me. But no matter how much I want my GPA with many home taught courses to be evaluated on par with PS transcripts, I simply don’t think that’s the case, at least not in my state. In the past, a high SAT score and a mixture of some AP and some SAT subject tests would have been enough to make a home transcript an equal player, but if GPA is all that matters and tests aren’t even considered (like in CA), then the homeschoolers are at a distinct disadvantage. There isn’t a single organization that voices those concerns that I am aware. Instead all the homeschoolers have been ideologically persuaded that tests are always the measure of privilege and therefore every decision that results into banning them is always a good one. 
I am concerned. Sure super competitive kids will win Olympiads, but the normal hard working homeschool kid is being left with fewer and fewer options to demonstrate competence. 
And yes, APs are most definitely not as easy to access.  We are lucky that we have few schools locally that allow homeschoolers to test, but the number of exams offered is limited. SAT access was most definitely easier. And CLEPs as somebody mentioned above aren’t accepted by our state ones. 
 

So no, I can’t imagine feds getting into the game. I would have welcomed national exams modeled along the likes of A levels in Britain. I understand it’s not happening because we must be the tiny island of people who would actually welcome such a thing. If there was a will, anything would have been possible. But I am afraid we simply don’t care at all as a nation. 

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44 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

While I’m not a constitutional attorney, the federal government has ways to impose standards on states if there was a political will to do so.. You know, “voluntarily”, via federal funds/appropriations.  As it is, we depend on private entities such as colleges and college board to enforce some sort of standard. 

 

Our country is using federal funds to create hoops already. The incentives seem to align with gaming the system, teaching to the test, and to dumb things down. 

 

I'm trying to figure out how other countries manage to pull this stuff off politically. For one thing, it appears acceptable to take non college routes. I think we are such a diverse nation and we want everyone to succeed. There are accomodations for even those with mental disabilities to go to college. I love my little brother who has Down Syndrome but does he have to go to college to be happy? 

This is not to discount things that are specifically biased against certain groups, especially with standardized testing.

 

Part of this has to do with our melding of career and college into one entity which is dumb. In some ways the Morrill Act was a fantastic boon for American education but the universities then ate everything else and then lost a lot of their support. I guess this is a rabbit trail but it appears to me that it is so connected to the testing issue. At this point, I'm not even a fan of the go to college for 4 years after school model. I'm a fan of life long learning (especially in a world constantly changing) and classes(including liberal arts) mentoring, testing and certification, and apprenticeships throughout life. 

 

But right now we are stuck in a model where everyone is supposed to get into school and the worry that tests will hold some back. So we end up with dumbed down tests. 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

Our country is using federal funds to create hoops already. The incentives seem to align with gaming the system, teaching to the test, and to dumb things down. 

 

I'm trying to figure out how other countries manage to pull this stuff off politically. For one thing, it appears acceptable to take non college routes. I think we are such a diverse nation and we want everyone to succeed. There are accomodations for even those with mental disabilities to go to college. I love my little brother who has Down Syndrome but does he have to go to college to be happy? 

This is not to discount things that are specifically biased against certain groups, especially with standardized testing.

 

Part of this has to do with our melding of career and college into one entity which is dumb. In some ways the Morrill Act was a fantastic boon for American education but the universities then ate everything else and then lost a lot of their support. I guess this is a rabbit trail but it appears to me that it is so connected to the testing issue. At this point, I'm not even a fan of the go to college for 4 years after school model. I'm a fan of life long learning (especially in a world constantly changing) and classes(including liberal arts) mentoring, testing and certification, and apprenticeships throughout life. 

 

But right now we are stuck in a model where everyone is supposed to get into school and the worry that tests will hold some back. So we end up with dumbed down tests. 

 

 

Maybe. I also don’t think a lot of jobs that are requiring college degrees really need them. It’s a massive educational inflation.

And yes, I believe British kids have a variety of options after 10th grade to pursue studies if they don’t want to do the university (A level) track. Honestly I have been looking around local community colleges here and there are lots of interesting programs and apprenticeship opportunities. 
I won’t pretend to know answers for kid with disabilities. But it certainly can’t be not having educational standards because some kids might not be able to meet them. 

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

The current thinking is GPA is all is needed for college entrance. Every other measure just smells of privilege and inherent bias. If you disagree with this stance, you are demonized...

I guess I am a demon. 😉

I don't see how GPA alone is going to work, what with high schools all over the place with using different grade scales, and differences in how they grade (i.e., % breakdown of tests, quizzes, projects, assignments, homework, etc.) And that's on top of the widely divergent rigor/volume of material covered for a class.

Not to mention things like grade inflation, which help to make grades, and therefore GPA, virtually meaningless...

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4 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

Do you mind sharing which university is asking for 2 validations per subject area? I'm part of a group that is working on a list of extra requirements for homeschoolers that would be affected by the loss of the Subject Tests.

The state flagship of Florida used to require 2 validations per core subject except for English -- however -- this changed as of summer '20. Instead, they now state that they prefer homeschoolers take regionally accredited classes. When asked if we could submit CLEP /AP passing scores the answer was we can and those will go in the app file, but they prefer regionally accredited classes. To me this indicates that regular homeschoolers are at a major disadvantage unless they have very superior SAT/ACT test scores. State flagship is a top 10 public university.

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@BookwormTo2 I am going to be very interested to see what happens with UF admissions and enrollment this year.  Unlike so many (even public) universities, they did not waive the necessity of submitting a standardized test score this year.  I’m sure it is because of the state not wanting to figure out an alternative metric for Bright Futures, but I can’t help but think that their number of applicants is going to drop significantly. I think they will wind up accepting students with lower testing stats this year to get the enrollment numbers they desire.  

I agree with @Lori D.  about using grades alone as completely insufficient.  The standards are, as she pointed out, all over the map.  

 

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15 minutes ago, Hoggirl said:



I agree with @Lori D.  about using grades alone as completely insufficient.  The standards are, as she pointed out, all over the map.  

 

Well, I have pointed this out many times, but the answer ad nauseam is - study after study has showed that GPA is the best indicator of success in college and not standardized tests, therefore GPA should be the guiding and only tool. It’s almost ideological adherence to this particular creed. We get that standardized tests are no gold, but some sort of standardized measure is surely needed if we are going to discriminate in admissions. 

And as a side note, I always wonder how they did these studies. Did they take a kid with 800 in math majoring in engineering at MIT and a kid with 500 in math at the same institution with the same major and compare if they successfully graduated with the same GPA? Of course not. Because you probably won’t find a kid with the 500 at MIT. So what are they comparing? Do they have kids with vastly different GPAs (say 2.5 versus 4.0) within the same MIT and the same major? Did they track those? How did they ever compare across institutions and how they controlled the variables. I have so many questions. 
I swear sometimes the biggest problem in our system are all the minted educational PHDs with something to prove. 

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

Well, I have pointed this out many times, but the answer ad nauseam is - study after study has showed that GPA is the best indicator of success in college and not standardized tests, therefore GPA should be the guiding and only tool. It’s almost ideological adherence to this particular creed. We get that standardized tests are no gold, but some sort of standardized measure is surely needed if we are going to discriminate in admissions. 

And as a side note, I always wonder how they did these studies. Did they take a kid with 800 in math majoring in engineering at MIT and a kid with 500 in math at the same institution with the same major and compare if they successfully graduated with the same GPA? 

“High School GPAs and ACT Scores as Predictors of College Completion: Examining Assumptions About Consistency Across High Schools

Elaine M. Allensworth, Kallie Clark

First Published January 27, 2020 Research Article 

https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X20902110”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3102/0013189X20902110

PDF (14 pages) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.3102/0013189X20902110

News link https://news.uchicago.edu/story/test-scores-dont-stack-gpas-predicting-college-success

“High-school GPAs might be stronger indicators of college readiness because they measure a wider variety of skills—including effort over an entire semester in many different types of classes, and demonstration of academic skills through multiple formats. On the other hand, standardized tests measure a smaller set of skills, and students can prepare for these tests in narrow ways that may not translate into better preparation to succeed in college.

“Extensive time spent preparing for standardized tests will have much less payoff for postsecondary success than effort put into coursework, as reflected in students’ grades,” said Clark, who stressed that middle- and high-school educators should direct more time and resources into supporting students’ overall school engagement.

The study results come at a time when many colleges are reconsidering the importance of standardized test scores. In 2018, UChicago became the first highly selective college to make standardized tests optional in the application process.

In addition, Allensworth and Clark found that some students are more likely to graduate college if they come from certain high schools—differences that were not explained by GPAs or ACT scores. These school effects may be the result of more rigorous academic programs at some high schools than others, different non-academic supports for preparing students for college, or simply a tendency of families with more resources for college to send their students to particular high schools.

“Understanding why students from some high schools succeed in college more than students at other schools is an important next step for better supporting all students’ ability to earn a college degree,” Clark said.“”

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23 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

“High School GPAs and ACT Scores as Predictors of College Completion: Examining Assumptions About Consistency Across High Schools

Elaine M. Allensworth, Kallie Clark

First Published January 27, 2020 Research Article 

https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X20902110”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3102/0013189X20902110

PDF (14 pages) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.3102/0013189X20902110

News link https://news.uchicago.edu/story/test-scores-dont-stack-gpas-predicting-college-success

“High-school GPAs might be stronger indicators of college readiness because they measure a wider variety of skills—including effort over an entire semester in many different types of classes, and demonstration of academic skills through multiple formats. On the other hand, standardized tests measure a smaller set of skills, and students can prepare for these tests in narrow ways that may not translate into better preparation to succeed in college.

“Extensive time spent preparing for standardized tests will have much less payoff for postsecondary success than effort put into coursework, as reflected in students’ grades,” said Clark, who stressed that middle- and high-school educators should direct more time and resources into supporting students’ overall school engagement.

The study results come at a time when many colleges are reconsidering the importance of standardized test scores. In 2018, UChicago became the first highly selective college to make standardized tests optional in the application process.

In addition, Allensworth and Clark found that some students are more likely to graduate college if they come from certain high schools—differences that were not explained by GPAs or ACT scores. These school effects may be the result of more rigorous academic programs at some high schools than others, different non-academic supports for preparing students for college, or simply a tendency of families with more resources for college to send their students to particular high schools.

“Understanding why students from some high schools succeed in college more than students at other schools is an important next step for better supporting all students’ ability to earn a college degree,” Clark said.“”


thanks! It’s going to be good read with coffee. 

And yet U Chicago accepts 75% of kids with tippy top scores.  I want to know why they don’t admit kids with 1000 SATs? And the rest are often URM, arts, sports. 
 

And what to do when nearly half the school had 4.0? Do we admit all? What if spots are limited? Again, I don’t have answers.
Obviously a kid who didn’t bother in high school and ended up with 2.0 probably won’t bother in college as well. What a surprise. 

If we are going to use GPA only approach, we really need to swing the door open to everybody above a certain threshold. And then I am going to grab popcorn to watch no child graduating without 4.0 🙂 

Edited by Roadrunner
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Just now, Roadrunner said:

And yet 75% of kids they admit have tippy top scores.  I want to know why they don’t admit kids with 1000 SATs? 

Their study was on GPA and ACT scores 😂

Also would any kid with a 1000 SAT score even bother to list that score? We can cherry pick which scores to list for college applications after all. 

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19 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:


If we are going to purpose GPA only approach, we really need to swing the door open to everybody above a certain thread hold. And then I grab popcorn to watch no child graduating without 4.0 🙂 

The pressure on teachers to grade generously is going to be immense. 4.0 will be meaningless.

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Also looking at college graduation doesn’t tell you much. Were kids with lower scores in easier majors? Which universities? It doesn’t take much to graduate from my local CSU for example. 
I need to look at data more closely. 

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On 1/19/2021 at 9:10 AM, MamaSprout said:

We had two schools we took off of our list b/c they required SAT subject tests for homeschoolers. Hopefully AP is more available.

I've seen posts by quite a few homeschoolers in my state who refuse to apply to any university that requires extra tests to prove their homeschool is legitimate. In some cases they let the college know why they aren't applying or are withdrawing their application. Sometimes the colleges back off on those requirements and admit students without any outside tests or classes. 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

“High School GPAs and ACT Scores as Predictors of College Completion: Examining Assumptions About Consistency Across High Schools

Elaine M. Allensworth, Kallie Clark

First Published January 27, 2020 Research Article 

PDF (14 pages) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.3102/0013189X20902110

 

 

Thank you for posting this because it gets cited so much and I think it's worth a closer look.  Here are some of my thoughts/questions:

1.  Table 1, p. 201.  37% male students.  I mean I was aware more women were enrolling in college, but I had no idea it was that low.

2.  I agree that correlating GPA and ACT score with 6 year graduation rate is a pretty low bar.  93% of U Chicago undergrads graduate in 6 years, and I suspect it's similar at other top colleges (92% at UC Berkeley, e.g.).  So I'm guessing if a college is having difficulty graduating its students, they may want to shift their admissions to favor students with higher GPAs rather than higher ACT scores.   But I'm not sure we can conclude that colleges with low admit rates should rely on GPA over ACT.  I'm willing to see that having a high GPA shows longer term commitment toward a goal like graduating from college rather than a one time test score.  

 

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On 1/21/2021 at 9:27 AM, Roadrunner said:

UC access will be one.

Is there an organization that advocates for homeschoolers outside of HSLDA? I know there are couple in CA but I wonder sometimes if they do more harm than good. 

My understanding is that right now, a court decision requires University of California to be test blind for admissions, but that they can still require homeschoolers to provide a test score to qualify to apply. In other words, they can set a minimum test score expected from homeschoolers before the application would be considered as part of the applicant pool, but then they don't use test scores in making admissions decisions. I think this eliminates the Admission by Examination option, at least for the next few years.

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18 hours ago, Arcadia said:

“High School GPAs and ACT Scores as Predictors of College Completion: Examining Assumptions About Consistency Across High Schools

Elaine M. Allensworth, Kallie Clark

First Published January 27, 2020 Research Article 

https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X20902110”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3102/0013189X20902110

PDF (14 pages) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.3102/0013189X20902110

News link https://news.uchicago.edu/story/test-scores-dont-stack-gpas-predicting-college-success

 

Oh, thanks for sharing. I find this interesting because there is so much variability between districts on GPA and subjectivity in the grades themselves. That is one of the arguments for preferring AP exam scores over community college grades in similar courses -- that the exam has a clear comparison among students where the CC grades have unknown factors, like course content and grading practices.

I find it a little ironic that the Subject Tests were scrapped, since I remember a study from several years back (probably pre-2010) that suggested Subject Tests were a superior indicator of success than either GPA or SAT/ACT scores.

I ran in an interesting report in Journal of College Admissions that studied student high school experiences and subsequent college performance and concluded that around 5 college level experiences (AP, CC, IB) correlated to success as a freshman at UNC, but that more experiences didn't correlated to increased college success (ie, more wasn't better). https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1011884.pdf

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10 minutes ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

My understanding is that right now, a court decision requires University of California to be test blind for admissions, but that they can still require homeschoolers to provide a test score to qualify to apply. In other words, they can set a minimum test score expected from homeschoolers before the application would be considered as part of the applicant pool, but then they don't use test scores in making admissions decisions. I think this eliminates the Admission by Examination option, at least for the next few years.

Yep. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Definitely one less tool in a toolkit. 

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On 1/20/2021 at 4:00 PM, cintinative said:

How do you answer this as a homeschooler? I am curious.

I answered that it was the most rigorous. Because we had chosen classes that are rigorous. Is it absolutely the most rigorous he could have done? No, of course not...but it was comparable to a very rigorous curriculum at our local high school. And I figured they were going to ignore my answer anyway as a homeschooler. I felt like I could honestly say it was rigorous and if I put anything other than most rigorous it would only potentially hurt him. 

As to this thread...I totally agree with what has been said here. We are lucky to be in an area that has easy access to AP exams for homeschoolers so that isn't an issue for us. Oldest is a good test taker and had very high SAT/ACT scores so I felt like that in itself was a validation of sorts. He did take some AP exams but not as many as a lot of kids (when he applied he had taken 3). He is taking 5 more this year but mostly because the classes were ones he was interested in and wanted to take at that level and it's the two Physics and two Econ classes, so that equals 4 tests. He is self-studying for Calc with AOPS and other materials. He has a lot of "validation" in Math and Science and virtually none other than the SAT in English or Humanities. He did take the AP Latin exam but all his other exams have been Math/Science. All that said, he has gotten in to 8 schools so far. He is applying to small LAC and none of them had extra requirements for homeschoolers. I think the exams helped but I also think the overall application was probably looked at more than it might have been at a big school. I know a lot of people say finances keep them from looking at a private school, but we found that all the schools will be cheaper than our state schools with the aid he has been given (mostly merit). 

My second son who is a freshman now will be a different story. He is not a good test taker and totally uninterested in learning anything "for a test" or inside the box. I'm hoping that by embracing a fully quirky outside the box non-traditional high school approach he will find a place somewhere. 🙂

I know everyone's experience is different and I agree that the focus on testing and on forcing all kids to take AP tests is a huge issue. But I wanted to post to say to people who might not have kids in high school yet that there are avenues open to them that might not require doing a tremendous number of AP tests a year. That's especially true if you are looking at smaller places or not trying for Ivies or super-competitive schools. 

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1 hour ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

 

I ran in an interesting report in Journal of College Admissions that studied student high school experiences and subsequent college performance and concluded that around 5 college level experiences (AP, CC, IB) correlated to success as a freshman at UNC, but that more experiences didn't correlated to increased college success (ie, more wasn't better). https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1011884.pdf

While I would not say AP courses that my kids took were good prep for college academics, they did enjoy their classes mostly. 
For dual enrollment, I do agree that once a child has taken a few, they probably learned to some extent the life skills of navigating the admin/paperwork, time management, study skills, choosing lecturers (if more than one lecturer teaches the course), getting help (lecturer, tech center, tutoring center). They also learn to check if textbooks are required and to order the physical textbooks early. They might also learn how to pay all the college bills (my kids just check their community college accounts and nag me to pay since they don't have credit cards yet).

Below quoted is what makes Canadian and European universities so tempting.


“As more students have pursued extreme high-school programs, however— programs of as many as 20 college-level courses—and as more scholars and professionals have recognized a disconnect between the original intention of AP, IB and dual-enrollment programs and their current use—that is, a shift away from helping students earn college credit and prepare for the rigors of college coursework toward using it primarily as a criterion in admission decisions— concern and interest have grown. As Geiser and Santelices (2004) argue, this shift is problematic for a number of reasons: because some students, in particular underrepresented minority students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds, have less access to college-level courses; undue pressure is being put on schools to offer more college-level courses than they can realistically support; and perhaps most important, the predictive validity of course participation itself has never been established.”

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On 1/21/2021 at 3:53 PM, Arcadia said:

Their study was on GPA and ACT scores 😂

Also would any kid with a 1000 SAT score even bother to list that score? We can cherry pick which scores to list for college applications after all. 

There actually are a few schools where a 1000 SAT would be reasonable to list, especially if it was a 600 English 400 math or something similar, because it would place the student out of remedial English.  And there are high schools in my district where kids who get the 21 ACT required for the base state scholarship are lauded, because their average score is in the mid teens. One thing I've noticed this cycle is that the schools that have the wider range of expected scores also expect to see them. And the better the merit aid, the more likely the school wants to see scores-and doesn't have any flexibility on requiring them. 

The big problem I see with AP vs SAT subject tests isn't essay vs multiple choice. It's that there is now no way other than the SAT or ACT to validate high school level understanding. Essentially, it's saying that the only way to prove you will be successful in college is to actually have been successful in college already. And financially, we have a standard in our country that high school is free, and college is not. 

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