Along with studying the definitions of words which might appear on the test and boning up on algebra and geometry and probability and statistics (guess you are out of luck if you chose not to take probability and statistics in high school), Charles reports that he and his fellow students are learning strategies and tricks of the trade for taking the test.
What is wrong with that picture?
Here in Indiana, teachers are provided with standards for subjects taught. Consequently, teachers teach academic material based on those standards. Students are then given grades for subjects based on quizzes, tests, projects, and papers.
Final grades are then recorded on a student’s transcript, which, in my opinion, is a true and accurate reflection of that student’s ability when being considered for admission to college.
It should be that simple.
“The College Board has successfully marketed its exams to parents, students, colleges, and universities as arbiters of educational standards,” Bolstein wrote. “As every adult recognizes, knowing something, or knowing how to do something, in real life is never defined by a set of possible options (some of them intentionally misleading) put forward by faceless test designers.”
It is time for colleges and universities to forgo admission based on what Bolstein calls a “bizarre relic of long-outdated 20th century social-scientific assumptions and strategies.”
If there has to be a test, Bolstein believes it needs to a legitimate one, a test that puts forth questions with answers not shrouded in hints and obscure half truths.
I say no test at all.
At the end of the day, our students should be able to rest in the fact that their achievements in the classroom were not trumped by a “part hoax and part fraud” essential passport.
Alvia Lewis Frey is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.