Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Students who "opt-out" of submitting standardized test scores outpace peers

As a career educator, both at the college and high school levels and as the father of three successful college graduates, I listened to this NPR story with a sense of validation for views I've been arguing all my life (including during my own college application process). The College Board will argue the nuances at the very least, but the real take-away, in my opinion, smart students who work hard, want to achieve, develop good study skills, like to learn, and cultivate the support of parents and teachers fare better in college than gifted academic students who test well but don't always put in the time. Of course when you have a blend of both, you have the highest likely achievers in most instances. But one thing that often gets discounted by those defending standardized test--beyond the single measure of performance or the lack of equal educational preparation that is often dependent upon school and economic environment--is the degree to which those with the financial means inflate test scores through being able to afford test preparation courses, schools with extended dedicated college counseling programs, and multiple test attempts. This study offers support for those kids from more ordinary circumstances who enhance their intelligence through hard work and dedication. I would hope that more colleges and universities will join the ranks of those who have made test score submission optional for admission.

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