In this country, it seems that people are divided on every issue imaginable. Standardized assessments, just like many other things, have people debating on each side of the pros and cons. If a parent were to come to me and express concern over standardized assessments, I would tell them as a professional, the pro’s of Standardized testing and its view around the country. Since I am going to be a secondary education teacher, I would assume many of the parental worries over standardized assessments would be centered on the SAT’s, but there also could be some concern over other various tests that their child may participate in.
The first thing I would tell a parent is what is in the current news about standardized testing. I would assume a parental worry that one might have is, “will this test determine my child’s life and if he/she does bad, will they not be able to attend a college or university?” I would respond to a concern like that by addressing that if a parent wants their child to attend one of the prestigious schools in the country, then SAT scores matter. For example, at Harvard, the average SAT score for incoming freshmen is 2237. That is a remarkably high score, so if one wants to be admitted to Harvard, then that is what they need to shoot for. A parent coming to me with concern would most likely not be concerned about their child attending that school, rather they most likely would be concerned whether their student can still get into a college, if their child does poorly on the SAT’s.
If the parent wants their child to just attend decent school, then the SAT’s do not matter as much. For example, there are approximately 850 colleges and universities in this country that do not require SAT or ACT scores. Initially, one might assume that these schools that do not require SAT scores are on the lower end of the totem pole for quality of education. If one were to look further into these 850 schools, they would be pleasantly surprised as Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, UMFK AND UMPI are on the list of 850 schools. Texas, Holy Cross and Wake Forest also hold spots on the list, so one should not be worried if their SAT scores are low. There is a wide range of schools that do not require the scores to be submitted and many of them are still top-notch colleges and universities. This trend of 850 is growing, as more and more schools are not looking at the Scores. Rather, they are looking at high school GPA. So if a parent had a concern over the SAT, I would tell them their major concern should be high school GPA, not the SAT’s.
I would assume that a parent would also have concern over the overall usefulness of any standardized test. Once again I would tell the parent as a professional that even though there is much scrutiny over standardized tests, they also have some valuable use to them. For example, the test lets me know as an educator if I am either being an effective teacher or not. Some standardized tests can measure progress over time and if...