Looking for a Way

A recent post to the NACAC listserv included this plea:


I am working at a high school and I am looking for a systemic way to increase SAT scores. Does anyone have any suggestions or methods that have worked in their schools to raise their SAT scores, more specially, in the critical reading section?

Thank you,
(name withheld)
Guidance Department

I’m going to refrain from commenting on the grammatical errors in the query, since we all make mistakes, and go straight to the heart of the matter… what form does “guidance” take at the secondary schools you’re most familiar with? Would you want your son or daughter attending a school where “raising SAT scores” was somewhere near the top of the guidance department’s “to do” list?

I wouldn’t.

The more research is done, the clearer it becomes that standardized tests “do nothing to indicate how a student might enhance a school’s intellectual community, nor do they predict whether a student will be successful in a college classroom.” (Wake Forest Provost Jill Tiefenthaler)

If students feel that their standardized test results are not on a par with their in-school academic accomplishments, one response is to throw time and money at the problem of increasing their scores.

Another response is to help the students strategize about ways to highlight their strengths while simultaneously seeking out schools that are moving to broaden their definition of “success.”

We all take our cues from the families we work with, and of course at the end of the day, these decisions are family decisions. As a parent and an educator, though, I’d select “B”… would you?

(Photo credit: via Flickr,
originally uploaded by Sami Paige)

Posted on November 11, 2009, in testing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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