March 2005 - part 2
The really wonderful thing about this site, is there is never a shortage of Bullshit.
The new SAT: Brains on steroids.
Testing, and tests, have lost their purpose.
This past weekend, the new SAT was given for the first time. The new SAT has 3 sections, not two.
The old test had a Verbal and Math section, each scored at 200-800 points, for a total of 1600 possible.
The new test has a 2400 possible points, and we are all waiting with edge-of-the-seat anticipation as
to who will be the first 2400 point geniouses. The new test also adds a 25 minute essay question.
What got me in the article I read, was this quote:
"It's really stressful, because my whole life is the SAT,"
said Ottman, who had taken a prep course and said that
now she'll probably spend more time preparing.
It was made by a student who could not take the test, due to inclement weather conditions, and would
have to take the test on April 1st.
The test is supposed to measure what you've learned, and predict what you are capable of doing. It wasn't supposed to be a triathalon of training, and 16 years of preparing. It was supposed to be a snapshot of your ability at that point in life, and a yardstick to predict potential future performance.
Preparing for a test as so many kids do, skews the results, and makes the test meaningless for what it was designed for -- predicting your ability and potential to ACHIEVE at college.
Kids now know the answers to questions, rather than UNDERSTANDING or actually having learned the material behind the question. If one kid was lucky enough to have seen that question before, they get it right, regardless of their actual ability.
The above quote shows what we've created. Kids that prepare for tests, rather than learn, have fun, or grow up. They become social cripples, or worse.
The changes were designed to make the test better reflect what students should be
learning in school. In addition to the essay, the College Board added grammar and
reading questions. Vocabulary analogies and quantitative comparisons were eliminated
The key word here is SHOULD.
Our schools have stopped teaching. Our teachers give homework as if it was a job not a reenforcement of what was gone over in class -- and they want to pass laws to make it illegal to NOT do home work! It's easier to have kids fill out some papers and check an answer than to come up with some EDUCATIONAL activity that requires participation of the BRAIN. Our kids spend their lives chatting on-line, using cellular phones or playing video games.
When I hire, I don't care about test grades. They are all phony. They are all fixed or rigged. I look at overall performance over the past few years, any major (or minor) accomplishments they've had, and evaluate their ability to do the job I need them to do. Certificates, awards, certifications, etc don't mean anything if the person can just answer questions, but really can't do the job. MSCE/Network certifications are the worst! Without an instinct and understanding of what is going on, and a rapport with the machine, those papers are worthless!! Windows is a whole other rant, but other sites do it so well, I'll leave it alone.
We have a country of people, a whole generation or two, of people who CAN'T DO THEIR JOBS! Their qualifications are all phony based on pumped up test scores. Qualifications on steroids. Grade Inflation. No child left behind. No "winners". Politically correct BULLSHIT!! Even our reality TV makes it clear, there _ARE_ Winners and losers in the game of life!! School should reflect that. Yes, make losing an educational experience, not an emotional torture, but teach that SUCCESS is important, and losing, failure or quitting is a bad, bad thing.
Do you think it's only steroids that "pump up" the results? What about Kaplan prep courses, SAT test books, and all the other things that can boost a score unfairly?
This is rampant in our society. We've turned a blind eye to it, and that blind tiger is going to come back and bite us in the ass, because it's sense of smell still works, and it all stinks.
Enough Bullshit. I have a job to do, and my own life to live.