I asked Gary Gan, a licensed school counselor/DOE educator about their thoughts on college applications and the SAT, they responded:
At the end of the day, standardized testing will always be skewed and there will always be factors that make them unfair. The SAT is not the only element that is considered when determining entrance into a school. If we rely on other methods, such as grades, portfolios and other measures which tracks a student’s entire school career rather than one test, how do we go about that exactly? A portfolio of a students math projects? It will not be as easy as removing a test. Private and public institutions are littered with issues; especially when they are aimed at profit rather than student-centered education. Schools still have varying criteria and accept certain students. How can scores be compared between a school in Texas and a school in New York, when their education standards are different? The current educational standards are a mess… Teachers are told what they can or can’t teach while having varying curriculum standards by state. There will be omissions in content, which means when students attend an out of state college, they end up confused about topics they are expected to have learned previously. We are taught quite a lot of useless content in school. What about important real life issues? Finances, retirement, how to do your taxes? What about people that don’t go through post-secondary? Where is the exploration into trade schools? America is just a problematic country, when it comes to education. A total reformation needs to be done for the Department of education but it isn’t realistic.
I appreciate your research instinct (i.e., conducting a mini-interview). What did you think about Gan’s response to your question?
This is interesting—thanks for sharing this insight, Jess. I would love to spend some time talking about evaluation—how prospective students are usually assessed, why, what might be gained or lost by exploring other methods. How does this connect to questions of evaluation at other levels—like class grades, exams, dissertations, or even tenure? Does something need to be quantifiable in order to matter? Or if not, how do we measure it?