Skeels Rebukes LA Times’ Klein for Late Awakening; I Disagree

I’m going to side with Robert Skeels in this matter. I’m not that forgiving either. James Pilant

Diane Ravitch's blog

Yesterday I gleefully reported that Karen Klein, who writes editorials about education for the Los Angeles Times, had opted her own daughter out of the state test. The Los Angeles Times has supported most aspects of what is called “reform ,” so I was glad to see that Klein had realized how the current overuse of testing had undermined the love of learning , not only for her child, but for all children. Far be it from me to criticize anyone for changing their mind. Klein has a powerful role, and her epiphany could signify a recognition by the LA Times of the harm that standardized testing inflicts when allowed to become both the measure and the goal of education.

Robert Skeels was not so forgiving.

He writes:

“I’m glad that you’re sparing your own child the abject effects of this year’s test. However, I recall sitting across a…

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The Ethics Sage Discusses the SAT Changes

The Ethics Sage
The Ethics Sage

The Ethics Sage Discusses the SAT Changes

Steven Mintz, better known as the Ethics Sage has some criticism of the changes in the SAT’s. Please read his work and go to his web site and become a follower!

James Pilant

Do Changes to the SAT Better Reflect the Skills Needed in Today’s World? – Ethics Sage

One of my concerns is the common core standards may lead to “teaching to the test” rather than engaging students in a way that challenges their analytical reasoning skills. Also, making the essay optional sends the wrong signal at a time professors like myself and recruiters bemoan the loss of writing skills in today’s college students. Even a simple memo can be a challenge too great for some graduates.

While we can change the standardization measures of an exam such as the SAT, we must consider that comparability is at risk. How do we know that a graduate who scored 1,600 – a perfect score on the exam – has learned a comparable amount of knowledge and developed similar skills as someone who scored the same and graduated before the change? Maybe this is not a big deal but I am concerned about the statement by the Board that “its college admission exams do not focus on the important academic skills.” How do cutting obscure vocabulary words and making the essay optional promote academic skills when the result of these changes will be to dumb down reading skills? Someone should tell the Board that the best way to learn how to write effectively is to read a lot, pay attention to how the author constructs her sentences and vocabulary choice, and then demonstrate what you have learned by writing essays.

via Do Changes to the SAT Better Reflect the Skills Needed in Today’s World? – Ethics Sage.

Mintz, S. (2014, March 25). [Web log message]. Retrieved from EthicsSage (Ethics Sage)

From around the web.

From the web site, Gas Station Without Pumps.

Although the College Board says that this overhaul is not prompted by their shrinking market share (ACT now sells more tests than SAT), I’m sure that is the primary driving factor.  If the College Board behaved more like a non-profit than like a corporate monopoly (smaller executive salaries, pricing for distributing scores to college that was close to actual costs rather than the price gouging that they currently engage it), I’d be more inclined to believe that this was not just a “market share” phenomenon.  Since all the changes make them look more like the ACT, it seems to be entirely profit-driven, not based on a desire to more accurately predict the success of college applicants.

Eliminating the essay should make the SAT much cheaper to grade, but I’ve not heard any announcements about them reducing the price of the exams.

Gas Station Without Pumps. (2014, March 5). Sat is changing in 2016 . Retrieved from