English Comp 103
February 24, 2013
Not Another Test It’s his Senior year High School is almost over. All the years of hard work is about to be done, staying up late to study for tests not to mention doing this while practicing every day afterschool for football, basketball and track. My son is finally going to graduate. He wasn’t a perfect student but he got Bs and Cs which wasn’t bad. He excelled in sports. The recruiters came to see him, he was on his way. He needed to take one more test to get into college, the SAT test. He would not be admitted without taking them and receiving a good score. I think the SAT test is to heavily relied on to admit students into school. Colleges can use GPA scores and PSSA tests or whatever standardized tests students are required to take in order to graduate. Like every parent I started the process of SAT testing because I had no choice. So we logged on and paid a fee and were charged extra because there was a late registration fee. So the total cost was $70.00. I had to purchase a book to help him prep for it. I also paid for a tutor to come to the house to go over the book with him. What about families that come from low income households? They can’t afford to pay for the test or buy the book. And if they do take it, can they afford to pay to re-take it if the score is not good enough? The average student takes the SAT at least twice. “The Huffington Post” published an article titled “Does the SAT Have A Racial Bias?” The article stated that taking the SAT test hurts minority kids because they traditionally score lower on the test. I think they score lower because they don’t have the resources to assist them with taking the test. The majority of these areas are urban areas that are occupied by black and Hispanic kids where the education is not up to par. Where they share textbooks and don’t have SAT prep classes and can’t afford tutors. So I think they have an unfair disadvantage. We got our date and prepared for the test. When he went to take the test he said it was not hard it was just very long, and some of the work he had never seen before. He did not do as well as he wanted to do, so we needed to start the process over. REALLY!! So what’s a mom to do? Log on pay another fee. After he took the test twice his scores are still not good enough to get him into college. So he is now taking the ACT test which is not as tricky as the SAT test, so they say. So despite doing well in school one test is going to determine if he will be able to attend college. There are good students who are choosing not to go to four year colleges because they have to take this test. Instead they are opting to go the local community college because they are not required to take the SAT. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with going to the community college. I’m saying the reason for choosing to go there should not be one test.
Charles Murray wrote an article in “The American” which is an online magazine of the American Enterprise Institute called “Abolish the SAT”. In that article he mentioned that more and more prestigious small colleges such as Middlebury and Bennington are making the SAT optional. He also felt that despite the fact that he himself took the SAT and got into Harvard, the test should no longer be administered. Nothing important would be lost by doing so. I feel the same way. I think the fact that all students have to pass what we call in our school district PSSA tests in order to graduate should be sufficient. Murray