Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
FOR THE WEEK OF MAR. 10, 2014
Sweeping changes will make the SAT more relevant and useful, College Board says
Look for another education article and tell why it does or doesn't interest you.
Identify at least two newsmakers whose career preparation included college (even if not mentioned).
Now find a college in your state that's in the news for any reason, including athletics.
The SAT, taken (endured?) by more than 1.5 million high school seniors each year, is getting a radical makeover aimed at focusing the college entrance exam more closely on key academic skills. The College Board, a New Jersey firm that creates and scores the reading, writing and math test, last week announced its first major overhaul since 2005. Starting in spring 2016, students will take a very different test. "It is time for an admissions assessment that makes it clear that the road to success is not last-minute tricks or cramming, but the learning students do over years," says David Coleman, the College Board's president. "It's time to shake things up."
Here's what will change: There will be no quarter-point penalty for wrong guesses on multiple-choice questions; math and reading portions will focus more on reasoning; the timed essay becomes optional and will have a separate score; and archaic, obscure vocabulary words will be replaced by ones students actually could read or hear in college. Lastly, a 1600-point scoring scale will be revived.
Critics say the SAT and other standard tests only predict a student's ability to take the test, which hampers low-income students whose families can’t afford private preparation classes. High school performance is a much better way to predict college success, studies suggest. Nearly a third of colleges and universities no longer require test scores. "We found there was no direct correlation between academic success on our campus and the SAT," says Angel Perez, the head of admissions at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. The 88-year-old test has slipped behind the rival ACT, a shorter exam with an optional essay, in total student customers. The revised SAT will be available on paper and computer.
Admissions officer says: "As a predictor of student success, a 25-minute essay isn't going to tell us a great deal." -- Stephen Handel, University of California associate vice president of undergraduate admissions
College Board says: "Some test-prep providers intimidate parents at all levels of income into the belief that the only way they can secure their child's success is to pay for costly test preparation and coaching." – David Coleman, president
Critic says: "The College Board can change the test all it likes, but no single exam, given on a single day, should determine anyone's fate. . . . A better way of revising the SAT . . . would be to do away with it." -- Jennifer Finney Boylan, English professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine
Front Page Talking Points
is written by
Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment
Front Page Talking Points Archive
►Sweeping changes will make the SAT more relevant and useful, College Board says
►‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is Obama’s name for effort to help at-risk young men
►This season of wicked weather brings above-normal ice coverage on all Great Lakes
►Warm days make the last week of Olympic action in Russia seem like the Spring Games
►Major drugstore chain will stop selling tobacco items as improper for a health retailer
►Get set to cheer skaters, skiers, boarders, bobsledders and other Olympians in Sochi
►Super Bowl brings Seahawks-Broncos showdown outdoors in winter weather
►Outcry in New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie is in a jam over bridge traffic jams
►Martin Luther King Day next Monday honors his civil rights leadership
►Preview of upcoming tech products: New gaming system, 'smart clothing,' combo laptop-tablet