Sunday, October 19, 2008

The SAT's - A Fair Fight?

Teaching Teens: The SAT's - A Fair Fight?

College is the aspiration of thousands of young adults everywhere. In today's modern society, you cannot typically excel in life without it. To some degree, students want to see themselves in a better place one day. Many parents come down harshly on their children to do well and achieve. Do admitting average or mediocre students debase American higher education? I strongly believe it does not. It has already been debased, by other factors.

You ask yourself, "What makes a average/mediocre student?" Is it the low grades, SAT scores, environment or social behavior? What makes a student fail? There are many factors involved, many which would take a lot of in-depth research. I'll concentrate on the areas I just brought up.

The SAT is a poor tool to determine collegiate eligibility. Today, the SAT is still used to debase American higher learning. From countless conversations, and personal experience, I do not believe the SAT should be used as a dividing tool in selection. The SAT is biased and misused entirely.

I have also read over many articles that exclaim the SAT is severely flawed, and too unreliable. You cannot tell me that public schools stimulate enough interest or ethics to prepare today's students for the SAT. I, being the product of public schooling, do not believe my high school faculty mentally prepared my fellow classmates and I for the SAT.

I remember my first attempts at the SAT. I was reading through a test pamphlet of certain words that I had hardly ever heard used in the common English vocabulary. I was also looking at math equations that were never hinted on, or stressed on for that matter. To further comment on the math portion of the SAT, a graphic calculator is barred from use, but used as a constant crutch in today's schooling. Of course with the proper "coaching" techniques, including expensive books and videos, one may have an edge with the SAT's unpredictable questions.

How can this test be called "standardized" when certain students may have an edge over the students who could not afford the expensive training methods? This brings up the problem of extortion, used by the SAT's and it's affiliates.

The SAT is a biased and misused entirely. The option of integrating your SATS scores into your academic portfolio could easily eradicate the problem. Those students who feel their SAT scores correctly present their academic skills can include them, and they who feel the latter, may not.

Many colleges are now not using SAT scores for a majority of academic decisions like Allen University of Columbia, SC and American Academy of Art of Chicago, IL just to name a few. These colleges rely on a combination of grades, recommendations, and a portfolio/special project.

Teaching Teens: The SAT's - A Fair Fight?: Part II

If you have excelled in some type of sports activity, and you are chosen to be on your college's team, you will get a free ride throughout college. All of that is contingent on the grounds the student achieves a substandard GPA. Here I see a related issue with today's higher education debasing itself. We are taught as young children, "why worry about your grades, when you can get through life with sports." This is where you can see college and sport's apparent misconception/corruption.

Should I have to point out that there have been many scandals exposed where top name colleges pay students exorbitant amounts of money or possessions to sway students to play for their colleges? I'm sure the coaches really had their eye on those student's minds. Do these students deserve to attend college, aside from their fellow "mediocre" classmates? No.

Webster's Dictionary defines a "student" as an "an attentive and systematic observer." Many say a student can be only as good as his teacher, but that can only be true to some extent. The student must take the initiative to want to learn and be "attentive" as explained in Webster's. Many students will not see the inherent effects of poor educational habits. These students will fail out their first year from a combination of drunken college parties, TV, and computer games/internet services just to name a few. The stereotypical movies we see depicting college life, and our real-life peers don't help us much at all. Too many colleges are seen as a party rather than a learning environment.

It is from my experience moving from state to state and other countries that many high school instructors fail to accomplish their task in preparing today's young adults for college. In this instance, the system has already been debased before higher education comes into play. Many of my high school teachers did not incite a positive image of wanting to learn more of the subject they were teaching. Some students would simply lose interest, daydream or sleep.

There was a difference in military operated schools verses civilian. There are many exceptions, good and bad varying from each institution. In military run schools, the teachers had a small advantage with behavior. The military children were more behaved than civilian students. This behavior was coming from the effect of a stricter child rearing method. The teachers were given a calm environment, free from common complications, such as misbehaving or violent children; thus resulting in a more efficient learning environment.

With all of these problems affecting the structure of college, no wonder this question is being asked. It's time to see past the illusion that there are not really any mediocre students, but a mediocre system (SATs) scrutinizing them.

In conclusion, American higher education has already been debased by its poor base structure. The United States scores lower than many of our foreign counterparts. Maybe its time we rethink and restructure the methods used to teach and scale a student in today's education system.


Mimi Rothschild is a homeschooling parent, children's rights activist, author, and Founder and C.E.O. of online education company Learning by Grace, Inc. Rothschild and her husband of twenty-eight years reside in suburban Philadelphia with their eight children.

Feeling that “our current system of education has broken its promise,” Rothschild co-founded Learning By Grace, Inc. to provide families with Internet-based multimedia education to PreK-12 children all over the world.

In addition to her twenty years of experience as a homeschool mother, Rothschild has written a number of books dealing with education published by McGraw Hill and others. Her Home Education Websites Blog consists of helpful online content and activities for Christian homeschooling families.

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