Commenters on the AJC Get Schooled blog had a range of reactions to Thursday's release of the 2013 national and state SAT scores. After a leap last year, Georgia's 2013 average score remains unchanged and below the national average. The stagnant national scores led the College Board to call for a concerted effort to get more kids, especially minorities, into tougher courses that lead to improved SAT performance. Here is a sampling of what blog readers had to say under their chosen screen names:
Retired: Do students take advanced coursework in high school? Yes, about the same percentage as certified as "college ready" by the College Board. Do all students have the opportunity to take advanced coursework? Yes. Then, all the hand-wringing begins from on high. Why are there not more students taking advanced coursework? This is not rocket science, people. A student must work, and work hard, for all the grades pre-k to 10th to be successful in advanced high school coursework.
Don't tread: More work done by a student who wants to learn equals better test scores equals a better chance of success in college (and life). Really? Who would have guessed that? Apparently, not the people in charge of the public schools. Social promotion and grade inflation must end now. It only artificially inflates the performance metrics for the people in charge (so they can get their bonuses) and does nothing for the student.
Bi Curious: Why do we have to keep lowering our educational standards just to accommodate the most lazy, unmotivated and unintelligent students?
OldDog: So, how much of this "flatness" is attributable to more students taking the SAT, and more "borderline" students at that? The high-achieving students will always take a college-placement test; it is the ones who are lower achievement who may or may not. It is too bad we don't have an independent, outside testing agency that has a good test and require every high school senior to take the test before receiving a diploma. It would be instructive to see some SAT scores if every senior had to take the test. Some might score in the negative range.
Walter: As a teacher of six years, I have to admit that we in Georgia are involved in a "Race to the Bottom" - the bar keeps getting lower and lower. National tests like the SAT demonstrate this unfortunate fact. I've seen "A'"students do very poorly on the SAT yet seem to do well with grades. I think this is primarily due to grade inflation because of the HOPE scholarship. I'm a gifted-class teacher, yet only a few students in my gifted classes are truly gifted. The rest are what we used to call good students.
Jack: Video games, smartphones, Internet. We're all getting dumber
DC: So as soon as folks start talking about using the results of the SAT to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers (you know, kind of like how the scoreboard is used to evaluate athletic coaches), then the eduacracy will embark on a campaign to stop SAT testing, just like they've been attacking other standardized testing.
BCW: Too much testing focus and not enough teaching focus makes one an average student. When are our so-called educational leaders going to wake up and realize this? This is really frustrating to those of us who are in the classrooms and realize what the problem is. But are we ever asked what we think?
Trefusis: What does it say about the SAT that the wealthiest, most stark-white county in the state - Forsyth - scores highest on the exam?